Summits: 1340

2017: May 20 – 22 » Picacho del Diablo (Mexico) – DPS List Finish!!

Picacho del Diablo was my last peak on the Sierra Club’s desert peaks list.  I didn’t intend to finish on the toughest of the 99 listed peaks, but what a list finish it was. I was glad to have friends Philip Wegge and Christian Mulkey with me.

Picacho del Diablo is the highest point in Baja California at 10157′, and it’s easiest route is rugged, steep, and long. It’s approximately 8 miles one way to the summit, not so bad, but the last 3.25 miles requires dropping 3000′, then regaining 3850′ feet for an average elevation change of 2100 ft/mile. The real challenge I thought though, was the routefinding. For a huge portion of the climb, you can’t see much in front of you due to brush or rocks, and I found that a topo map is just about useless, lacking enough detail to help one navigate through it all.

Christian, Philip, and I made it into Camp Noche at the bottom of the 3000′ descent rather quickly the first day, so we were overconfident and got a late start on our summit day. The way up was relentless, but the route for the most part was enjoyable. The summit views were outstanding, with the deep blue water of the Sea of Cortez commanding the most attention. And then, we came down in the dark and our pace slowed down to a crawl.

I can hardly sum up our experience on Picacho Del Diablo  in a few paragraphs, so I’ll leave it at that for now. This was definitely a fun adventure in an amazing place, and this long weekend is one I won’t forget anytime soon…