Cerro Pescadores, Picacho Peak
13-Mar-98, (Private Trip)
By: Doug Bear
Doug Mantle and I drove out Thursday night and pulled off S-22 to crash. Friday, _5AM, we headed for Mexicali, then down to the turn off for Pescadores.
We exited just past the Rod & Gun club, then drove in about 3 miles of SANDY road to 7 antennae hill. We "hid" the truck, then I led an impeccable route up Pescadores in 2hrs 40 mins. The only form of excitement occurred when I disturbed a rattler. The summit has a historical register that goes back to '67. We had a lunch, then descended carefully (looking for snakes) for a round-trip time of 6 hrs. Then we drove out and were back in CA by 3:30 PM for what turned out to be a routine "bag" of a DPS peak. We saw absolutely no one. I was very pleased! We spent the night near Winterhaven. Saturday AM we drove up to Little Picacho in a light sprinkle. About one mile into the hike it began to rain and I was nervous about doing the peak (wet _5th class rock). So we turned back and returned to LA in fairly constant rain.
Route notes: The climb description is "fairly" accurate. It mentions a 30' cliff, which we did not see. The main thing to stress is that the 7 antennae hill is the landmark to use for the drive in, and once the hike has begun, pass through the "gap" just past 7 antenna hill and sight the gendarme at 230 degrees (or whatever it is). Then don't take the write up too literally, just head for the base of the ridge the gendarme is on and go up it. There are plenty of ducks higher up on the ridge. Recent register entries include : Nov '97 Gene Mauk & Mary Motherald; 2/14/98 John Cheslick brought in a small group; 3/13/98 Doug & I.The register is the original one, placed in '67 - There is a cairn on the summit. The road in is sandy, we used 4WD. We drove in 3+ miles, but a good 4WDER who stayed in the wash (i.e. didn't wreck the desert) could have driven in through the gap just west (I think) of 7 antenna hill.We saw large tire tracks in this wash (A BIG vehicle).
Editor's note : recently, Cerro Pescadores's trailhead area has been reported to be patrolled by the Mexican Army who are on the lookout for contraband traffickers. As such, DPSers should be aware of this potential encounter. The "large tire tracks" Doug mentions could have been made by military humvee-type vehicles which are used to patrol the area.
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