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Ascent of Cerro Peña Nevada on 2012-01-02

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Adam Helman
Bob Packard
Duane Gilliland
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, January 2, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Cerro Peña Nevada
    Location:Mexico
    Elevation:3500 m / 11483 ft

Ascent Trip Report

We climbed this peak 2 days after Volcan Tequila. Onofre is an easy 16 km round trip although we extended it to 28 km by including Peña Nevada, the Tamaulipas state highpoint. Most of the distance is on dirt roads.

The previous afternoon Duane and I met Adam and Bob outside Matahuela and we drove via Doctor Arroyo (town) to the village of San Antonio de Pena Nevada and from there took the dirt road which leads over the mountain ridge to Siberia; we stopped at N23.83122 W99.86759, 2667m where a rough unpaved road turns R. This turned out to be our trailhead. We drove the side road a short way but it is quite rough - and we were soon stopped by a locked gate (N23.82986 W99.86690, 2706m). As there is no turning space we reversed back and returned to the junction where we spent the night in the vehicles.

Next morning we set off before dawn. Last night's cloud had given way to starlight although there was cloud in the valleys and obscuring the tops. The ascent is a fairly simple matter of following the road (rough - a robust 4x4 would be needed supposing access could be obtained) - there are a few brief false leads but no real alternatives - keep to the main track. I had a GPS track from Google Earth which was useful. When about 500m from the summit we left the track at N23.80481 W99.84751, 3398m and headed straight up, cross country. Onofre summit (N23.80063 W99.84640, 3546m) has a few small comms masts, and fallen trees and stumps. The summit is flat with no obvious highest point. It was sunny and frosty when we arrived, with nice views over cloud-filled valleys, but it soon clouded over.

Descending, we followed a track W then S to join the dirt road again, at N23.79633 W99.85023, 3452m, and followed it via a few zigzags, to the prominence col of Pena Nevada, N23.78095 W99.86091, 3272m. We went more or less straight up the north ridge (some bushes lower down and fallen trees to negotiate higher up, but a simple climb). The north summit (N23.77446 W99.86066, 3527m) has scattered pines and a large cairn with boundary markers laid on it: Tamaulipas and Neuvo-Leon. Duane and Bob hand-levelled across to the south summit which seems slightly higher although partly obscured by trees. We walked over to the S summit (N23.77035 W99.86089), which has a small cairn near the highest point, but no boundary marker. Cloud had covered the summit so it was not possible to sight back. Anyway it seems safe to conclude that one or other of the summits is the Tamaulipas state highpoint.

We headed back down the N ridge and back along the dirt road (i made a short diversion to Onofre SW top, 3535m P80 approx, N23.79275 W99.85105), then bypassing Onofre summit on its western slope a little way below the summit, then following it back to the vehicles, retracing our upward route.

We were back at Doctor Arroyo at dusk (6pm). Both front tyres on the rented vehicle were losing air again, one of them rapidly. Fortunately there was a tyre place open. One tyre was beyond repair and was replaced by a used tyre which we hoped would last the remaining three days back to Mexico City.

Next day we drove to our next Ultra, Cerro la Joya, which we climbed the day later.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1341 m / 4406 ft
    Elevation Loss:1341 m / 4406 ft
    Distance:28.5 km / 17.7 mi
    Grade/Class:YDS 2
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Raining, Cool, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Mostly cloudy, rain on descent
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:1082 m / 3553 ft
    Extra Loss:249 m / 820 ft
    Distance:8 km / 5 mi
    Route:From NW
    Trailhead:San Antonia - Siberia road  2667 m / 8750 ft
    Time Up:2 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:1092 m / 3586 ft
    Extra Gain:259 m / 853 ft
    Distance:20.5 km / 12.7 mi
    Route:From NW
    Trailhead:San Antonia - Siberia road  2667 m / 8750 ft
    Time Down:7 Hours 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO resposibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file




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