Ascent of Nevado de Colima on 1999-02-08

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:guide Sr Agustin
Date:Monday, February 8, 1999
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Nevado de Colima
    Elevation:4259 m / 13976 ft

Ascent Trip Report

The state of Jalisco's Highest Point, Nevado de Colima, is located just southwest of Ciudad Guzman (which is about 150km south of Guadalajara). The directions to the pueblo/mountain will be added at the bottom of this report.

We got here yesterday with the plan of overnighting in "La Joya" .... the refugio at 3800m is accessed by a 20km winding steep dirt road. It didn't take long for us to find out that this road was too rough for our van, Rose kept reminding me every few minutes, "I don't like this, I'm scarried, turn around or let me out", she cried.
I knew that this was a problem for both of us and I agreed with her so we turned around after only 3-4km and drove to the pueblo of El Fresnito and asked/found the "Tour Guide" casa ...... Sr Agustin Ibarra, #85 Viajes de Nevado, El fresnito, Jalisco.
We agreed to 7h00 hour start in the morning, later changed to 11hoo hours cause the guide Agustin Jr. had to write exams in the morning. The arragements included a room and a car park.
We sat around most of the afternoon, Agustin Jr decended with a huge scout group of about 20 people after 3 days on the mountain. In the evening we strolled into town, had a dinner of tacos/ enchalladas with a cervesa.

We got up early (hard time sleeping) as is the case with me before a big climb, Agustin Jr was washing the truck that came off the mountain yesterday, before going off to write his exam .... He listened to the "Doors", we chatted, told us that his favorite music is the blues. The Mrs. offered us breakfast and informed us the Agustin Sr would be my guide.
I met Sr, a bit younger than I, and after the usual gear check/loading we left at 10h30 hours and arrived at the Antennas above La Joya at 12h15 hours. The drive-up is exceptionally steep/rough, lot of switchbacks, numerous spots of eroded/rutted road, at places the truck was spinning its wheels and looked as if it wouldn't make it.
Left the Antennas with a day pack, easy pace, the trail is a moderately steep scramble, not difficult, summited at 14h30 hours, met 2 Quebeckers, Alain and Martel with their guide Luis. We snacked, I had no symptoms of altitude, enjoyed the super somewhat hazy views and the moment. The south overlook down to the smoking Volcan de Colima is awesome.

Alain and Martel left for the descent, followed by their guide sometime later after chatting with Agustin. As we started our descent we saw Luis waving at us ..... his clients had taken the wrong trail and needed Agustin's help, after about 30 minutes of scrambling/hollering, they spotted the hikers down below, Luis thanked Agustin and took over from there. We arrived back to the Antennas at 16h45 hours only to find a group of 6 Quebeckers (I don't know where they came from), not at all happy.
We got back to El Fresnito and Rose at 18h30 hours, an 8 hour day. I squared up with Agustin (165$ including tip), I was really pleased with these people, very professional and warm.
We will overnight here before driving back to Manzanillo in the morning for the rest of our visit with my parents.

From Ciudad Guzman travel south on hwy #54 for 12km, turn right (west) on a road signed "Tonoya", drive west to the pueblo of El Fresnito (my guide's address are given above), the road to Tonaya heads right. Drive out of the pueblo to the northwest outskirts of El Fresnito and find a dirt road that ascends the mountain to a pass and the refugio "La Joya" (3800m), the road continues to the Microwave Antenna Station (4000m) separated from the main summit by a saddle. The drive-up, about 20km, has rough/steep/eroded areas with numerous switchbacks, not to be taken lightly.


Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:297 m / 976 ft
    Elevation Loss:1059 m / 3476 ft
    Distance:9.7 km / 6 mi
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:297 m / 976 ft
    Distance:4.8 km / 3 mi
    Route:SW gravel rd to microwave 13100'/trail to summit
    Trailhead:el fresnito  3962 m / 13000 ft
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:1059 m / 3476 ft
    Distance:4.8 km / 3 mi
    Route:SW gravel rd to microwave 13100'/trail to summit
    Trailhead:el fresnito  3200 m / 10500 ft

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