Ascent of Volcán Barva on 2016-12-31

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Adrian Rayner
Date:Saturday, December 31, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Volcán Barva
    Location:Costa Rica
    Elevation:2905 m / 9534 ft

Ascent Trip Report

Steep dirt road approach and from the trail highpoint a tough 650m bush whack through dense soaking jungle. Summit at N10.13093° W84.10064° (GPS).

About an hour drive from our Alajuela hotel (Cortez Azul basic but clean and quite ok). Long climb mostly on paved roads, the last 3.5km unpaved, a little rough and steep in places but our Toyota Yaris had little difficulty and most cars up there were standard 2wd.

12 USD each for admission, paid at the gate. Loop trail tops out at about 2850m at a viewing platform. Drizzly today and no view. From here we head thru the jungle on a summit beeline, 650m away. Initially reasonably open forest but the steep descent to the saddle gets quite dense, across a stream and up to the summit is in places very dense with bamboo and a few fallen trees. Quite a few signs of foot traffic, presumably human. Near the top there is a trail marked with yellow tape. I wonder if this is a transect line relating to a biological survey.

Amazingly there's a summit sign: Cerro Chaman 2887m (N10.13093° W84.10064°, GPS). This is rather lower than the currently accepted 2907m but clearly the summit. We follow the tape marked trail onwards a little way but it heads S / SW roughly coinciding with a north south trail marked on topo map displayed at the park gate, wrong direction for our car. So we return to the summit and try to follow it north, but in time it swings NW and runs out so we follow our own rather haphazard GPS trail back down. By now it's raining steadily, the vegetation is soaking and soon so are we.

We rejoin the trail at the viewpoint, now with a view of sorts. We make the short diversion to the Laguna then head back down. Quite a few folk about, surprisingly considering the rain. Probably due to the public holiday weekend.

The last summit of our one week trip and of 2016 and a memorable one.

We don't visit the lower west summit although it's likely to be easier than the east one. Notes from Jonathan de Ferranti: 50K map has small 2900m ring for east summit and 2880m ring for west summit. Highest 1" satellite cells are east 2907m, west 2894m
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:365 m / 1201 ft
    Elevation Loss:365 m / 1201 ft
    Distance:8 km / 5 mi
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:Raining, Cool, Windy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:305 m / 1004 ft
    Extra Loss:20 m / 66 ft
    Distance:4 km / 2.5 mi
    Trailhead:2620 m / 8596 ft
    Time Up:1 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:345 m / 1135 ft
    Extra Gain:60 m / 197 ft
    Distance:4 km / 2.5 mi
    Trailhead:2620 m / 8596 ft
    Time Down:2 Hours 30 Minutes
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. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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