Ascent of Volcán San Pedro on 2013-09-09

Climber: Josh Hayward

Date:Monday, September 9, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Volcán San Pedro
    Elevation:9908 ft / 3019 m

Ascent Trip Report

See the full report and photos on my website at

This was my second climb of Volcan San Pedro this month while staying in San Pedro La Laguna. You can read the first one HERE

This time I decided to climb it for sunrise.

It was my last night in San Pedro before moving on to Xela and I decided around midnight that I wanted to climb for sunrise. I found two others who were partying with me at the time who wanted to join.

We left from the town at 2:45am and walked for 30 minutes to get to the trail head. From San Pedro you follow the main road past the church, and follow the big paved road North West until it splits to Guatemala or Santiago Atitlan. Turn left and follow the road to Santiago Atitlan. The trail head is on the left hand side with an office building with a red roof about 15 minutes from where the main road splits. The office was closed as it was so early in the morning. (100Q otherwise)

From the trail head there is really only one trail to follow and you will follow it south west along a ridge until it crosses a ravine and heads south up the mountain.

From the ravine the trail is pretty straight forward although it does split twice.

On the first split stay to the right on the steeper trail and then about 10 minutes later while passing a corn field on your left it will split again. One trail continues straight and the other turns about 100 degrees to the left. Turn Left.

From here there is only one trail and it goes to the hut near the top where you can follow the maintained trail to left to the Eastern lookout (it will go down briefly), or the highly unmaintained trail to the right which will take you to through the cone and up to the true summit on the West side.


None of us had slept or and I hadn't eaten in about 15 hours for some reason. Despite a lack of energy I was by far the fastest climber and contemplated separating many times.

Because I climbed this mountain already I had a good estimation of how long it would take based on land marks and tracking the time. I told them that when we reached the hut about 20 minutes from the summit I was going to run to the top to catch the beginning of the sunrise.

We reached the hut at 5:20am and I ran the rest of the way to catch the clearest and one of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever seen.

We put all our warm clothes on as it was really cold and spent about an hour on the top before heading back to the hut, where one of the others had gone after 30 minutes to take a nap.

At the hut I decided to hike through the cone and reach the true summit of the Volcano, figuring it would take me 40 minutes to ascend and descend the unmaintained trail to the summit and back to the hut. I told them to start hiking, knowing that I would be able to catch up quickly.

It took me 25 minutes to reach the true summit from the hut as the trail was really overgrown and there was on section that was almost vertical that i had to ascend with the aid of the hanging vines.

There was absolutely no view from the summit because of the dense vegetation so I pulled out the machete and began hacking away. I spent 40 minutes whacking through and climbing over really dense vegetation struggling to find a view before I got frustrated and had to head down to catch my bus to Xela.

If you go to the true summit you will see my trail heading West that looks like it leads to a vantage point. It doesn't. it does a big clock wise loop and will be a pain in the ass to follow. Also there is an epic amount of thorns. All my clothes are ripped and now have holes in them because of them.

After finally making it back to the summit I chopped two walking sticks and made it back to the hut at 8:30am. From here I literally ran all the way down with the support of my walking sticks, passed several other people and took a total of 4 minutes of rest spread out over the descent.

I made it down in 55 minutes and there were two workers waiting there to get me to pay. (one of the guides I passed must have called down)

I paid them the 100Q quickly and then ran towards town until a tuk-tuk picked me up and took me home.

See the full report and photos on my website at
Summary Total Data
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cold, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 35 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 10 Minutes

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