Ascent of Volcán Barú on 2010-01-05
|Others in Party:||Mario (Guide)|
|Date:||Tuesday, January 5, 2010|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||4x4 Vehicle|
| Elevation:||11398 ft / 3474 m|
Ascent Trip ReportNotes: This was a brutal climb. Poked around in town until I found a guide - his name was Mario and it was his 96th summit of Baru. His buddy drove us up the road a good ways to start our hike late in the evening. They were smoking a joint; I declined to partake. Mario wore jeans and a pair of vans that were untied the entire way up.
The road to the summit was basically straight up - no switchbacks. Very loose in spots. Rough, uneven terrain. Some stretches felt like 60 degree grade or more. Mario kept well ahead most of the way. I could not keep up. Typically, all I could see was a light way up the hill in front of me. I guess untied vans are the secret to his success. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other because...that's all I could do. My notes say I had a flashlight. I don't know whether I had a headlamp or not.
The hike was agonizing at times. Leg cramps, knees aching, blisters bigger than quarters on both heels, drenched in sweat. Somehow I failed to bring a sleeping bag or any kind of pad to sleep on. I didn't realize that was part of the plan. We got to the hut below the summit and Mario proceeded to unroll his sleeping bag. It was dark and very cold and I didn't want him to be concerned that I failed to bring anything warm (or offer to share his sleeping bag), so I went into the corner of the hut and pretended to prepare a bed. Then I just curled up in the fetal position on the wood plank floor and shivered for a few hours until the sun came up.
Once the sun was up, I bolted for the summit. Mario didn't even go up. I spent an hour on the summit basking in the warmth. The weather was great and I had fantastic views of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Descent was very tough, especially on the knees. And with no sleep, I wasn't the happiest camper.
Route: East Slopes from Ranger Station near Boquete, Panama
Start: 11:00pm (Jan 4 2010)
Camp below summit: ~4:00am
Depart camp: 6:00am
Depart from camp: ~8:00am
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||5492 ft / 1673 m|
| Round-Trip Distance:||15.6 mi / 25.1 km|
| Route:||East Slopes|
| Trailhead:||Ranger Station 5906 ft / 1800 m|
| Route Conditions:||Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail|
| Gear Used:||Guide, Hut Camp|
| Nights Spent:||1 nights away from roads|
| Weather:||Cold, Calm, Clear|
| Time:||5 Hours 30 Minutes|
| Time:||3 Hours 30 Minutes|
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