By: Dave Jurasevich
On Friday night our group converged in the Mexican desert just off Mex Hwy 5 for a Saturday ascent of Cerro Pescadores. Participants. included Bill Stevens, Richard Carey, Rheta Schoeneman, Rob Langsdorf, Terry Flood and Cathy Hanchett, all from the San Diego area and Barbara Reber of Newport Beach. At first light on Saturday morning we caravaned in five 4WD vehicles to the start of our climb, a point near the gap in the frontal range of Pescadores approximately 1 kilometer NW of the 300+ meter hill with six antennae (actual count is seven) shown in the Peaks Guide. The hiking time on Pescadores was 3h30m up and 3h00m down via the following route:
Walk west for 50 yards into the wash, where you will be standing in the obvious gap of the frontal. range. At a bearing of 215 will be a prominent gendarme high on the ridge. This is the ridge you will climb to do Pescadores. Hike up the wash for approximately 1 mile toward the ridge, en-route passing by a 30 foot cliff on your left which is the junction of a large sand wash running behind the 300+ meter "seven antennae" hill. When you reach a fork where a major wash enters from the left, bear left and follow it for about 200 yards to the base of a rocky ridge on your right. Climb this long, rugged ridge, staying basically on the crest and passing the abovementioned gendarme on the way. A short distance beyond the gendarme the ridge will drop 150 feet to a notch. From this notch, bear right and up a scenic gully of decomposing granite with interesting weathered patterns (caves, potholes, arches, etc.). Near the top of this gully exit right and up over slabs to a saddle. From here either contour around or climb the ridgeline to the summit, approximately 1/4 mile to the west. Round Trip: 7 miles, 3100 ft. elev. gain.
After the hike, Bill Stevens left us for a marathon drive to join a Ron Jones trip in progress on Granite #2. The rest of us spent the evening around a campfire not far from where we started the hike that morning. On Sunday morning everybody went their own ways, and I stayed behind to scout out the labyrinth of roads on the desert floor between Pescadores and Hwy 5. In the course of that investigation, I found a more direct approach to the roadhead than is currently described in the DPS Peaks Guide (see accompanying map and DRIVE/APPROACH directions). This is definitely a 4WD route with lots of deep, soft sand along the way. The writer cautions against driving this route with a single vehicle; better to go with two or more 4WD's in case someone gets bogged down in the sand. AAA won't make calls in Mexican sand washes.
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