By: Roy Ward
In spite of rain along the coast and slightly less than an inch in Calexico, the trip went. The main road across Laguna Salada was wet and muddy. We used the road to the west that just skirts the dry lake. We were told that the road down the center of the lake will no longer be maintained after February. The west road is recommended for all future trips. About 28 miles after leaving Mexico 2 a marked road turns west and terminates at the Canon de Guadalupe.
A few minutes after 8:00 AM only four people were present. The assistant leader was a victim of the flu and Barbara Reber consented to act as the assistant. We left the canyon and tried a new route, going higher up the canyon, following the stream until we could see the peak. We then cut up thru a saddle and over a shoulder and crossed the standard route in the canyon. We then went high up under the cliffs of the peak and around to the west where we were again on the standard route. This route is a little longer, but one avoids the huge boulders in the canyon. A little Class 3 and the famous or infamous step across and we were on the summit by 1:30 pm. We ate lunch and started down slowly, arriving at 7:30pm. Heading for the hot baths, we were joined by two late arrivals or rather we joined them in the baths.
We had a late start the next morning back to the Highway (Mexico 2). We made a few inquiries for the Centinela road head at a small lonchera just east of the saddle where the road drops into the Laguna. There is a dirt road at the west corner of the lonchera that leads back to a canyon where we were told there is a route. We tried another route, which is just west of La Rosita and the cemetery. Where the telephone lines cross the Highway, there is a dirt road heading toward the mountain. This goes thru the dump and the place where the Mexicans dispose of their dead animals. After arrival at the roads end, we decided it was too late to try for the peak. It is a 6-7 hour climb. The trip was then concluded.
Editor's comments: The hero and star climber of Pico Rasco was a black Labrador, called Higo Negro, and owned by the proprietor of the Canon de Guadalupe campground. Higo or Figsy as he is better known to the Gringos, made all except the summit block and likes to climb with the Americans. Here is a real outdoor and mountain dog.
There is a discrepancy in the elevation for Pico Rasco. Our DPS Qualifying list has 4500', whereas the register on top of Pico Rasco reads 4900'. One altimeter read 5000'. Once again we are shown the need for topo maps of our Mexican peaks.
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