Sunday, December 3, 2017

Pico Norte Hike, Monterrey, Mexico

What is Pico Norte and what is inside this blogpost for you: 

The Views from Pico Norte

Pico Norte is one of the 4 peaks visible from the city of Monterrey forming the shape of M. The Antenna seen at the left is known as Pic Antenna. The one next to that is Pico Norte. The right ridges of M are formed by Pico Sur and Loma La Virgin. The toughest is Pico Sur and rarely people go there as it requires many mountaineering equipment s and Loma La Virgin is bit tough as well as its full of cactus. Pic Antenna is for the beginners(i would say moderate) and Pico Norte is for advanced. If you are in Monterrey and love hiking, then i would highly recommend visiting these places.

Our Group At the starting of the Hike

Hiking to Pic Antenna and Pico Norte starts from Bosques de la pastora and is common track till Teleferico which is at a distance of 3 KM from the bottom.   After 500 meters from Teleferico, there is diversion and you would find the path continuing left. That path takes you to Pic Antenna as explained in Pic Antenna Hike post. There is a small path taking into the woods . If you follow that, you would head towards Pico Norte. Pic Antenna has a 4x4 cement/rocky road where you can never get lost. You also find frequent hikers on the way and you can hike all alone without any fear. Pico Norte is a small path taking you across tough terrain of inclination. It is well marked with Orange/Red ribbons in almost every 100 meters . So, you can go on your own if you have a group of 4-5 people. But i would still recommend taking a guide or a person who has gone there before.
Here is a list of pics and major landmarks which might be helpful if you plan to go there on your own next time.

What is the distance of Pico Norte Hike: 
It is a hike of around 7 KM one side and takes around 5-6 hours to climb and around 3-4 hours to get down.

what are the necessary items to carry:
*Food, Water
As we started our hike at 6 am in the morning, we have carried our breakfast and lunch. But we ate breakfast around 09:30 and had to give one more stop around 3 just to finish our lunch. If you carry food for one time and some snacks, it should be sufficient. Don't forget to carry 3 liters of water alteast as you won't get any water from Pic Antenna till Pico Norte. You don't find any orange/water sellers like the Pic Antenna route or water stations like Chipinque
*Torch Lights: If you are starting your hike in the early morning

Sunglasses or Gloves are optional as we hike in the shades of the trees and don't do serious rock climbing anywhere. So, bare hands and not carrying sunglasses should be OK.

Story of our Hike: 
Lets get started with the story of our hike. We started around 6:15 AM From Bosques De La Pastora after our Guide Carlos picked us in a Soriana around 6 AM. We started our hiking towards Teleferico in the early morning in the damm cold weather
Our Guide Carlos at the starting point of the Hike
View of Monterrey during the start of Trek(pic taken around 6:40 AM)

We Reached Teleferico around 07:50 AM (way slower than my hiking place of around 1 hour when i went alone last time) as we had slow hikers in the group. But as we started the hike in the morning, the view was totally different from what i witnessed last time. People come with their tents/camps here at night. Stay here watching the clear night sky and climb down in the early mornings.
Time to climb down for these guys

We could see lot of people removing their camps and heading down. Advantage of early morning hike is you witness lot of clouds and cover the difficult part of the trek before the sun gets hotter.
The View from teleferico
Views when clouds are getting cleared

Diversion to Pico Norte:

After walking for 500 meters or so, we get this diversion . If you go straight , you go to Pico Norte. Remember the dustbin at the right as the landmark :-) The 4x4 road in left takes you to Pic Antenna.

Markings to look for:
Whenever you are going, make sure to look for markings like below ones. If you are getting them quite often. there may not be markers for some distance if the route is a straight route with no possible deviations. But you would definitely get the markers like below ones wherever there is diversion or in every 100-300 meters.

Markings for Pico Norte
Paso de los Elefantes/ The Route of the Elephants
Around 08:45 , we reached the Elephant route or Paso De Los Elefantes. It has couple of small caves and we need to be bit carefull while crossing these.
Paso De los Elefantes
Crossing Paso de los elefantes

Carboneda(joining point of 2 mountain valleys)
We reached Carboneda around 09:30 where we stopped for Breakfast. This place is the joining point of 2 mountain valleys where our descent from Teleferico ends and ascent towards Pico Norte valley begins. Its quite a nice place to sit and relax

After completing one box of my Jira rice-cocunut chutney and snacks brought by Srikanth, Venky we started our hiking up.

A short video of the path is coming up next

Sreekanth started enjoying the HIke from here onwards
many small caves on the way
Ascent Getting difficult
And more difficult. But determination to reach the top remains the same 
Sunlight welcoming us through the woods
Its a team Guys :-) Will do it. 

When you are about to say exhausted, you would start seeing the glimpses of Pic Antenna and you would get energized to reach Pico Norte top 
Do you wanna see the 360 degree view of the surrounding ? Here is a video of it

When you realize that Pico Norte is way higher than Pic Antenna

Pico Norte is a way tougher as well 

Moment of Joy when you come out of the woods and see Pic Antenna in clouds
Some more hiking remains still to reach the Pico Norte

Views from Pico Norte: 
The top point of Pico Norte

The Panoromic view from the Pico Norte. The one in center is Pic Antenna

There are many photo spots around like the ones below

View of Pico Sur from the top of Pico Norte
A video of how we felt after reaching this amazing place is here

Getting down: 
We had the breadslices prepared by Sudheendra and some Andra snacks brought by Venky , Sreekanth and started our descent around 2 PM

The views while getting down have changed and were beautiful indeed 

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