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Andy Martin
3 Jan, 2008
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The El Mayor ridge is steep in spots from 600 to 700 meters, but can usually be followed directly on top, or by dropping off to one side or the other less than 40 feet. You can get a good view of some direct east face routes, which looked pretty dicey to descend. It is good that we had not tried these, Bob come up with some good suggestions on taking our wash/ridge route.

The crux of the route was a bit past 800 meters, where we encountered a rocky outcrop, and traversed left (east) of it on steep ground, with some pretty cliffy terrain below us. I was glad to regain the main ridge, where we descended to a small saddle. This is the only notable descent on the ridge. On our return we climbed and traversed west of the outcrop, which is a lot safer. Near the top of the outcrop a snapped off wooden pole (old cross?) is seen, as well as a metal pole.

These were some of the few man made features we noticed on the climb, there is minimal trash on the route, just a few rusty tins.

From the small saddle faint routes can be followed around a slope, and the going is straught forward to the summit. We climbed both contenders for the 940+ (20) meter high point, and felt the SE one is perhaps 2 feet or so lower. These are marked in red on the attached map. The pink mark is well under 900 meters elevation.

From the top we enjoyed views of the extensive Colorado delta to the east, Sierra Cucapa the north, Sierra Juarez to the west, and distant ranges to the south. This is pretty much a classic desert hike, except for the nearby agricultural activity in the delta.

The south knoll had a "Mayor 1967" Mexican brass Azimuth Mark, while the north one had a reference mark. I could not find the BM, but did not look long. There was an old 20 foot high radio tower, with big, dead lead acid batteries at the base. It is hard to imagine these being man-hauled to the top, perhaps the equipment was choppered in?

We did not find a register, so I hid one in the rocks near the top.

Descent was highlighted by arrivals at our water caches, and we got back to the vehicle after 9+ hours of hiking. DPS time on this peak might be 7 hours, but the 125 combined years of experience possessed by Bob and myself make us slow and cautious hikers ?... or perhaps we are just not spring chickens any more.

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Andy Martin

Andy describes himself as a peakbagger, mostly in SW USA and north of Mexico. He lives in Tucson, AZ, and enjoys trail hiking, bushwalking, backpacking, and is interested in topo maps.