Getting ThereLike a lot of climbers, I'd lusted after the tea kettle (mitten?) of Cerro Parido from the summit of Cabezon many times. We decided to go for it but there is precious little information on climbing it.
We used the excellent directions provided by Garon Coriz to get there.
In good weather, 2 wheel drive will do but you don't want to take a low-clearance vehicle.
Good TIFF scans of USGS maps are hosted here by Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Direct link to Cerro Parido topo in TIF format (6.2MB -- use the 1st link and drill down to the compressed files if you have a slow connection).
We didn't start from the northeast and hike through the notch but circled around to the northwest side. We had hoped to get close but ended up parking at a "Banquito Road Closed" sign and made a beeline for the base of the rock on the west side of the mountain.
Our routeThere is an obvious route near the south end of the mountain on the west face, shown as the end of route 2 here.
The first pitch could go free but because the rock is really loose and the wind was fierce, we roped up. The route takes a sharp left at an iffy and old piton placement. We weren't sure of the distance so we set up a second belay station at the left turn in the route. The second/last pitch follows a V-shaped gully straight up to the summit. This also could go free but the rock is rotten and loose with cactus everywhere you might want to put your hand. There is a permanent anchor at the top of the gully as well.
The hardest parts are probably 5.2-5.3 but the climb is exposed and it's hard to place protection. Little Bear's infamous "Shooting Gallery" has nothing on Cerro Parido. Helmets are a must!
We hiked down the ridge at the south end of Cerro Parido and followed the closed road back to the truck.
ImpressionsDuring the climb, I cursed the loose rock, the ubiquitous cactus, and the howling wind that made communication between climber and belayer almost impossible. Looking back, it was a lot of work and a lot of fun. Take lots of water and sturdy hiking boots to get to the base. We didn't see any on this trip but rattlers are common in the area so be aware.
A Cerro Parido-inspired haiku:
Rock becomes cactus
Like a deviant hydra
My Cerro Parido gallery on Picasaweb.