Cerro Chirripo Additions and Corrections
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|Thanks for your great work on this page. I hiked Cerro Chirripó in July 2010 and wanted to offer the following observations, in case you might find some of them useful for the page.|
The Approach section says "To reach San Isidro from San Jose, take one of the hourly (seven days a week) buses to San Isidro from the bus terminal at Calle Central and Avenida 22. It's a three hour ride." The buses from San Jose to San Isidro del General depart from the Empresa Tracopa terminal. It could be useful to purchase the tickets in advance, especially if you are traveling on a weekend. Unlike many other buses, the Empresa Tracopa bus has reserved seating and does not accept additional passengers when it is full.
In addition to the bus, you can also travel from San Isidro to San Gerardo and back via taxi for about 14000 colones. (High-clearance 4WD taxis are available and probably preferable.) This is more expensive than the bus, but might be a useful option if you arrive in San Isidro after the last bus, or want to return to San Isidro at a non-standard hour. The taxi is considerably faster than the bus.
The bus stops at the ranger station. The Parque Nacional Chirripó ranger station is immediately before the junction with the road to Herradura. The junction, in turn, is immediately before the bridge over the Río Blanco. From the ranger station it is a short walk to the town center of San Gerardo, and about 2 km to the Hotel Urán and the main trailhead.
In the rainy season, the most common pattern in Chirripó is dry (and possibly clear) weather in the morning, clouding up and leading to heavy rain in the afternoon and/or early evening. It is quite feasible to hike Cerro Chirripó in the rainy season, but you should expect torrential rain in the afternoons. Slow and moderate-paced hikers should start early enough to reach Base Crestones before noon or shortly thereafter. Strong hikers who would ordinarily dayhike the 40 km round trip might reconsider their plans and stay at Base Crestones so they can enjoy the peak in the early morning, when the weather is likely to be better. Or they should start extremely early. Not only is the summit beautiful at sunrise, but this is probably your best chance to have clear weather.
(I can't add any information on the dry season.)
If you plan to stay at the hut but do not plan to bring your own sleeping bag to Costa Rica, you can rent one in San Gerardo de Rivas. However, information about which places rent sleeping bags can be unreliable. The Hotel Roca y Dura informed us via email that they rented sleeping bags, but they did not have any when we arrived. Several people said the visitor center (not the same place as the ranger station) rented sleeping bags, but the staff at the visitors center said no. The Hotel Urán does rent sleeping bags, although not particularly good ones. Most people will find them quite adequate, but those susceptible to cold, or those who are still wet from being out in the rain, might find them insufficient.
In addition to sleeping bags, Hotel Urán rents stoves and fuel cannisters, and also has a small food store. There is another small food store across from the soccer field, adjacent to the Hotel Roca y Dura.
The staff at Base Crestones did have a few extra sleeping bags for emergencies, but it would be very unwise to rely on them. They also had some blankets which they loaned free of charge to those who seemed particularly cold or miserable, but in general they were quite reluctant to do so. It is best to bring all the sleeping bags or blankets that you need yourself and not count on obtaining anything at the hut.
During our visit in July 2010, Base Crestones appeared not to be offering stoves or fuel for rent. They did have a stove in the hut, but it was for use by staff only.
You can purchase a map for 500 colones at the visitor center. It's a cartoon-like map and not very satisfying to those accustomed to detailed topographic maps, but the trail system is very well marked, so you're not too likely to get lost.
The following line on the main page had a typo:
"It has much for detail than the breif overview below."
This should be...
"It has much more detail than the brief overview below."
The page quotes the phone number for the park service in San Isidro. I was not able to reserve permits for Chirripo through this office. You can reserve a permit via phone or email through the Parque Nacional Chirripó ranger station:
Telf. (506) 27 42 50 83
Fax. (506) 27 42 50 85
(The SP page currently says the park doesn't have an email address, but it does now!)
You can reserve your permit by providing them with your passport number. Use Spanish if at all possible, since the ranger might not speak English. Arrive at the ranger station before 16:00 on the day before your hike to pick up your permit. The ranger will provide you with a permit that you'll need to show to the staff at Base Crestones.
On the trail, potable water is available at the Refugio Llano Bonito, 7 km from the trailhead; and at Centro Ambientalista del Paramo (the Base Crestones hut). A water spout is also available just before Cuesta de los Arrepentidos, which is 1 km from the hut.
|Posted Sep 21, 2010 5:16 am|