Cerro La Aguja Chiquita

January 29, 2023


Nuevo León, México

Co. La Aguja Chiquita is the little tower next to Co. La Aguja Grande with hardly any notable prominence but still boasts an iconic profile. The entire east face down to the saddle with Co. Gordo is overhanging. The scramble route exists on the west side via one of the bushy ramps. The ascent is considerably easier than La Aguja Grande hence it sees more visitors, but still requires class 3 moves with some exposure. Elise and I opted to add this bonus peak after scrambling the 4th class Co. La Aguja Grande. We were both tired and demotivated but this was not a peak to be missed.

Cerro La Aguja Chiquita and its overhanging east face
The west face of Cerro La Aguja Chiquita. Route goes up the right hand ramp
La Aguja Grande and Chiquita scramble route. GPX DL

Again our only “beta” was the GPX track downloaded from Wikiloc but a track is worth a thousand words. It was obvious that the route ascends one of those “green ramps” on the west face. We knew right away that our legs would see more scratches but let’s face it. From Grande/Chiquita saddle we picked up a climber’s path traversing around an intermediate tower on the south side before picking up a better, more defined path traversing north away from Aguja Chiquita’s south ridge. This traverse was then followed by a section of loose and bushy scramble to get back onto the south ridge. The route on this peak was quite a bit bushier and thornier than anticipated.

Starting the Chiquita’s ascent with Aguja Grande behind
Grunting up a steep and loose slopes with cacti…
Onto the south ridge with an impressive broken tower
Elise admiring the views from the brief section on the south ridge

We briefly lost the route but regained the path by again, traversing horizontally onto the west face and this time we would traverse onto one of those vegetated ramps. The ramp itself wasn’t as exposed nor steep as seen from afar, but definitely had more thorny plants. The going was actually quite simple until the section directly under the summit ridge where we did some “class 3+” moves. The amount of erosion by water on this peak’s limestone formation is something I’d never seen before. The highlight of this scramble is the brief traverse across the narrow and exposed summit ridge. There’s nothing specifically difficult, but the position was very aesthetic and the scrambling was very enjoyable. The summit ridge was arguably the only enjoyable part of the entire route.

A while later we traversed onto the correct ramp
Elise higher up on the ramp
Me scrambling on interesting limestone…
Elise onto the summit ridge now, with super position
Traversing the exposed summit ridge over several bumps
Elise with Cerro La Aguja Grande behind
One tricky down-climb to get off the false summit
Elise approaching the true summit of Co. La Aguja Chiquita
Me on the true summit of Cerro La Aguja Chiquita
Summit Panorama from Cerro La Aguja Chiquita. Click to view large size.
The circular ridges and valleys were quite fascinating
Picachos El Fraile in the far distance
A close-up view of Cerro La Aguja Grande, our previous objective
Elise on the summit of Cerro La Aguja Chiquita

Elise pulled out the beans and the tortillas for our lunch so we did a longer stay on the summit than anticipated. The day was indeed hot, but wasn’t as bad as we thought probably because of the lack of humidity compared to the previous day. We then down-climbed the same route we took and got a few more scratches on our shins. It’s impossible to completely avoid the cacti without wearing gaitors. The descent from Grande/Chiquita saddle back to the car was boring but short. The temperature gauge in the vehicle already showed 31 degrees and it wasn’t even the hottest time of the day yet. I opted to immediately drive us back to Carricitos while still having fresh memories about the road’s numerous cruxes. The driving was actually quite trivial but I drove very slow as I did not buy any insurance and the vehicle only had the stock tires. After getting back to Hidalgo we again did our routine grocery shopping for the following day. In the evening a few of us together went out for a dinner in Potrero Chico. The locals apparently come here for partying on the weekends and that was a loud show. This was their second night in a roll of partying and I thought that was rather rude.

Elise scrambling back across the aesthetic summit ridge
This section was slabby and exposed
Me down-climbing the 3rd class water worn limestone
Descending the typical terrain on the ramp
There’s one more tricky step on the lower ramp
Elise with the ramp directly above her head
Lots and lots of thorny plants. The lower section of this route isn’t fun…
A review shot of Cerro La Aguja Grande from the descent
Elise leading us back down to the desert floor now.
The imposing south ridge of Cerro La Aguja Grande…
Another shot of Co. La Aguja Grande
Aguja Grande and Aguja Chiquita in one picture, from the trail-head…
Exploring the village of Carricitos
Elise went for a walk to a local cemetery…
My vehicle parked outside the cemetery..
Relaxing in our hostel at entrance of Potrero Chico
Tacos for the dinner…