Robber Mountain

I’ve climbed Ajusco, twice. It’s a pretty sizeable mountain in the south of Mexico City. The first effort wasn’t totally successful. We got to within metres of the summit, but we’d taken the wrong route and found ourselves up against a sheer cliff on one side and a mini canyon on the other. I went again with another group of friends at the end of 2010. We went to right route up  and got to the top.

It’s very tranquil there. The occasional climber might pass by, but otherwise all you’ll hear are the huffs and puffs of your amigos and the whistle of the wind. The mountain has a little bit of a reputation for robberies, but so do many parts of DF which I’d consider generally safe. It was hard to believe there could be much trouble when I went up.

However, it does happen. My friends from the first failed climb went back up recently. They reached the summit this time. Where they were met by armed robbers, who relieved them of their valuables at gunpoint. When they got back down, the locals confessed – this type of incident is a pretty frequent event. I don’t want to put anyone off the climb. It’s a fabulous day out. But do be aware of where you are and who is nearby, and don’t carry too much bling.

The Gang Of Cautitlan Izcalli

14 Comments

  • I have taken that hike with groups of college students a number of times, and know students who live in the Ajusco area. Thankfully, we have never had any incidents, but it is saddening and sobering to hear that safety may be in decline or at the very least your friends were targeted. It is a beautiful climb up to the Cruz de la Marquesa and Pico de Aguila – but extremely windy! Have you done other hikes in the DF?

    • I’m sure most trips up Ajusco work out just fine. I’ve been a few times without problem. But the area has had a bit of a reputation for a long time. Even before the narco problems, Ajusco was a favourite dumping ground for bodies. Or so it’s said…!

      But it still wouldn’t put me off going. I’d just be vigilant.

  • Do they rob the hikers because they are there?

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we did once while climbing Mt. Monadnock encounter a fellow dressed up to resemble a toilet, descending the mountain. We kid you not.

  • There is a solution, of course. Climb as a pilgrim. Robe. Sandals. Or the modern equivalent. Instead of taking our material goods for a hike, we could simply keep company with our soul.

    And, of course, that nifty $800 telephone I just purchased. (Do you hear the echo of mixed messages?)

    • That’s a mighty echo indeed. It would ring around the mountain for a while. Of course, if you have an $800 phone, you’d hope to have an Anti Robbery app for it…

  • Seems to be a lot of robbing going on these days. Quite a mystery as to how these ladrones would escape capture robbing atop a mountain? Remaining in possession of ones things seems to be a matter of luck – a sad statement on life in the 21st Century.

    • Well, I guess if you do it at the top of the mountain, and bear in mind there’s only one quick way down, and you don’t want to catch up the guys with the guns who are ahead of you……plus they have your phones.

      It is sad. I’ve had my experience at the wrong end of a gun. It is infuriating.

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