Climbing in Mexico

Feb 14th. It’s ten years since my friend Geraldine we were here in Mexico at El Potrero Chico. At last we are back, with friend and climbing partner Dave for eleven days of climbing and escape from the Canadian winter. It’s been a long day. We took the red eye flight out of Toronto to Mexico City which left at 1.00 am. No problems on that flight once Geraldine’s packet of coffee had been inspected. Not much sleep of course. Issues started at the security inspection for the onward flight to Monterrey. We had decided to take essential climbing equipment with us in our carry on luggage so if our checked bags got lost or delayed we could still climb. Well at security my bag was pulled aside and emptied. What they objected to was my grigri which they thought could be used as an offensive weapon! Both Dave and Geraldine had one but theirs were not noticed, and no problem with the coffee. Anyway the up shot was that I had to go and check in by carry on bag. Needless to say this took time and money, but we made the flight ok, but with no time for breakfast.

It was very overcast when we left Mexico City. But we were soon above the clouds. Very pretty with the low cloud and the mountains sticking up above them. However not so good for landing at Monterey. Our first attempt was suddenly aborted. However after a long circle the second attempt got us safety on the ground though I have never been on a plane that braked so hard. I think the pilot may have overshot a bit.

All our bags appeared intact in short order and our transfer man was waiting for us and we were soon on our way to ELP.

Monterrey has seen a lot of positive development over the ten years and the roads surfaces were much better, but thee was still the same litter and scrubby fences and shacks along the way.

Geraldine chatted away in Spanish with our driver. I had forgotten how proficient she is in the language.

We were given a brief tour of Hiladgo on the way. Not much change there. A few new restaurants but otherwise little has changed. Then up the hill to EPC and our house. Still very misty and the mountains were invisible.

The house is great. It is just 50m down the road from the Possade where we stayed last time. We were greeted by the Jorge’s daughter.

(Photos taken later after the mist lifted)

After settling in we went and inspected the Possada and found lots of people milling around waiting for the weather to clear. We also found were in time for breakfast.

After breakfast we walked down the hill for supplies and a bit of exercise on the stations on the way down.

We got a lift back up the hill from fellow hikers from Texas.

By this time the clouds we beginning to lift and Dave got his first views of the crags.

So we packed up and walked in.

Found a climb which we thought was 5.6 put turned out to be a 5.8. Something Old, Something New it was called. A description of the bolts at the top!

Opposite some someone was working a slack line.

Dave led, I seconded, then G re-led it and cleaned on repel. By this time it was 5 and getting cool so back to the house for showers, drinks and guacamole. Then out to supper at the Posada. Then an early night.

An full 24 day!

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