EPC 2

Go back to Mexico.

Stuffing

El Potrero Chico

El Potrero Chico.

A week prior to the trip and literally 5 minutes after I had just fired off the airport pick-up reminder email to Ed, I caught a whiff of the Rock & Ice article about the mass murder at the gates of the Potrero. Talk of ensuing climber mass exodus from the area conjured up images of a long procession of Prana-clad sportos dragging their bedraggled bodies out of the war zone past long columns of Mexican army tanks going into battle. Reading the sensationalist drivel from R&I did indeed make me think that we should cancel. However, a few email exchanges with Ed, a discussion with our Mexico-wise friends, and the crutch of knowing that we’ve gotten away with climbing in the third world before…

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Black Cat Bone

Shirley at the final belay of Black Cat Bone.

This time we only had four days – one day too few as it turned out. We climbed a handful of classic Potrero beauties (as well as a new line) but failed on our Time Wave Zero goal as drizzle greeted us on the morning of our final (d-) day. The two highlights were Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (7P, 10c) and Black Cat Bone (9P, 10d). The new Excalibur route (6P, 10c) on the front side was alright as was the uneven Super Nova – 8 pitches long and with the grade setting first pitch (5.11a) but essentially 5.6 above with singular moves of 5.9. Nicely framed views from that one however and as a bonus we realized that we no longer have interest in doing Weiss Cracks next door – overgrown & not too aesthetic looking.

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El Potrero Chico

Good bye Potrero.

I have to say that although the climbing was fun, we enjoyed the Posada atmosphere much more back in November of 2011 when the 20 or so climbers felt like a little community. Not so this time – seems the numbers have been climbing (no exodus) and EPC was crawling with climbers. Can’t imagine this place back in its heyday – we probably would not have liked it. Despite that, we will go back of course.

P.S. As a plan B, we had a Southwest reservation for Vegas…thinking we’d get some safe climbing in at Red Rocks instead. Oddly the first story we saw when we got back to the US was that of a shootout on The Strip with multiple deaths. Shit really does happen.

Photos

El Potrero Chico

Shirley’s solution to dealing with the red eye fatigue in Atlanta (Feb. 2013).


El Potrero Chico

Shirley making sure she understood Ed’s intricate beta for a pitch she wants to lead (Feb. 2013).


El Potrero Chico

Our cozy casita…20+ avocados in 4 days…pretty avocadoed out for a while (Feb. 2013).

Treasure Of The Sierra Madre

El Potrero Chico

Good morning again Potrero (chilly Potrero on the first morning anyway; Feb. 2013).


Treasure Of The Sierra Madre

Shirley leading pitch 2 of Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (Feb. 2013).


Treasure Of The Sierra Madre

Following pitch 2 of Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (Feb. 2013).


Treasure Of The Sierra Madre

Shirley on the very fun (including crack climbing no less) pitch 3 of Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (Feb. 2013).


Treasure Of The Sierra Madre

Timewave Zero formation (and The Spires) from somewhere on the Treasure Of The Sierra Madre route on the Sense Of Religion Wall (Feb. 2013)


Treasure Of The Sierra Madre

Leading the 5th pitch of the Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (Feb. 2013).


Jungle Wall

Jungle Wall from the top of the Treasure Of The Sierra Madre route. Can you name the cleaned streaks? El Bobo (squat) spire is on the right (Feb. 2013).


Treasure Of The Sierra Madre

Shirley atop the Treasure Of The Sierra Madre route with the Timewave Zero formation in the background (Feb. 2013).


Treasure Of The Sierra Madre

An unknown party on the Space Boyz route – this is the crux pitch 6 I think. Taken from the top of the Treasure Of The Sierra Madre route (Feb. 2013).


El Potrero Chico

Shirley near the base of TWZ admiring the formations. From Las Estrellas (far left) to Sense Of Religion on the right (with its series of mid-sized classics incl. Snot Girlz, Pancho Villa Rides Again, and Treasure Of The Sierra Madre; Feb. 2013).

Jungle Wall

Jungle Wall with parties on Space Boyz (left) and the crux pitch of Black Cat Bone (Feb. 2013).


Black Cat Bone

Unknown party on the crux 6th pitch of Black Cat Bone on the Jungle Wall. In fact the leader is at THE crux of the route – a series of thin face moves leading the roof (Feb. 2013).

Black Cat Bone

Black Cat Bone

Getting ready for Black Cat Bone at the base of Jungle Wall (a great route!).


Black Cat Bone

Shirley leading pitch 1 of Black Cat Bone on the Jungle Wall (Feb. 2013).


Black Cat Bone

Starting up pitch 2 of Black Cat Bone (Feb. 2013).


Black Cat Bone

Views from high up on Black Cat Bone with some native vegetation in the foreground (thank Ed for the clean up job on the routes!!).


Black Cat Bone

Shirley leading the 5th pitch of Black Cat Bone (Feb. 2013).

Black Cat Bone

Leading the crux pitch (#6) of Black Cat Bone (Feb. 2013).

Black Cat Bone

Shirley at the crux moves (pitch 6) of Black Cat Bone route (Feb. 2013).


Black Cat Bone

Las Estrellas formation (right with palm tree on top) and the town of Hidalgo beyond as seen from high on Black Cat Bone (Feb. 2013).


Black Cat Bone

Somebody about to fire the roof on Black Cat Bone (…actually the roof was easier than the moves leading up to the roof; Feb. 2013).


Black Cat Bone

Shirley belaying me on the 7th pitch of Black Cat Bone (Feb. 2013).


Black Cat Bone

Unknown party (well sort of…one of the guys is a PDX expat apparently) on Space Boyz. Photo taken from Black Cat Bone next door (Feb. 20013).


Black Cat Bone

Shirley following pitch 7 of Black Cat Bone (Feb. 2013).


Black Cat Bone

Shirley topping out on the 7th pitch of Black Cat Bone – this is the other 10d pitch of the route (Feb. 2013).


Black Cat Bone

Shirley leading the 9th and final pitch of Black Cat Bone and rocking her Mazama shirt (circa 2004??).


Black Cat Bone

Shirley leading pitch 9 (last pitch) of Black Cat Bone – a series of 5.9 bulges leading to the ridge-top (Feb. 2013).


Black Cat Bone

The odd collection of stuff found inside the summit register can atop the Black Cat Bone route (Feb. 2013).


Black Cat Bone

Shirley at the 9th and final belay of Black Cat Bone (Feb. 2013).


Black Cat Bone

Hidalgo from the top of Black Cat Bone (Feb. 2013).


El Potrero Chico

Admiring the front side of the El Potrero Chico formations – the name of the massif is El Torro. Shirley is pointing out the Excalibur route on the foreground ridge (Feb. 2013).


El Potrero Chico

A typical day at EPC would start at the crags and finish off on the doorsteps of our casita eating home-made guac with tortillas, drinking Cartas and watching the street…pretty white trash style but shitloads of fun (Feb. 2013).

Excalibur

Excalibur

Shirley on the hike up to the Excalibur route on El Torro. The clean flat pillar above is home to the 15-pitch El Sendero Luminoso route (5.hard; Feb. 2013).


El Potrero Chico

Some fun looking flora of El Potrero Chico (Feb. 2013).


Excalibur

Shirley on the approach hike to the Excalibur route – a new, 6-pitch 5.10c addition to the front side of El Torro (Feb. 2013).


Excalibur

Shirley leading pitch 1 of Excalibur (Feb. 2013).


Excalibur

Pitch 2 of Excalibur (Feb. 2013).


Excalibur

Shirley enjoying the bolted crack (crossing myself here…may we be forgiven for enjoying this blasphemy 😉 on pitch 2 of Excalibur (Feb. 2013).


Excalibur

Shirley starting up pitch 3 of Excalibur (Feb. 2013).


Excalibur

Shirley leading pitch 3 of Excalibur (Feb. 2013).


Excalibur

Some ahole following pitch 3 of Excalibur (Feb. 2013).


Excalibur

Starting up the crux (#4) pitch of Excalibur – I think I cut the pitch too short by belaying at the large palm tree above but the position was kind of cool (Feb. 2013).


Excalibur

Shirley topping out on the 4th pitch of Excalibur – though we might’ve cut the pitch too short (rap anchor?). The palm tree stance belay was too cool to pass up however (Feb. 2013).


Excalibur

Shirley topping out on Excalibur…this is our pitch 6. El Bobo is below as is the main road leading into the Potrero (Feb. 2013).


Excalibur

Las Estrellas ridges as seen from near the base of Excalibur route on El Torro (Feb. 2013).


Excalibur

Happy Shirley hiking out after Excalibur (Feb. 2013).


El Potrero Chico

El Potrero Chico – the impressive front side is in the background.


Timewave Zero

Timewave Zero “formation” (a sub-summit of El Torro) with the Outrage wall (yellow, overhanging rock near the base).


Jungle Wall

Jungle Wall – the pointy gendarme at the center is the topout point of Space Boyz route (Feb. 2013).


Jungle Wall

Climbers high on the Space Boyz route of the Jungle Wall (Feb. 2013).

Super Nova

El Potrero Chico

El Potrero Chico on the morning of our final day. We woke up to drizzle and a socked in formations. Things eventually cleared up later on and we climbed some (Feb. 2013).


Super Nova

Shirley on the approach to Super Nova route. It stopped raining but the clouds have yet to lift (Feb. 2013).


Super Nova

Starting up the first and crux pitch of Super Nova – harder than it looked from below (Feb. 2013).


Super Nova

Shirley on pitch 1 (5.11a) of Super Nova – this is the grade-setting pitch of the route (Feb. 2013).


Super Nova

Shirley topping out on the first and crux pitch of Super Nova (Feb. 2013).


Super Nova

Looking up into Virgin Canyon from low on Super Nova route (Feb. 2013).


Super Nova

Shirley leading pitch 2 of Super Nova – a well-polished 5.8 (Feb. 2013).


Super Nova

Shirley somewhere on Super Nova route (Feb. 2013).


Super Nova

El Toro massif from high on Super Nova route (Feb. 2013).


Super Nova

Shirley on the 7th pitch of Super Nova – kind of a unique position for a route deep in a gutter of a canyon (Feb 2013).


Super Nova

Shirley hiking down after our climb of Super Nova – the line is directly above Shirley and there’s party on midway up it (Feb. 2013).


El Potrero Chico

Hiking out after our last climb of the trip – mutts, Cartas, and cliffs.


El Potrero Chico

Interesting desert plants of El Potrero Chico (Feb. 2013).


Go back to Mexico.