Go back to Mexico.
IntroSometime in the mid-90s, two friends and I drove a 15 year old Oldsmobile from New York City to Acapulco. This included a non-stop push to Mexico City. Well armed with a couple hundred bucks, a handful of Spanish phrases and my buddy’s second generation Portuguese, it was our own version of the Cannonball Run. We crossed the border into Matamoros and drove through the heart of the Sierra Madre Oriental. My memories include a very thorough search of our car by the military, beautifully banked mountain roads, four “traffic stops” at 50 USD cash a pop, toll booth attendants sporting machine guns, 50 peso motel rooms (try one princess – you’ll never complain again about Motel 6) and some other shit in Mexico City. How it was that we did not end up dead I do not know. Since that time, I’ve always associated Mexico with the idea of an “accessible adventure.”
.During our two trips to El Potrero Chico, Shirley and I have always wondered what other climbing lay beyond the relative familiarity of the Potrero. We knew of a few (multi-pitch) places within a 400km swath of the US border but the goal this time around was to explore a bit of the heart of Mexico. We were hoping to combine some adventure climbing with some sure-bet-quality stuff of EPC on this 2500 kilometer road trip.
.Following an 8+ hour layover in San Francisco and a short but overnight flight, we found ourselves pulling out of a car rental lot into the dense neighborhoods that surround the Mexico City airport. We’ve been warned of the wild west driving style in Mexico City but found it pretty reasonable – like driving in an unfamiliar version of NYC. After a couple wrong turns, we were soon sitting in a traffic jam somewhere on a toll highway in the endless suburban sprawl and were being passed by cycling clubs. Splitting lanes on a bicycle in slow moving highway traffic is apparently an organized sport. What was supposed to be a quick hour and a half shot up to Pachuca (NE of Mexico City) turned into three plus hours. But by the early afternoon, we were rolling up the winding mountain roads of El Chico National Park in the state of Hidalgo. Dense green forests and thin air (~2500m above sea level) – not the picture of Mexico that many have in their minds.
Go to Mineral del Chico.
Go back to Mexico.