06 March 2007

Highlights of the El Potrero Chico climbing trip

We climbed 6 of 9 days. This included 2 travel days + one rest day. We worked out a sitter for Julia on 3 of those days so we could do some longer routes. We were constrained a bit, of course. We couldn't do any bivies. Also we didn't want to stick the rope on rappel and get back too late to pick up Julia.

Most exciting climb: Aguja Cela Rey. Two pitches of 5.10. It is described as classic but we forgot that "classic" is really a code word for run out. The 2nd pitch was really EXPOSED. Aguja Cela Rey climbs the thinner spire on right (in picture). Here's a pic of Mia on top.

Best of week: Pancho Villa Rides Again (topo on photo). This was 5 pitches of 5.10. The last time we did a climb this hard was on the Diamond (Mountain Project site) and before my accident. We were pretty proud at the end of the day. To the left, is Mia finishing off the 1st pitch.

The best single pitch climb was Selam in Virgin Canyon. Although it was "only" rated 5.10a, I'd say this was a bit of a sandbag. The crux for me was clipping the bolt at the crux and avoiding the 25' fall. Since my foot popped at the crux, I almost took the dive. This was a real pitch. A 140 foot pitch. A beautiful route but I'm bring a stiff draw for the crux clip next time.

Another high point was the excellent food. We ate mostly at the Posado but Checo's was just as good. One thing I don't understand is why Mexican food in the US has cheese. Ain't no cheese in Mexico .. except for quesadillas.

Our rest day seemed to have some magic going on. There was a breeze ruffling the trees. The air seemed vibrant. I don't know what was going on but we liked it. I spent a good part of the day reading in a hammock. Some of that time Julia was on top of me talking & playing. I loved it.

We met a lot of good people. It was hard not to. The climbers walk the same road, eat in the same places and the camps are so close. Julia seemed to know everyone. At least she talked to everyone. One of her conversations somehow leaned to how we (Mia & I) met. Of course, Julia knew it all - Papa came to Germany on a climbing trip and met Mama at a party. Mama said to Papa: You are mine! What a laugh ...

This was a fantastic trip! We'll be back - hopefully next year.

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