Friday, October 11, 2013

El Salto, Mexico CLIMBING

Lots of people are emailing and asking about Mexico this year for some reason. So here it is. All the info I have.

Travel. No problems. I drive every year. I buy insurance online for the truck here. To cross you need to have a drivers licence and registration that match the same name. You will need to put a deposit on the car at the border, refundable, either by cc or cash.

If you fly in, fly into Monterrey ( airport code MTY ). You have taxi and bus options, and speaking spanish is a plus but mostly everyone can understand american english.

To get to Cienega de Gonzalez by bus, you first need to go to the downtown terminal ( from the airport, about 35 pesos ( 3$ USD ). Then find the bus that goes to Linares or Cuidade Victoria. Buy the ticket at the counter and hop on. Ask the bus driver to drop you in CERCADO or SANTIAGO. You will be dropped on the highway. Head for LA PLAZA CENTRAL. There, a bus leaves from the north east corner of the plaza @ 8am and 3;30pm daily. Miss em and your stuck in CERCADO.

The bus heads to LAGUNA DE SANCHEZ, but stops in cienega right in front of DONA KIKA'S Deposito. Get off here and grab a beer. You have arrived.

Camping? No problem. Fully equipped areas @ Kika's with potable water from a 50m underground source from the mountains,kitchens, food, meat and vegetables.Tent, camper, bivy, no problem. Wants to fly in and rent a cabin in the woods, no problem. You can find state of the art cabins, with 42 inch flat screens and 300 satellite channels, hot tubs and even pools and a maid. rates start at about 100-300$ USD a week. That is the for the cabin, if you are 4, duh!!!!!!

Traveling with kids or infants. Nannies are available for about 150-200$ a week, and they will cook for you, clean, babysit, even walk to the crack with you and play with the kids while the kids, get to play :)

Serious, I think it horrible that the propaganda has reached the ears of consumers. Mexico is safe, the people are warm and caring and generous.The violence that has escalated over the past years is between cartels and police, and have NOTHING, NOTHING to do with tourists. How many people get mugged in the USA everyday? Here are some fun facts for you.

Murders in the USA in 2012

Forcible Rape


Violent Crime

Traveling in mexico is not any different then traveling in the USA or the slums of India. Use your head and stay cool and travel during daylight hours and everything is super chill.

Sure, you want trouble, you can find it easily, just make sure you wear your gold necklace and rolex in plain site. Get me?

Here is the link for the old topo.

What follows is the update, as well as updated travel direction below.

Guiding options are available, for that, contact Mark Grundon here or find him on FB. Good  friend and knows mexico almost as well as I :P

If you have any questions, just ask me.

Here you go. Again.

PS. Here is a picture of the new area we are starting to develop for the 2014 season. By the time Christmas rolls along, there should be another 100 routes up and ready. 30-80m routes, half a mile long. Any complaints?

( Bohorquez Wall )


Las Animas Wall. (from left to right) Updated January 11 2012
Lower Las Animas ( Walk down from Las Animas into the dry lake.

( First three routes are located in the lake bed )
1.    OLD HANGERS  Info Unknown
2.    Swing Swing  5.8 8 bolts 15m  FA/FFA Paya y Ulric Feb 1 2013
3.    Hall of Fame 5.12b(R) 16 bolts 35m Bring your balls and a helmet for the         belayer. Loose and dirty, but really nice climbing on the upper part.
4.    New Unamed. 5.11+ FA Ulric March 2013
5.    New Unamed 5.11+ FA Ulric March 2013
6.    New Unamed. 5.11+ FA Ulric March 2013
7.    All Along the Watchtower  5.10+ 12 Bolts 30m Full Anchors
8.    Ulrica Martin 5.10a 10m 6 bolts Full Anchors. Robin named this route. I don't know why but its funny.
9.    The Power of Cheeze 5.13- R 11 Bolts 35m FA Poncheese. Still undone and RunOut. Scary, even for me.
10. Angeles Caminan Entre Nosotros  5.12c/d 11 Bolts 35m FA/FFA Ulric Rousseau Nov 2011
11. Cara Cortada      5.12a 20m * * * Classic crimping up orange bomber rock.
12. Malavisco 5.12a 20m Start on Bongkatron, but finish at the Cara Cortada Anchors following a black bolt to traverse left.
13. Bongkatron 5.12d 35m  Start on Malavisco and go straight up to a broken hold. Un repeated since, but worth doing if you want an FA. 
14. Dirt White Scorpion 5.12c 35m 15 Bolts (unfinished) FA Brigitte Robert & Ulric ( FFA ) March 2011
15. Alien Short          5.11c 30m 12 Bolts * Climb Alien Tufa to the first set of anchors for the warm up.
16. Alien Tufa            5.12c 35m 14 Bolts * * * Full value and amazing 4 bolts of pure pinching ( not ) up high.
17. Blood Brother    5.11d 30m 15 Bolts * * The classic warm-up with great moves on solid stone.*
18. Muchas Cornhuelas 5.12a 30m * * FA Jeb Vetters 1998
19. Body Groovin’     5.12b 30m 11 Bolts * * * FA Jeb Vetters 1998
20. Culo de la Negro     5.12a 25m 12 Bolts * * * One of the first routes on Las Animas. Classic.
21. La Guitara De Homero  5.13c 35m FA ?/FFA Fernanda 2011
22. Hino                     5.12b 25m 12 Bolts * * (2nd pitch is 5.11d, rarely done)
23. Lazy Boy Lover   5.12d 30m 16 bolts * * * Climb right behind the tree, watch the 4th bolt whipper.
24. Tufalina                5.12c 15m 8 Bolts *
25. Tufaluna               5.13a 20m 12 Bolts * * *
26. Panocha Poderosa 5.13a 30m * FA/FFA Curt Love 2009
27. Ramones’ Mushroom 5.12a 20m * *  Climb up to the obvious mega black tufa. Amazing. FA/FFA Ramone Narvaez 1998
28. Big Grey Tufa       5.12d 20m *  Classic tufa pinching to a shutter crux at the last bolt.
29. Inertia                   5.13b 30m FA/FFA Curt Love 2009
30. Caronte                5.12d 25m   FA/FFA Martinez y Ricardo Vara 2012
31. La Vida de Una Mariposa 5.13c 20m 8 Bolts Dirty corner to a slab with small holds and long resaches. Short. Not worth doing. FA Ulric Jan 2012
32. Todo o Nada (Project) 5.14 TBC FA Ulric Dec 2011
33. La Maquina en el jardin 5.13a 40M 19 Bolts * * * Start left of El Primero in a corner and continue up passed the achors for a mind crushing pump. Stellar and super clean. Good job boys! FA/FFA Devlin Junker and Adam
34. El Primer Paso en El Ultimo Dia 5.13a 30m 11 Bolts FA/FFA Ulric Dec 2011
35. Tufalero                5.12d  20m 7 Bolts FFA Ramone Narvaez
36. BungBunga          5.12b 30m * * * Climb the blue and orange slab up and left through Tufas and a little surprise at the end. FA Ricardo Rimas
37. Ungabunga 5.14a 5 bolts 40m Climb 5 more bolts and 12 meters off the anchors of BungaBunga for the grade. Enjoy the runout at the 3rd bolt.FA/FFA Ulric Dec 24 2011
38. La Guitara de Lolo 5.14a 35m * * * Climb the start of Ungabunga but head right at the 5th bolt through fixed draws for 35m of power endurance climbing. FA.Lolo FFA Unknown
39. Unfinished (Project) 5.14? TBC 40m FA Diego Montul
40. Touched by God 5.14 TBC 18 bolts 40m Start on the ladder and clip the first bolt, grab the jug and get ready for the next moves. Climb up bomber tufas to a thin crux and past good jugs to a sub anchor. Climb past that up the tufa, treading right as it thins out for a little spice before the anchors. Run out finale. Bouyah! FA Ulric Feb 2012
41. Assasino en Silencio (Project) 5.14? TBC 40M 11 Bolts FA Ulric 2011
42. La Ultima Dia de Dios (Project) 5.14? TBC 35M 11 Bolts FA Ulric 2012
43. Purigatorio               5.13a 20m 7 Bolts Same start as Bizarre Contact but follow the left line of bolts. Watch the ground fall at the 2nd and 4th bolts. FFA Martinez & Moco
44. Bizarre Contact    5.12b 20m 11 bolts * * Bouldery start to easier climbing. Stunning but short. FA/FFA James Carse 1998
45. Murder Weapon (Project) 5.14 TBC 40m 9 bolts Climb Bizarre Contact or Purgatorio and continue past the anchors for 25 more meters. FA Ulric March 2011
46. Life After You(Project) 5.14a TBC 45m 13 Bolts FA/FFA Ulric Feb 2012
47. Tufa King Short       5.13b 20m * * * Hard bouldery route, short but worth the effort. FA Devlin Junker
48. Dante’s Inferno       5.13d 30m * * * Climb the obvious thin grey streak. Only one accent so far. FA Arturo y Martinez 2008 FFA Alex Honnold 2010
49. Dante’s Inferno "Directe" (Avoids the 3 bolt rest section out left ) 5.14a/b FFA Ulric Feb 2012. Unrepeated.
50. Naked Lunch 5.14b/c TBC 50m 6 bolts Climb 42 or 43 and punch through the anchors for another 20m of power endurance through thin moves with delicate feet manouvers. Take a breather and hold off the pump for the runout to the anchors. Stellar. Sub/Full Anchors. Belayer beware. FA Ulric Dec 2012
51. Camino de Chino    5.13c 30m 12 Bolts * * * Thin crimping and technical work up the orange streak on bomber rock.
52. Camino de Chino EXT. 5.14a/b TBC 45m 4 bolts.  Hike Camino de Chino and check  your fears at the door, crimp and throw all the way to the anchors. Whippers galor! Runout but uber safe. FA Ulric Dec 2012
53. Dirty Grey Tufa   5.12b 15m 6 Bolts No stars. I wonder why?
54. Quesadilla 5.12c 20m 9 Bolts * * The oldest route in El Salto. New bolts now make it safe and pleasurable after years of scary run-outs on rusted home made hangers. Hold on at the third bolt. FA/FFA Paco Medina 1990?
55. Quesadilla de Oro 5.12d 40 m 14 bolts Climb past the anchors of Quesadilla after trying to rest. Technical face leads to jugy slab, but don't count your wallet till you clip the anchor. Surprise Surprise. Full anchors. FA/FFA Ulric Dec 2012
56. Midnight City 5.12d 22 bolts 40m Sub Anchor  Climb through the low crux at the thrid bolt with a thin pinch and throw. Then ease up and climb 35m of 11+ technical laybacks and thin slab climbing. Sub anchor to lower. Belayer beware. Can Lower off with a 80m. Full Anchors. FA/FFA Ulric Dec 2012
57. I Vision 5.11 20m 10 Bolts Don't expect to flash this. Nothing is what it seems. FA/FFA Ulric Dec 2012
58. EZ Street 5.11+ 20m 11 Bolts Interesting start to a super jug slab. FA/FFA Ulric Dec 2012
59. Corazon de Güera 5.10c 20m 11 Bolts FA/FFA Norma y Marco
60. Evangelista 5.8 7 bolts FFA Ulric March 2012
61. Centavos por Dedo 5.12+ FFA Ulric March 2013

Shaman Wall (from left to right)
1.    Fixed line in the center of wall. Patinio y Paco Medina Info Unknown
2.    Samandi 5.13- 16 Pitches. It took Jimmy 8 years, 3 droped drills, 2 snaped fixed lines and dozens of partners to finish this monster project. It is said that the final 3 picthes where bolted in one push, with questionable substances to help with fatigue. FA Jimmy Carse, Robin, Diegito Feb 2006 FFA Alex Honnold and Chris Wiedner  Jan 2009

The following routes are on the right side at the bottom of the Shaman wall. All Single pitches.

3.    Carlos, POR FAVOR! 5.12c 19 Bolts 35m FA/FFA Ulric Jan 2013
4.    La Nota de Musica 5.13- 16 Bolts 35m  FA/FFA Ulric Jan 2013
5.    Freak Bamboo Butterfly 5.12+ 15 Bolts 35m  Climbe the center route to the top. Hard moves off the first bolts lead to nice easy climbing through jugs, pockets and tufas. FA/FFA Ulric Feb 2 2013
6.    Sea of Tranquility 5.13c 15 Bolts 30m FA/FFA Ulric Jan 2013

La Cueva aka The Cave (from left to right)

1.    Amor  5.12b Follow the black bolts out the left side of the left most cave and finish at the anchors of Felicidad FA Curt Love
2.    Felicidad 5.12a First route on the inside of the Small cave, left of the Main cave.
3.    Rocket Man 5.12b Follow black bolts to overhanging tufa system.
4.    Desconsido 5.11d The second route outside the right side of the small cave.
5.    Missing Hanger 5.12c
6.    Limestoner 5.12b
7.    Culo de Fuego 5.13a
8.    La Violencia 5.13a/b 25m * * * First route on the left inside of the main cave. Dyno to a very violent move to reach the tufa 4 feet off the wall. Finish at the Tecalote anchors up and left.
9.    Golden Man 5.12b/c At the very back of the cave, start below the obvious spiral offwidth, fight your way to the anchors out 30feet from the ground.
10. Tecalote 5.13a 30m * * * Gym climbing at its best. Start below the first draw wrapped around a hole and go straight through the cave. This thing keeps you horizontal the whole way. A classic tick to be sure. Finish out the left side of the cave at the same anchors as La Violencia
11. Huiratica 5.13b 30m * * * Amazing steep pockets and sloppers starting on the right side of the cave. Pull out of the cave to some technical climbing to anchors. Long and sustained.
12. Nosferatu 5.12c 25m * * * The first route in the cave and the one to do ASAP. Think 3D people. FA Alex Patinio and Ulric Rousseau Jan 1998
13. Kika Shredder 5.13 a/b 25m * * * Hard moves off the ground to classic traversing left on small pinches and crimps. Stay alive for the surprise move at top.
14. H-Bomb 5.14a 35m * * * The hardest line to date. Supposedly unrepeated since a key hold broke at the crux. Much harder now.
15. Soul Power 5.12d 30m * * * Nice sustained pump up the main steepness. Committing moves to transition and large throws, kneebars, tufas and great pockets make this a classic not to miss.
16. Merlin’s Culo 5.10d 20m A must do for everyone. Start on the lower left part of the upper cave and follow the bolts through the hole to exit on top of the upper wall. Mega Classic.
17. Chi 5.13d 35m * * * Steep is the game, long is the name. Bring all you got, cause it doesn’t stop for 150 feet. Climbs the center of the upper 45 degree wall.FA Jimmy Carse 1997
18. Andrada 5.13d 35m FA Dani Andrada March 2012
19. Dial M for Monkey 5.13c 40m Info unknown, but looks steep and amazing.
20. Super Chongo 5.11b 30m Left most route to climb the outer right arête of the caves. Ok!
21. Super Super Chongo 5.13a 35m Go past the anchors on Super Chongo for more climbing on steeper rock and harder moves.

La Boca ( TBC )

La Sabrosa ( TBC )

Carses' Wall ( From right to left )
This wall is located on the hike in, on the right side of the riverbed. It can be identified by its two arch like roofs one on top of another and a long yellow streak on the right side of the wall. New routes, so please be careful.

1.    Petite Mervielle 5.11c/d 25m 10 Bolts + Full Anchors FA Ulric Rousseau FFA Ulric, Rodrigo y Eva Nov 2012
2.    Electrika Kika 1 5.12
3.    Jimmy's Route 2 5.12
4.    El Camelion Azul 5.12b 30m First four bolts of 3 and then tread right for 25 meters of steep tufas and knee bars to the delicate finish below the anchors. Full Anchors. FA/FFA Ulric Rousseau Nov 2012
5.      (Please avoid touching the blocs in the gully on the left at the start of 3 and 4, A familly of Large exotic tropically colored Lizards live in that habitat. Hence the Start to 4 from 3.)
6.    Almost Believe That They're Real 5.11+ ( Still Undone ) 30m Start on the right side of the center wall, in a left facing Dahierieal. Climb past jugs through the roof and punch it to the chains past the second roof. Full Anchors. FA Ulric Rousseau Nov 2012
7.    Pictures of You 5.12- ( Still undone ) 45m Climb Almost Believe That They're Real and continue past the first anchors through the roof and thin headwall up top to Full Anchors. Belayer beware. FA Ulric Rousseau Nov 2012
8.    The Breathe of Silence 5.12- ( Still undone ) 40m Left most route. Three roofs and a run out headwall at the top. Belayer beware. Full Anchors. FA Ulric Rousseau Nov 2012

El Jardin aka The Garden
The Garden is located right off the 4x4 road leading to Las Animas. A stones throw away from the trail. The wall is located about 200 up the trail on your right after you leave the river bed. When you start heading up the 4x4 road from the river bed, the  white and grey tufa featured wall will appear behind the canapy curtain of trees and vegetation.

From left roo right.

1.    1.
2.    Total Balance 11A FA Ulric March 2012
3.    New Balance 5.9 FA Ulric March 2012

If you’re flying in to Monterrey, contact Ramón at El Aguacate Hostel. He’ll hook you up. (
You can also take a cab to Cercado ( cola de Cabalo), then take the bus ( Laguna de Sanchez) from the Plaza centro and ask the bus driver to drop you off in Cienega de Gonzalez at Dona Kika Deposito.

If you plan on visiting Potrero Chico as well, contact Milton at Homero’s Camp Ground, the original. ( El Salto is off the map, remote and amazing, please help keep it that way.

El Salto is a pristine area, the locals seem to enjoy our presence and accept the bolting effort. If you want to drill, the NO Restrictions policy bids you welcome. Bolt 3/8 X 4 inches. Most of the bolting is ground up, so bring your rack and brass balls. I prefer quickbolts from Hilti for the walls and Powers 1/2inch for anchors. Please put Chains and do a good job if you are going to put up a route. Chains, quicklinks and SDS drill bits are readily available at any hardware store in Monterrey. Bolts and hangers are scarce, so bring em.

Please adopt a strict Leave No Trace policy when visiting the areas. Bring everything out
that you bring in, and I do mean everything. There are no bathrooms at the crag. Please make your morning deposit before heading out.

Primitive camping is tolerated in the arroyo, so please be kind to the environment.

You have three choices for Lodging.
1.             Dona Kika’s is the deposito where you will get most of your food and water. She offers cheap camping on her land, food services and a warm enviroment. This is the place to be. I leave my truck unlocked for weeks at a time here, and the kids love the attention from the tourists.
2.             Many Cabana’s can be rented for cheap ( about 300$ USD a month) and can accomodate 6-10 people. Ask KIKA, she  knows.
3.             Promitive camping Inside the park, in the arroyo before the waterfalls on the right. There is a pullout for that. Please avoid doing this, if you can.

If you meet a Mexican local climber, he will always bring you up to speed on the new routes. Respect red tags and spray slightly.
El Salto is located about 6000 feet in altitude, so prime whether is spring, summer and fall, but winter conditions are beautiful during the day. Mexico is a dessert climate, which means that in the winter, when the sun goes away, so does the heat. Bring a down jacket, sleeping bags and a warm hat.

80 meter ropes are standard anywhere, as in Mexico, with 20 draws and shoes for steep climbing. Most new routes put up after 2009 are up to 50m in length. All have sub ahcnors, but if you want to get on the rides, bring a skinny rope and a couple long slings.
You can also bring the young ones; they will love just running through the jungle and chasing lizards. The climbing is so rad you may want to bring a stretcher for that when you arrive, you might faint. Harder routes have fixed draws, please leave them there. pz

El Salto, Mexico
El Salto is a 2 hour drive southwest of Monterrey from Potrero Chico. To get to El Salto, or the town, Cienega de Gonzalez, head south from Potrero Chico on the 53 towards Monterrey. Follow the San Nicolas/Escobedo signs
(30km) that lead you into Monterrey. Be careful, speed limit is 30 km/h in the school zones.

Once you have passed Escobedo, you will come to a huge, complicated lighted intersection. Follow the Manuel L.
Barragan signs for ZONA CENTRO (right). As you turn right from the intersection, go immediately to your leftmost lane and stay there. Follow traffic left and in towards Monterrey. You will pass a shopping mall on your right with a CINE complex. Keep straight onto Manuel L. Barragan as you cross the city center. You
should see an arch at the Pino Suarez Intersection. Drive under it. Continue straight until you reach Consitution Ave. You want to head south (left). You must cross the huge concrete riverbed, which will then give you the option of direction, stay left and head left (south).

From there, follow 85 ( CD Victoria ) south towards Revolution. Take the Avenida de la Revolution exit, which basically takes you into a bad part of town to highway 85. You basically need to head south on the 85 ( CD Victoria ) towards a city called Linares. Once on the 85 ( CD Victoria ) you will pass the TEC UNIVERSIDAD, some small towns and mercados aka shopping avenues (about 20 km total from TEC to Colla de Cabalo). Stay on the highway until you see the signs for Colla de Caballo. Follow this. You will be making a right turn off the highway to go through a small town ( Cercado) and up the mountain past Santiago towards the ritzy hotel complex, Colla de Caballo. Once at the hotel, keep going, following the signs for Laguna de Sanchez and Cienega de Gonzalez. Drive up the mountain road, being always careful, for another 20 or so km until you hit a small town called Cienega de Gonzalez. You will notice it because you will drive down into the town, and see multiple signs for cabins and villas for rent. On your left, driving in town, you will pass Dona Kika’s Deposito. (Stop here and set up camp. Ask first. Ask for Kika.)  To get to Las Animas and the cave, continue straight until you’re about at the center of the town, with the only church on your left. Here, turn right onto a dirt road that leads into the dry riverbed and the canyon of El Salto. Remember, no one is around, so don’t leave anything in your car you are not willing to lose. Theft is very uncommon, but it happens. Enjoy your stay in El Salto and I hope to see you in Mexico.


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  2. Rad dude. Great info. I was at El Salto over 10 years ago, so psyched to make the trip again and see all the new digs. I belayed Steve on H-Bomb and took a stab at it myself. I have wanted to get back down to try and finish it off for a long time. I heard it broke? was it the undercling ball you stand up to? Thanks for your good work, I can bring hangers and powers to contribute if I can get down there this spring.

  3. Very good information about the area whole information for visit any where you need a best and trust worthy travel service so we provide you a trusty travel service Detroit airport taxi .

  4. Hi Ulric, I'm heading to El Salto in a few days for some climbing. I'm interested visiting "La Sabrosa", do you have a list of the routes there?

    My friennds from Monterey told me that if someone knows, it will be you.

    Cheers and thank you!
    Rodrigo Reskala -

  5. Hi Ulric,

    I'm headed to El Salto with a few friends for about a month in the middle of December. Do you know how to get in touch with Dona Kika about cabana rental?

    Thanks for your help and all the good beta!

    Michaela Webb -