El Potrero Chico 03/2010
About the trip
I wasn't planning on climbing until I heard Quest was doing a trip. But my boys Ben and Lee were running the trip so I figured I would join. They are always good for a laugh, like the time they showed up to climb with me at the Gunks dressed like euro-trash cllimbing-bumb hybrids.
El Poterro Chico Pages
About El Potrero Chico
El Potrero Chico is an internationally renowned rock climbing area in the Mexican state of Nuevo León, 3 km outside the town of Hidalgo. Long a destination for rock-climbers from around the world, Climbers from Austin, Texas, notably, Jeff Jackson, Kevin Gallahger, and Alex Catlin, along with Colorado climber/raver Kurt Smith started developing the area back in the 1990s. Development continued in the 21st century, notably by first accentionists Magic Ed, Alex Catlin, and Dane Bass. Many climbers have attempted to build bridges with the local community, but there remains much work to be done. The climbs are mostly situated in a canyon at the entrance of the park, while the interior offers undeveloped mountain terrain with lots of good mountain biking, ranging from very easy to expert routes.
El Potrero draws many climbers from throughout Mexico. It is considered one of the top 10 locations to sport climb in the world. In addition to well over 500 routes, the area boasts the second longest sport route in North America, Timewave Zero, ringing in at 23 pitches and over 2000 feet. New routes are continually being developed. There is a large range of different climbs, most of them in the 5.8 to 5.13 grade. The type of climbing can range from steep overhanging face to easy slab. The rock is usually quite sharp.
El Potrero is a unique geological formation of limestone cliffs, some as high as 2000 feet. The eventual status of the land uncertain. Much of the area is a "protected zone" (NOT a national park), a legal classification of little actual consequence. After the Mexican Revolution of 1910, the land within the park was divided amongst the townspeople as per the ejido system. This means that the town ejido commission currently owns and controls 99% of the climbing.
About the Guide - Quest
I first visited Quest when I was a Junior in College. I went with our Student Government as part of the training and team building weekend. Once I got on the high ropes course, I was hooked. I was so intersted I started talking to the guides and found out that they offered extended trips open to non students. If you are interested in beginning in outdoor sports, I would recomend them as good way to get your first exposure.
QUEST is an outdoor adventure and recreation program at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania serving students and the general public. Quest offers outdoor and educational courses, mostly at the beginner and intermediate level, in Pennsylvania, the United States, Africa, South and Central America and Europe. People of all ages and backgrounds participate. Many courses are in response to organizations who ask them to design special outdoor experiences for them. Brought to prominence by Roy Smith, the man responsible for bringing Outward Bound to higher education in the late 60’s, and now led by his long time associate Brett Simpson, Quest is a great way to get introduced to outdoor sports.
To find out more information about quest, go to http://quest.bloomu.edu or just give Brett a call.