215 pitches and 95 tacos

We have slowed down a bit on our pitch count and taco consumption. We’ve each started working on a few climbing projects and as a result it may take us most of an afternoon just to do one route. Repeatedly rehearsing the movements so as to move efficiently and fluidly upwards, much like dancers traversing the floor. And the lack of taco consumption is directly related to the discovery of Mexican hamburgers sold at nearly every street corner. We appear to have settled into a bit of a routine here in Potrero Chico. Each morning we climb on a west facing wall until the sun overtops the ridge line, at which point we retreat to town for some cold drinks and lunch. At about three we find an east facing wall and resume our climbing. Once the sun begins to set we can often be found bathing in the pool at la posada. We cook dinner and shortly thereafter fall asleep. The days pass quickly and the nights quicker. It can be tough to remain present and recognize how fortunate we are to have such a large chunk of time to work on our climbing, to grow as friends and to foster new relationships with people from all over the world who are here to climb. There are 8 of us who have been climbing for the last two weeks and we are from 4 different continents. A few evenings ago Mike and I made pizza dough and everyone topped their own pizza and we grilled them in the bbq. It was a social experiment to see what each person topped theirs with. Bananas, tuna, Mexican cheese, etc. As for the coming days we each have a few more things we would like to tick off both individually and together. Afterwards we are biking to El Salto for some more climbing and then south towards Mexico City where columnar basalt splitters can be found.

Since Mike doesn’t climb 5.15 or free solo el cap he figured his best chance at a sponsorship was from teva for sending la facil facil in his super aggressive sandals (on top rope).

Headed up the fixed rope towards el sendero luminoso which tops out at the highest point in the picture some 1500 feet above us. And no we did not get to the top.

Walking to the party. Think 1960s high school car culture but with grown adults from 2018.

Our beautiful bbq pizza with bananas and tuna for our South African friend Kim.

All the beautiful people here to climb. Slovakia, Czech Republic, Columbia, Ecuador, South Africa, Mexico, and USA

El sendero luminoso once again.

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El Potrero Chico (97 pitches climbed, 66 tacos consumed)

Our first destination on this biking and climbing adventure was El Potrero Chico located about thirty miles northwest of Monterey. We got a ride from our good friend John to the border of Mexico and Texas where we hopped on a bus and then biked the remainder of the way to the small town of Hidalgo at the base of limestone cliffs that rise several thousand feet towering over the adjacent lowlands. We get around mostly on bikes these days but when we are lazy we stick out a thumb and generally the first truck to pass will always stop.

Luckily it is no longer peak season for climbing and as a result other climbers are seldom seen and at times it feels as though we have the entire mountain to ourselves. Aside from Sunday’s of course, when much of the town drives up to the mountains for a day of relaxation. Each with their aftermarket car stereos turned up so high that even their lug nuts are rattling. Not to mention they are all playing a different tune so individual songs becomes drowned out by their neighbors, and while hundreds of feet above them, to us it sounds like nothing more then white noise. Aside from the noise, which I’ve actually grown to enjoy, Sunday’s are my favorite. Once back on the ground the locals invite us over to drink and talk with them. Beers are always the preferred choice when offered, certainly over the mysterious bottles of liquid passed around following brief talk of the infamous peyote that grows in the area. We shoot the shit with whom ever invites us over but it’s typically middle aged men. As a result we talk of women and music and women and food but mostly just women. And when the beer is gone and there’s nothing left to say we continue on.