|El Potrero Chico
El Potrero in the morning clouds.
El Potrero Chico (the "little corral") is a sport-climbing paradise, with limestone similar to Thailand and routes up to 20 pitches in length. The geography of the area is similar to west Texas and southern New Mexico -- arid Chihuahuan desert.
Development of the area began in the late 80's by the likes of Jeff Jackson, Alex Catlin, Kevin Gallagher, Hank the Tank, Tony Faucett, Rick Watson, Craig McCudden, Curtis Mai, Todd McCray, Ed Wright, Dane Bass, and a host of Austin climbers. But it was Kurt "The General" Smith and Elaina Arenz that really put the place on the map by the late '90s.
The climbing is about a ten-minute walk up the road from the accommodations. Pretty much everything is bolted, but some may opt for a light supplemental trad rack. Fifteen or so quickdraws and one (sometimes two) 60-meter ropes is usually enough. Ninety percent of the routes are less than thirty meters and only require one sixty-meter rope to get up and down. A few routes are best done with a 70-meter rope (Dope Ninja, Will the Wolf Survive?, and La Ola, to name a few).
So all you need to bring climbing is some sunscreen, hat and a little water. It was eighty degrees last February. I would also bring some warm weather clothes as well. It can get chilly if a storm or clouds roll in. Many of the climbs are right off the road or a short five-minute approach. Many of the climbs are ten pitches or more in length which makes for a really fun day. There are enough classic climbs in the Potrero area to keep you busy for a good week to ten-day vacation, unless you are Michael Reardon. The bolts are generally good and runouts are scarce. Most belays are well bolted. There are also two spires that you can do a Tyrolean traverse between for some spicy action. The rock is limestone, but much more solid than in Thailand and the biggest fear is falling into a cactus.
On your day(s) off there are some really fun things to do. The town of Hidalgo is a mile walk or five minutes by car down the hill from the climbing ranches and has a central market twice a week where you can do your food shopping as well as pick up all sorts of stuff from T-shirts to CDs. It is like being at the fair. Hidalgo also has a grocery store. Ask someone at the climbing ranch to help you find it.
El Potrero Chico is located in the north-eastern state of Nuevo León, roughly 25 miles northwest of the city of Monterrey (population ~ 3 million). If traveling by air, fly to Monterrey and take a taxi or bus from there to the small town of Hidalgo (population ~ 20,000). The climbing area is located about 2 miles outside of town. A taxi will cost about $35US, and any of the accomodations will arrange a car to meet you and take you directly there for $40US or $45 with a grocery stop in Hidalgo.
If driving from the U.S., cross the border at Laredo, Texas. It's about a 3-hour drive from here on reasonably good toll roads.
Accommodations and Restaurants
La Posada has about everything a climber needs and is probably the most popular place for climbers. Camping is $5.00 per night. Rooms (about $20) are nice and the above website covers costs per night and much more. Posadas also offers a full kitchen with utensils, gas burners and refrigeration, all included in your $5.00 a night. Rooms can fill up fast so make reservations asap. I would recommend taking a large tub with lid to keep your food in. The refrigerators are side by side glass doored. The kind you get soft drinks from at a store. Bring a Black marker to tag your refrigerated food with. No one ever used any of our stuff, it just can get lost in the mix. Posada also has Wi-Fi so you can bring your laptop and pick up the Internet. When I was there last it costs fifty cents to call the states. There is also a restaurant on site that serves food and wickedly smooth tequila as well as other alcoholic libations. Top shelve tequila was $1.00 for a gigantic shot. Posada also has two buildings (mens - womens) bathrooms. I cannot speak for the womens but the mens has six toilets and six showers that are kept immaculately clean and stocked with toilet paper.
Quinta La Pagoda
La Pagoda is a large establishment but remains quiet during the climbing season (but it's 3 pools look nice for the summer). Camping for $5, and basic rooms for $20 (bring your own towels and TP). There's a restaurant, but closed for most of the winter. La Pagoda is the closest place to the climbing. A kitchen, fridge, and cooking utensils are available for common use, but aren't quite as nice as those at Posada's.
Another option for camping and rooms. Also a nice big shared kitchen, with a bit of a lounge around, making a good place to hang out on chilly nights. Milton takes care of the place and will cook you dinner at their tiny restaurant, though your only option is whatever he's cooking. Luckily, he's a good cook in addition to being a great guy.
Homero has a 4-bedroom, 1.5-bath house that he rents out for $110/night (in Feb. 2007). See Photo. Fully equipped kitchen. Great for a group. He also picked our group of 6 up at the Monterrey airport and dropped us off there for our return flight.
Awesome tacos and your basic Mex fare make this the only competition for your restaurant dollar other than Posada's (across the street). $3-5 for dinner and $1-2 for beer.
A family-owned restaurant with cheap and good seafood. We ate there most every night. The ceviche is chock full of fresh seafood for $3.00. Eduardo, who works there, is one of Magic Ed's climbing students. Eduardo is also going to college in Monterrey to become a civil engineer.
Browse More Classics in El Potrero Chico
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for El Potrero Chico:
Featured Route For El Potrero Chico
Aguja Celo Rey
: ... : Las Agujas (The Spires)
Classic. P1: Start at a broken ramp just right of a small palm tree. The crux is at the bulge just before reaching the "eye". Continue up to the notch between the two towers on easy ground. 8 bolts and 110 feet.P2: Climb the south arete of Chico Spire. Thin moves right on the corner go to some old Mexican iron rings right on the summit (modern rap anchors are 5 feet below). 6 bolts and about 70 feet.Descent: Make one double rope (50m) rappel down the south face of Chico Spire. Or rap the ...[more] Browse More Classics in International
The entrance gate
The view from our porch at Homero's.
The view from La Posada
On the walk into the Potrero
The view from the entrance of Quinta La Pagoda
The entrance to Posadas
Homero and rattle snake
Tami at her cafe.
Milton, Homero's right-hand man.
Our El Potrero casa at Homero's.
BETA PHOTO: Crescent Moon follows the right skyline over the g...
A breath taking entrance into El Portrero
BETA PHOTO: After a hard day of climbing there is nothing bett...
Flavor of Mexico. The locals are real friendly.
This is the view in the morning as we walked into ...
The walk into the canyon in the morning
Phil stepping out of the hueco on "Milk Cow Blues"...
Up on another fun EPC route.
Camped out at La Posada with El Toro in the backgr...
Alli tying in for her first climb since fracturing...
New Year's Eve 2007 at Homeros
A roadrunner at La Posada
El Potrero Chico
BETA PHOTO: L-R: The Spires, Dihedrals, Outrage Wall, backside...
At the mouth of the canyon
Going for the redpoint, New Years Eve 2007.
BETA PHOTO: La Posada, one of the best places to stay in the P...
Magic Ed scoping out some trundling one day in 200...
Ben I. somewhere in mexico
View of the Mota Wall from our deck at "La Cabaña"...
La Cabaña with Time Wave Zero in the background. ...
Dinner at Tami's
Chillin'(literally) at La Posada's pool.
Lucita at Posada. No muedes!
A cool Locust? Found near the summit of TWZ.
A crazy colored lizard, found on the summit of TWZ...
Such a great name, and I found the Plaque to be ir...
liven the life in Mexico
El Potrero Chico
Bouldering in a cave in mexico.
El Potrero Chico
Just before the sun is about to come over the Toro...
Potrero walls and evening light
Sara Wolf leads Drillin' and Swillin' 5.11c Mota ...
Laura and me drinking beer in the sky!
Chris Martinez enjoys the view to the East from th...
Picture taken from La Posada Camping-Lodging of Po...
Jeremy Ashton on the third pitch of Evil Shenaniga...
Looking into the Potrero from the back side of El ...
Looking across from Estrellita. The Spires, Jungle...
|Comments on El Potrero Chico
|By Charlie Perry|
From: Fort Collins
Jan 24, 2007
I have been to Thailand Climbing as well as El Potrero twice. I much prefer El Potrero for climbing. My first visit was about ten years ago when Kurt Smith was putting up routes and Hormeros Climbing Ranch was the only option. My last trip to El Potrero was last year in February. I am a mid to hard 5.10 climber and there were more than enough classic climbs to keep us busy for ten days and many more that I want to go back and do.
There is also a really cool hot spring out in the middle of nowhere. E-mail me if you want directions. I have also been told that there are other hot springs in the area from a friend of mine who lived in Monterrey. Another friend told me about a few cat houses in Monterrey as well (he is a playboy). I can forward this beta if interested.
On the way to the hot spring in the middle of nowhere desert is also an abandoned mission straight out of a spaghetti western. There is a route called Crescent Moon on it which is in the guide book. If my memory serves me well, where the road splits to go to Crescent moon continue to the right which will take you to the old Spanish mission and hot springs. For more in-depth beta e-mail me. We did this route and it is a blast. It does involve a Tyrolean traverse so take two ropes. I could go on and on about El Portero. I also have compiled a list of things to take, driving directions, things you need at the border, the best border crossing to avoid long lines of trucks in Laredo and other stuff I can e-mail if you are planning on heading down that way. (i.e. Mexicans do not use sunscreen, take sunscreen or you will be searching for the local Pharmacy to get some)
|By Matt Richardson|
From: Fort Collins, CO
Apr 21, 2007
Hmmm... not run out? Try Jungle Mountaineering -- bolting is spacy enough here that if you get a little off route, you can get really f***ed. Also, try New Ape Man or the Rattler in The Conundrums (both share the same first pitch which is described by Jeff Jackson in Mexico Rock); on The Rattler, you will find yourself well above the last bolt when you hit the crux on the second pitch.
However spacy the bolting is, the routes are generally well bolted in the important areas (The Rattler being an exception). But what do you expect on long multi-pitch sport. Somebody has got to pay for all of that hardware.
Potrero is well worth the trip down to Mexico particularly if you are from a northern clime. Winters are generally warm, but being an alpine environment, can get cold very rapidly. At the very least, bring a shell and a fleece. You won't regret it.
The first time my wife and I went, we stayed at El Ranchero -- run by Kurt Smith and another guy (can't remember his name). Nice digs, but pricey for the area. Last time I was there, it was still open but wasn't seeing much traffic. Since that first trip, we have stayed at La Posada every time -- the owners are very nice and the accommodations are good. It can get busy at certain times.
If you have the opportunity, I would recommend going down at least once around New Year's. It gets crowded, but it is loads of fun. Imagine the sound of gun fire regularly mixed with firecrackers. There used to be (don't know if the park is more regulated now) parties down in the canyon. Maybe, if you're lucky, you will be invited to dine with some of the locals in the area as they roast cabrito over an open pit.
|By Eddie Avallone|
From: Lewisburg, WV
Sep 25, 2007
If you fly into Monterrey and get a taxi to the Potrero, how does one get to and from the crags? Walking distance, hitchhike, etc??
|By Bryan Howell|
From: San Francisco, CA
Sep 25, 2007
If you take a cab from Monterrey to EPC, chances are you're staying in one of the little campsites or cabin rentals at the mouth of the park. If that's the case, the crags are an easy, easy stroll. Hundreds of routes within a 20-minute walk on gravel roads, and even more if you're willing to hike a little. Some of the tougher hikes are a little bushwacky, but nothing worse than you've seen anywhere else. Just bring a little extra water for the hike.
If you want, you can stroll right up to some classic climbs, spend all day zipping up and down, then walk 15 minutes on over to Checo's for some killer quesadillas and huge bottles of Carta Blanca.
Kinda makes me wonder why I'm sitting at this desk...
From: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Apr 2, 2008
Don't forget to bring your ear plugs to sleep through the all night parties...if you plan on getting any sleep.
|By Ben Walburn|
From: lafayette, CO
Jan 24, 2009
If your not looking to camp in the middle of 80% of the climbing population in the Potrero and you want quiet, shaded, clean, mellow and more mature accommodations with, undoubtedly, the nicest kitchen facilities then you want to stay at La Pagota. Posada is nice for those that like the excitement of much social interaction.
From: Oakland CA
Feb 5, 2009
I wouldn't compare the Potrero climbing to Thailand climbing. They're both limestone, but that's where the similarities end. Style, scene and culture are all very different.
|By Joy Hlynsky|
Mar 16, 2009
My husband and I and two of our friends just returned from our first trip to El Potrero Chico. Wow! It is one of the most amazing places I've been on this beautiful planet of ours. We were not expecting so much and were delighted with the rock, the scenery, the culture, the location, the water, the weather, the people,.... We had a great time and are already planning our next trip. We stayed at "la Cabaña" (For info -- email Margarita: email@example.com; or Ariel & Chely: firstname.lastname@example.org). It is a one room cabin with a loft just inside the canyon behind the Spires. It was plenty of room for the 4 of us. They are in the process of adding on two additional small studios (1-2 person). It is rustic, but we are seasoned camper/travelers and LOVED it. Sitting at the table out on our deck eating our breakfast, we had the Mota Wall to the east of us, and Time Wave Zero towering over us to the southwest. It was really amazing. Quiet. Our own sanctuary. The owners (Ariel & Chely) took great care of us and were a big part of the beauty of our journey.
|By Brian Stampe|
Aug 15, 2009
What style of climbing is it in El Potrero Chico? slab climbing with edges or vetrtical with pockets..? any info on the style would be helpful. thanks!
|By Bryan Howell|
From: San Francisco, CA
Aug 28, 2009
There's really a good variety of climbing. Most of the stuff I've climbed there was vertical or near-vertical, with lots of edges and crimps. The rock is grippy, but not painfully sharp. I remember a few pockety routes, but my climbing partner had a nice little movie-moment with a HUGE millipede on one of them, and I may have shied away from sticking my fingers into any strange holes after that. (Which is probably good advice for every area of life, really...)
Others may have fresher memories than me since it's been a couple years since I've been there, but really, the place has so much stuff to climb that I can't imagine any sport climber going there and not finding enough to make them happy.
I don't know about slabs, though. Anyone else know?
From: Denver, CO
Sep 8, 2009
Since it's time for many people (including myself) to start making plans for a trip to Potrero I thought I would try to help the climbs a little. There are a few people that have poured tons of money and time into the climbs out there so a few donations can go a long way:
1. Old rope. If you're nearing the end of a rope, consider leaving it at the end of the trip. There are several routes that could use a new fixed line (base of Celestial Omnibus, Time Wave Zero (badly), Land of the Free to name a few). Please tie them up or hand to any of the people mentioned below. Static rope is also welcome...
2. Bolts/Hangers. I would suggest donating according to the climbing you are there for:
Magic Ed - has bolted many many routes focusing mostly on multi-pitch routes below 5.11a
Dane Bass - Also has put up a significant amount of routes mostly inside the canyon (i.e. not in Mota or Outrage), mostly single pitch, mostly below 5.11.
For the harder single pitch or a few hard multi pitch the regular crowd down there to donate to would be Simeon and Rick, Ralph Vega, Ulrich, maybe Alex. If you don't know these people... just ask around. There are certainly others that have bolted but these are the ones I know.
3. Anchors. All routes have chains and most are in good shape. For popular routes (to save time and reduce the chance of accidents) consider getting stainless biners and quick links from a place like Fixe. I just got a few of these winch hooks and a bunch of quick links for my local crags.
Either install yourself after you talk to one of the above people if you know what you are doing, or just donate to the above people.
I spent quite a bit of time there, did some trail maintenance, helped bolt a few routes and helped lug equipment to where others were bolting. If you have a free moment please do the same.
To help with the type of climbing:
Virgin: lower angle to verticle gray limestone with bulleted pockets (sharp). Shade most of day.
Front side: Some overhang and a few tufas. Slab and edges above. Shade all day.
Estrellas: Easier slab down low to vertical with crimps up higher in the blonde limestone. Morning and late afternoon shade up high.
Mini Super: Pockets
Jungle: Gray limestone with lots of cactus
Mota: Pockets. 5-eleven heaven.
Pride/Mileski: Harder routes of vertical to slightly overhanging edges and a few pockets. Shade till 10:30 or 11:30
Outrage: Pockets, edges, tufas
Surf: Tufas - the five most overhung routes in Potrero. Shade after 1:00
|By Ron Grat|
From: Dumont, Co.
Oct 2, 2009
Thanks for the suggestions on donations. I will definitely bring down a couple of my old ropes to give to the fixed rope cause.
I'll be going down to Potrero for the first time at the end of October and could use some advice from someone who's driven down there before. Such as: Drive time from Denver? Should I buy the Mexican car insurance? Or any other suggestions/tips for a hassle free and safe border crossing.
Also-I have a partner for the first 2 weeks of the trip but will be looking for someone to climb with for the second half (nov 5-19) Anyone interested? And/or have a suggestion for finding partners when I get there?
|By Jerimiah Gentry|
From: Denver, CO
Nov 11, 2009
I've cross posted this to a few places...
I am looking to go to go to EPC from sometime between the 8th and 22nd of December 2009. I have gear, am experienced on long routes and these days can red point 11a. I drive well and have a background in guiding, and I'm an all around swell guy... I do not have a car so I looking for someone who may be driving from the south east (Florida, GA area.) I am in Tallahassee. Contact me for more details!
|By Phil Lauffen|
Nov 15, 2009
How is the climbing at the end of March? Too hot? Also, any beta on the drive to the nearest beach? (gf)
From: Denver, CO
Nov 19, 2009
How is the drive down there once you cross into Mexico? Have never driven through Mexico, and it sounds like Juarez is NASTY right now. Just gathering info for a New Year's plans, Thank y'all!
|By manuel rangel|
Dec 1, 2009
Potrero Chico just had massive rockfall today. The building at the base of the wall is destroyed and the watchman at the gate escaped the rockfall. The area is closed until further notice. Contact Potreroed for more info, he posted this at rockclimbing.com
You can skip crossing at Juarez and use an adjacent area, it would help save time.
Unless you were caught in a cross fire or were buying mass quantities of drugs or were carrying weapons, I don't think you'd have to worry about driving through Juarez.
|By Ed Wright|
Dec 8, 2009
The only area affected was around the base of the Jungle Wall(the routes themselves are OK). The area will remain closed for a while but should be re-opened before long. The good that will come from this is that the local government now realizes we were serious when we told them it would be foolish to develop a picnicking area below this wall. All that work they did last year (or rather, what's left of it)will now be removed.
Dec 11, 2009
Just to make it clear, because climbers that are planing a trip to El Potrero have been asking me; the only area that is closed is the Jungle Wall, it has less than 15 routes that you can´t climb right now. El Potrero Chico is open to climb more than 600 routes.
|By Joel Andersen|
Dec 14, 2009
Looking for some beta:
Draws: How many trad style draws should I bring? I have plenty of 2' and 4' slings. Out of the ~22 draws we bring, how many should be 2' or 4' extendable? I can't say we'll be linking all linkable pitches, but I imagine we'll link some, and would like to avoid rope drag. Basically, how wandering are these pitches (in general, obviously)?
Ropes: I have two 60s and a 70. I see in the section above that a 60 is enough to get up and down "90%" of routes, so I kind of think one 70 would be good. That said, are there any classics that we wouldn't be able to do without two ropes for rapping? (I think I read somewhere that the spires are this way. Is that correct?)
|By Tony B|
From: Around Boulder, CO
Dec 31, 2009
Some updates/corrections on the page to consider:
- Not everything is bolted... that statement in Paragraph 3 is a little overdone.
- While certainly you can just bring draws and climb a few weeks, there are plenty of trad lines if that is what you have in mind, including 1000' multi-pitch 5.11 routes.
- Winter weather can vary greatly, while it indeed CAN be 80 deg C, there was not a single day in 10 where I felt shorts or short sleaves were the best. Average daily highs were in the 60's, so a beach it is not. Plan for warm clothes too, and even warmer blankets. Comforters were trading at un ultra-premium between stayers at the Posada (even in the rooms) in Dec 2009.
- The gate has a sign outside explaining hte use fees for the park, but nobody collects them for climbers, or from anyone else that we saw. Entrance appears to be free.
- The nearest good grocery, offering a butcher, produce section, dairy, etc... is down the hill from the camping about 2 miles and on the left, about 3 blocks into where town really starts (where the road flattens out) and the people there are pretty climber-friendly.
- Posadas can fill up. They have limited rooms and also limited camping, to keep the kitchen and such from getting over-run. Make reservations. Also, note that while this page says that they keep the restrooms stocked with TP, they do not. Nobody does. B.Y.O.
- Meals and drinks have gone up. Tequilla is 20 pesos + and beers are $2 for the large 'caguamma' bottles. Meals at Posada and Checo's are $5+, and while these individual dishes may be tasty, they are not necessarily going to fill you up completely if you are a bigger person and have not had a good lunch. Food is no longer dirt cheap at E.P.C. Plan on spending a little more if you are not going to cook.
- Tami's Cafe is closed. The owner is converting it to a Casita (lodging) and Tami was moved out.
|By Joy Hlynsky|
Jan 14, 2010
We were there when the rock fall happend last month. We were staying at Ariel & Chely's cabin in the canyon and it had been raining hard and steady all night. It was early morning when the slide happened and the sound was amazing -- echoing through the canyon. The echo made it sound much larger (and closer) than it was. We went out later to investigate and saw a few of the rocks that had come down by the gate & hit the metal roof in the picknick area. Later that day we saw Ariel & Chely (they live in town, Hidalgo) and told them about the rocks. They said that it is not the first time. Just so people know, it is the Jungle Wall specifically that will sometimes have rocks come down when it rains hard. That's not the wall you want to be on in the rain. Not that I would want to climb in the rain anyway. Everywhere else was good. We're hoping to get back in March... just looking at tickets now. :)
|By greg stirling steele|
From: santa fe -taos
Jan 18, 2010
I have been climbing n potrero since 1992 and if your climbing hard routes i would advise climbing all of curt smiths routes,his back ground is many years of california big walls therefore you can really tell the difference in the quality and beauty of his work compared to others, even though people have negative things to say of his personality his routes are superior to the others. greg stirling steele
|By joe disciullo|
From: Charlotte, NC
Feb 8, 2010
Hi All, I need some help finding some locals please!
I climbed in Potrero 10 years ago and had a pretty serious accident. I was staying at Kurt Smith's Camp and a couple of locals really stepped up and took great care of me. One person was Mel, who was Kurt's partner. The other (I think it was Mel's cousin?) was a cab driver named Valentine. I'm headed back to Potrero and want to find these guys and say hello/thanks while I'm there February 20th-March 1st.
Does anyone know how I may be able to get in touch with these folks?
Any help would be appreciated.
|By Be Esperanza|
From: Asheville, NC
Mar 8, 2010
If you're flying into/out of Monterrey or will be spending a night in the city, I recommend staying at La Casa del Barrio. It's right downtown, close to the bars, is relatively cheap ($20/night), and was clean and relaxing. Here's what I have for info:
Diego do Montemayor 1221 sur
Monterrey Centro Barrio Antiguo
C.P. 64000 Monterrey N.L. Mexico
Tel: (81) 8344 1800
If you go out to the bars, brace yourself! Those Mexicanos know how to get down.
Jun 28, 2010
Hello to all, I just want to let know to everybody that wants come to Potrero that the place in the which was Tami`s cafe is available for rent and campsite with really cheap rates and facilities like transportation to the market, to the town,etc laundry, etc etc... contact email@example.com for more information
Jun 28, 2010
I dunno why people doesn`t come down to Mexico on this season (spring and summer) the weather is warm enough and we have nice shade on all the walls just before 2:30pm and after 4:00pm we have light till 8:30pm and the outrage is beauty the whole day!
|By John G.|
Apr 22, 2011
Does anybody have up-to-date contact info for Posada's? (such as a phone number) I've been trying to reach them via both phone and email in order to reserve a room for Thanksgiving week, but had no luck getting a return e-mail.
Is everything okay with them? Any info would be appreciated.
|By John G.|
Oct 31, 2011
I did finally hear from La Posada. Apparently, when I was trying to contact them, they had just finished up a very busy, week long holiday in Mexico, and were taking a break to catch their breath.
All is fine, and we were able to make reservations for Thanksgiving week at La Posada.
|By Dave Coleman|
From: Boulder, CO
Dec 4, 2011
I just got back from another trip to EPC, what a great place! I took the opportunity to add some updates to potrerochico.org/ for those who are looking for latest info.
From: Muncie, IN
Jan 19, 2012
So I have never been to Potrero. I know seeing in the news that there is a good bit of violence in Mexico. Is any of the violence near the climbing area? My driving route has me crossing at Nuevo Laredo. Then I travel down route 85 through Monterrey. If anyone has driven his way and or know of any violence near here it would be greatly appreicaited. also it is safe to be driving/arriving at night? I am planning my trip from Indiana for the first week of march for my spring break. we would be driving through the night and arriving at night. thanks for the info and help
|By Curt MacNeill|
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 9, 2012
This is a response to the many safety questions asked about the area. El Portero is totally safe. It has been a world class climbing destination and will be for many years to come. I met very friendly people from all over the world when I was there last year. The town of Hidalgo is super safe and La Posado is a super rad place to stay and chill. I don't think their was anyone staying at Posada's that did not climb. I drove down from Boulder, Colorado and did the infamous border crossing in Nuevo Leon. It was smooth sailing... I honestly had more hassle in the US by border patrol agents than I did anywhere in Mexico. I would strongly recommend taking the paid highway as it is well maintained and patrolled by the mexican military. If you see guys with machine guns and army tanks(which you probably will)don't be alarmed, they are there to protect you against the drug cartels. I talked with many different climbing parties last year and everyone had the same thing to say. I have heard that Monteray can be unsafe but it can easily be avoided if your driving in from Texas. I more or less crossed the border in Nuevo Leon, spent a half hour or so at the government offices(safe) getting the mandatory green cards and vehicle tags. From here, you leave and get on the highway. To me, it was no different then driving on a highway in Texas or New Mexico. In fact it was a great deal better. Your only on the highway for about 2 hours of driving and then you turn off onto a road that takes you to the town of Hidalgo and El Potrero. As soon as you leave the highway you will find that it gets really quite really quick. Hidalgo I would describe as a quaint town just on the outskirts of the park. Perfectly safe for grocery shopping, hanging out on your rest day, etc. All of the people were very nice. My main advice would be to NOT drive a flashy car(especially SUV's) and I would bring plenty of pesos from the Border. There were alot of places in this area and town that did not take any form of credit cards, even visa. And I had some issues with getting money from atm machines. So I would recommend bringing plenty of cash down when you go and just keep it with you in your climbing pack...Last year I was a bit nervous to go on my 10 day trip because I like everyone else heard about all the violence going on in the country. Being there proved this to be totally innacurate. This year I am going for a month and will be totally relaxed since I know how safe Potrero really is. Hope this helps. I have been on alot of awesome vacations in my life and I can honestly say that my first trip to Potrero was one of the BEST. It was really warm mid-winter, the food is awesome, there are routes of every style and grade, the local tequila(El Compadre $10 bottles) is wickedly smooth and its just a super fun place to just hang. It is VERY mellow. Unlike most classic climbing destinations, there was absloutely no scene. The downside to this is that Portero lacks a high amount of climbs 5.13a or harder. The few 5.13's that I do know of and got on are truly world class and if you want harder/more overhanging routes go to El Salto which is only 3 hours a way. I haven't been but am pretty excited to check it out this year. Oh yeah, one last thing. Make sure you do Celestial Omnibus. I went with a crew of very solid and well traveled climbers who have been just about everywhere. This route to date is my favorite climb ANYWHERE and many other climbers felt the same! You will understand why when you do it. Enjoy!!
|By Jonathan Petsch|
From: Chattanooga, TN
Sep 12, 2012
Is there a good guidebook for Potrero Chico?
|By Stephen Ackley|
From: Richmond, Virginia
Oct 7, 2012
I'd like to get down to EPC in mid December for an extended trip but my potential climbing parters are flakey. Is it hard to find partners if I flew down by myself?
Dec 20, 2012
I will be down in EPC with my brother on my 'senior expedition' for school from the 4th to the 15th\16th or so. I will be teaching my brother anchor systems and multi-pitch setups as he's primarily a gym rat so we can hop on some good climb. If anyone is looking to meet up and crag for a day or hop on a multi-pitch get in touch.
|By Darren Smith|
Dec 26, 2012
I'll be down there from the 10th to 21st too. I'll be joining Dan on some of those days, but certainly up climbing with other people too (just send me a message).
|By Daniel Norris|
Mar 12, 2013
Los Delfines is close. But Edguardo's mom has a tacos stand just beside the park in front of la carneceria. Best tacos i have eat in Hidalgo...