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By Adam Baxter
From: Estes Park, CO
Jan 23, 2009
|Anyone know anything about the long time bolting project going on across the canyon from the normal bolted walls here? There is a portaledge at what looks to be 5 - 7 pitches up and fixed lines getting there as of Jan. 08.|
Feb 3, 2009
|Across from the Animas wall? If so I believe that it is sombra del chamán. Started in 96 or 97 by Alex Patino and Paco Medina|
By Curt MacNeill
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 25, 2012
|El Salto is one of the sickest places I have ever climbed at. What's super cool about El Salto is it has a little bit of a mystique about it. Not many people have been to it, its someone difficult to find and there is not much in the way of information on this place. I read somewhere before I went that you will need to bring a stretcher because when you first spot the walls you will pass out. I completely agree! El Salto is surely a world class spot with amazing and equally interesting rock. There are ALOT of really great routes here and I mean REALLY GOOD! Be sure to bring your big guns for all the world class 5.13's that are here. Every 5.13 I got on here seemed to be my favorite route until I got on the next one. It's that kind of place. Some helpful things that you will surely want to know about this place. Getting here is a bitch. I have heard that you can get to El Salto by taking a bus from Monterrey but be prepared for a HUGE adventure. I have heard from multiple sources that the bus ride takes 12 hours for what can be done in by car in 2 hours. I would strongly recommend that you drive down to El Salto either by renting one or in your own. The hands down EASIEST way to find this place(I STRONGLY RECOMMEND) is to have a GPS unit. Most portable gps units(the kind for cars)has a Mexico application that you can purchase for about 50 bucks which is pretty detailed and will make driving in Mexico WAY more enjoyable. Driving in the Monterrey area is a HUGE adventure in an of itself. There are loads of traffic, the signs make no sense(they don't use street numbers like in the US), there is massive amounts of construction ALL the time and everyone seems to drive however they want. With that said, if you punch the Latitude and Longitude coordinates into your GPS for Collo de Caballo(which is a local waterfall and tourist destination for the area) your gps will take you more or less right to El Salto. The coordinates for Collo de Caballo are Lat 25.3863 Lon -100.1474 . If you punch these numbers in and have a Mexico App already in place it will take you right there. It's super easy. Any other way just be prepared to get seriously lost. Once you get off the exit from Mexican 85(the National Highway) for Collo De Caballo, you will start driving up a mountain road. The road up to El Salto and the tiny little mountain town of Cienega de Gonzalez is INCREDIBLE. You will drive for about 45 minutes up this moutain road into what feels like a different world. It's hard to believe that a place like this exists so close to a major city(Monterrey pop. 8 million). The road gains probably 3,000 feet in elevation over 45 minutes. You will just keep driving up and up and up on switchbacks through the most beautiful terrain. You will see waterfalls, Huge cliffs and beautiful forests for as far as the eye can see. When you get to the town of Cienega de Gonzales you will continue through on the main street to the far uphill side. You want to be looking for the big white church which will be on your left. Almost directly across from the church you will see a wood sign on the right that is brown with the words Bienvenidos El Salto painted in yellow. This sign looks similar to the signs in the US for a state park. Once you see the sign, you turn onto the small dirt road that enters into the park. From here, know that you need a car with a little bit of ground clearance(preferably 4 wheel drive) just to get to the upper parking lot. Trucks, SUV's or Jeeps are preferred here. How you will know that you are at the upper parking lot is when the road changes from driving in the dry river bed and starts going up into the mountains. The road past the upper parking lot is Ultra burly and a big SUV or truck with lots of ground clearance is the only things that will make it down to the cliff. From the upper parking lot, its about an 8 minute walk down the road into the canyon to get to the Las Animas Wall. This is one of the 2 main walls in the El Salto proper. To get to the Tecolote Cave, continue past the Las Animas Wall and down into the dry river basin for about 15 minutes. Pass the dry waterfall and continue for a while in the river bed until you see an impressive cave high up on the hillside on the right. Look for a faint trail with a cairn(this is easy to miss) and continue up the trail to the cave. The Tecolote Cave and the Las Animas wall are both world class and very different in nature. Las Anamas Wall is slightly overhanging orange rock with stripes of gray and black tufas with everything from crimps and pinches to climbing on bulbous stalagtites that jut out from parts of the wall. The Tecolote Cave is steep overhanging climbing at its best with very unique features including tons of stalagtites and tufs. The terrain here is steep, hard to read and routes are stout in nature. Your first burn on most routes(even the easy ones) is going to be working out the beta getting into and out of all the rests. You can do everything from bat hangs to upside down double knee bars and just about everything in between. The key to sending alot of the routes in the cave since they have such hard bouldery sections is to get creative and rest whenever you can. Where to stay? You more or less have one of 2 options while in El Salto. You can either camp in the dry river bed near the upper parking lot. It is beautiful, safe and primitive but you will have no amenities. You will need full camping supplies. You can also pitch a tent in Kika's backyard for FREE with the expectation by her of a tip at the end of your stay. Kika's is kind of the go to place when ur in El Salto. Kika is a nice Mexican woman who loves to cook for visiting climbers. I believe it is how she makes her living so climbers are WELCOME and WANTED. Kika has bathrooms that you can use for 5 pesos, a mini supermarket where you can buy the basics and an outdoor kitchen setup where she will cook for you. Look for the building in town with the words Dona Super Kika on the side painted in big red letters. It is hard to miss. Having Kika cook for you is a right of passage at El Salto. She speaks no English, cooks enough food to feed and army and the outdoor kitchen is quite entertaining with a wide variety of animals running around the backyard. Again she doesn't speak any English so knowing a little Spanish to get by certainly helps! I recommend camping in the river bed which is super beautiful and when ur feeling lazy after a day of cragging you can make the quick 5 minute drive from your site to Kika's and have her cook for you. This is exactly what we did and it worked out quite well. Kika's is also a deposito which means she is always well stocked with tequila, cold beer, mango juice and soda's. Be sure to check out the apple wine which is produced in the area. It's very good and probably one of the only areas in the world where you can try this stuff. Overall, El Salto is not to be missed for anyone looking for a truly unique and exciting adventure with world class crags that seem to be empty all the time. Don't be surprised if you have the whole place to yourselves! Enjoy and I hope this information helps some people make there way down to this place. Also one quick side note here is that there is endless potential to bolt new routes and establish first ascents so don't forget to pack your drill! Have fun......|
By Bruno Hache
From: Longmont, CO
Apr 13, 2014
On the behalf of long time friend Ulric Rousseau, currently the main developer of El Salto.
1- To get you turned on, here is a really cool video Ulric put together featuring El Salto:
Ulric has a guidebook in the works and I will update with guidebook information when it is available.
But how to get there is the first step, right?
So here we go.
2- Directions to El Salto:
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 Second to left lane and stay there. Follow traffic right of the over pass, and under it, left and in towards Monterrey. You will pass a shopping mall on your right with a CINE complex and a Sierra madre as you do this. Keep straight onto Manuel L. Barragan after the left turn, as you cross the city center. You should see an arch at the Pino Suarez Intersection. Drive under it. Continue straight until you reach Morones Prieto. 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 or Santiago) 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, Puerto Genoveo ect. Drive up the mountain road, being always careful, for another 22 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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