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Pena de Bernal

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Pena de Bernal  

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Location: 20.7279, -99.9577 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Hank Caylor, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: manuel rangel on Mar 13, 2008
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This volcanic monolith consists of a hard rhyolite rock resulting in great edges and chickenheads. It is located at the town of Bernal, and so is the approach trail. It is popular with hikers and climbers alike. The slabby east face is long and fun and the NE side has a via ferrata winding to the top, making for a fun downclimb. More info can be found on xpmexico.com

Getting There 

From the town of Queretaro, drive towards Mexico City along Hwy 57 to the exit marked: Pena de Bernal. Take this road for @ 30 min to the town and the Pena is plainly visible, wander to the back of town to a parking lot and the approach trail. Hike @ 15 minutes to the slabby east face or wander to the backside routes along the rock face of choice.

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.3 miles from here

6 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Pena de Bernal:
Bernalina   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Sport, 7 pitches, 500'   
El Lado Oscuro de la Luna   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 500'   
Browse More Classics in Pena de Bernal

Featured Route For Pena de Bernal
leon islas following one of the first three pitche...

El Lado Oscuro de la Luna 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  North America : Mexico : ... : Pena de Bernal
Fun face climbing on great rock. A steeper angle than 'Bernalina' makes it feel more sporty, but it's still well under vertical, with more hand and footholds than you know what to do with. The mexican beta (xpmexico.com) claims 5.10a, which it may be, but i didn't think it was quite that burly. Other opinions would be greatly appreciated, as all my grades are only estimates. It might be even easier than 5.9, but im not comfortable downgrading the thing two grades.Roughly:Pitch 1. ~5.8 to anchors...[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of Pena de Bernal Slideshow Add Photo
view of the pena de bernal from the descent
view of the pena de bernal from the descent
Pena de Bernal, from the approach. Photo copied fr...
BETA PHOTO: Pena de Bernal, from the approach. Photo copied fr...
A view of a portion of the south face of Pena de B...
BETA PHOTO: A view of a portion of the south face of Pena de B...

Comments on Pena de Bernal Add Comment
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By Anthony Anagnostou
From: nyc
Dec 24, 2008
a little more beta, for those who find themselves wandering the central mexico rock scene. once you get to bernal, attempt the maze of uphill side streets until you find yourself at the base of the rock. a few pesos will pay the parking fees.

the via ferrata descent probably feels like 4th class on the way up, but on the way down it might get your attention if you're not on top of things. its not a via ferrata with cables, protection, etc. mostly a seriously fun down-monkeying with fattie rungs through most (but not all) of the steep sections. a 60m rope will protect the entire climbing section if you want a belayed-downclimb, or you can rappel from chains at the slabby (crux?) beginning of the descent. there is an intermediate station if rap straight down, so im assuming you could rap with one rope, but i havent tried.

i found the climbing similar to classic moderate red rock (nv) stuff, plenty of things to hold onto on the gentle climbs i played on, and the rock is solid.

there is plenty of beta (in spanish) on xpmexico.com.
click on (respectively) roca: guias, querataro, pena de bernal
By krispyyo
From: Littleton, CO
Dec 7, 2010
There's also great bouldering around the base of this. The "via ferreta" is more like low fifth class soloing with a rung every 30 feet or so. Super fun!
By Gunkswest
Jan 4, 2015
As of 01-2015, you can easily rappel straight down from the top of the via ferreta with a single 60m rope.

As of 01-2015, here's the descent from the summit of Pena de Bernal:
A) From the top of Bernalina, et al, walk past the crosses and then follow an obvious path down and left around a small cliffband.
B) Scramble down right and then left around another small cliffband to a saddle.
C) Carefully descend about 25 vertical feet down a low-angled slab from the saddle to the top of an obvious gully and the top of the via ferreta.
D) Rappel #1: At the top of the via ferreta and gully there are two sets of anchors - glued-in staples and traditional bolts with rings. Rappel straight down from either anchor, about 15-20m to a hanging rap station with traditional rings (there's no ledge at the anchor, so pre-rig some type of daisy chain/PAS so you can safely get off rappel).
E) Rappel #2: Rappel straight down to the base of the existing via ferreta (25-30m).
F) Down-climb some well-worn ledges (via ferreta rungs are missing) from the base of the via ferreta to gain the main hiking trail.
G) Walk down the main hiking trail about 5-10 minutes to regain the base of Bernalina, et al.
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