Potrero Chico Weather During Strong El Niño?


Original Post
cliffmama · Nov 3, 2015 · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2009 · Points: 123
Any thoughts on going to Potrero Chico in Mexico during a strong El Niño winter? Is it likely to be more cold and damp than usual?
I planned to go in January, but others don't want to go because of the strong El Niño effect on the weather. I've been there when the weather sucked, and it's no fun with nothing to do in rooms without heat.

John Byrnes · Nov 4, 2015 · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 251
May I suggest a back-up plan that's not affected by El Nino?

www.climbcaymanbrac.com

Have fun wherever you go.

Joe Prescott · Nov 4, 2015 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 0
Just go to Catalunya. You can do it very cheap that time of year and have access to thousands of great limestone routes and great weather. We have been going annually for the last 5 years. You can do it for about the same price as Cayman Brac and actually get there faster! And you're in Spain!
J

John Byrnes · Nov 5, 2015 · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 251
Joe Prescott wrote: You can do it for about the same price as Cayman Brac and actually get there faster!
Interesting that you should say that. You can get to the Brac in a single day from just about anywhere in North America.

Cliff Mama is in NY; there're direct flights from JFK-GCM, she can be climbing the same day she leaves.

Joe Prescott · Nov 5, 2015 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 0
Some friends from CO and my family (from MT) were thinking of heading down to Cayman Brac this January for something different. It would be about a 28h trip for me and 24h for them and the lowest prices were around $850. We typically get to Barcelona in less than 20h for around $950-1,050. Then its a 2h drive with a rental that is less than $20/day (usually about $14/day). We rent a beautiful apartment (3 bdrm) for 16 euro/person/day in Cornudella de Montsant and have literally thousands of high quality routes within a 1/2h drive. We get an average of maybe 1-2 light rain day per 2 week trip. From NY, a direct flight to Barcelona is way cheaper and only 8.5h (9.5h return), way faster than getting to CB.

I know you're an advocate for CB and have done a lot of route development, etc, and I'd like to get down there at some point, but to make it practical for me and our group, we'd have to combine it with another trip and spend a few days at most climbing there. Plus, to accomodate us, there would have to be a lot more routes in the low 5.11 and under for it to be worth it (I don't get out a ton these days so when I go on a trip I like to get a lot of moderate mileage in, and some in our group climb about easy 5.10 max). For me, if I'm traveling that long and spending that much $$, I'd rather get a bit more of a cultural experience too.

I'm not trying to dissuade people from going there, but every time I look into it, I decide not to after weighing the pros/cons for the above reasons.

To the OP, not sure if the Iberian region will be affected by El Ni`no, and it is a great place for kids. Many easy approaches, some nice easy slab climbs, and we have even had a 14 month old there. I have some photos on a personal zenfolio site if you want to check them out (PM me).

Joe

simplyput · Nov 5, 2015 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 0
The alternative suggestions are all well and good, but does anyone have any info regarding the original question? My partner and I were planning on heading to Potrero as well around the same time and don't have the option of Spain or the Caribbean (we are poor, drive and live in the the truck).
So if anyone has any info in regards to El Nino weather in the El Potrero Chico area that would be great.

Joe Prescott · Nov 5, 2015 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 0
There are a few websites with maps with predictions if you google winter forecast for North America. I checked them out about a month ago trying to decide if I should buy a ski pass. I think there was a good one on the NOAA site? That will probably be your best bet. From what I remember, the further south, the wetter and colder. Probably better than getting individual predictions. It is a boring place if it is cold and rainy...
Joe

John Byrnes · Nov 6, 2015 · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 251
Joe Prescott wrote:Some friends from CO and my family (from MT) were thinking of heading down to Cayman Brac this January for something different. It would be about a 28h trip for me and 24h for them and the lowest prices were around $850.
Are you counting driving time on the front end? Because it's quite difficult to spend 24hrs getting to the Brac from CO unless you really try. I'm not familiar with flights out of MT.

Over the years I've flown most reasonable routes out of DEN, and it takes about 9hrs: I leave about 8am MST and arrive at 7pm EST. I just priced a trip over Xmas-New Years for $650.

I use a travel agent (yes, they still exist) because trying to piece it together yourself is really difficult: there's too many options. I suspect this is why you found such long flight times and poor prices.

Joe Prescott wrote:From NY, a direct flight to Barcelona is way cheaper and only 8.5h (9.5h return), way faster than getting to CB.
Not true, Joe. I just looked. Cayman Airways, JFK-CYB, is 7hrs and $700 (Dec 26-Jan 3). You leave 8:30am and arrive at 3:30pm, plenty of time to get in several routes before the sun sets.

If you don't fly over the holidays, I found fares as low as $258.

www.caymanairways.com

Joe Prescott wrote:to accomodate us, there would have to be a lot more routes in the low 5.11 and under for it to be worth it (I don't get out a ton these days so when I go on a trip I like to get a lot of moderate mileage in, and some in our group climb about easy 5.10 max).


This I can't help you with. The good rock on the Brac is overhanging, period. The low number of sub-5.10 routes isn't because we don't bolt them, but due to the overhanging nature of the rock.

rpc · Nov 6, 2015 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2005 · Points: 555
Joe, regarding Catalunya...do you go to Montserrat in Dec/Jan time frame? Wondering what the odds are of having climbable (i.e. dry & above freezing) conditions there that time of year.

Joe Prescott · Nov 6, 2015 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 0
We have mainly been sticking to Siurana, Margalef, Arboli and Montsant. We haven't climbed at Montserrat, but we do tour around that area on the way to and from Barcelona and other small towns on rest days. I think there are only a few days that are unclimable, if you stick to the sunny aspects. It seems like it can be pretty windy there. Worst case is that you drive a bit to hit the slightly lower elevation crags. Gas is expensive but the driving is very nice and with it getting dark early-ish, it's easy to cruise to a new area in the evening to wake up and climb at a new spot.
Joe

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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