Type: Sport, 2800 ft, 28 pitches, Grade VI
FA: Bert van Lint, Peter Baumeister, Lucas Laeser
Page Views: 9,770 total · 94/month
Shared By: Laeserguns on Sep 8, 2010
Admins: Ricardo Orozco, Rudy Peckham

You & This Route

3 Opinions

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The biggest most bad ass "sport" route ever!


All you need is loads of draws and big guns! A portaledge will make your journey more comfortable for parties of two or more. Most plan for three days on the wall breaking the route into three chunks. First day gets you established on the route, on the easier low angle pitches( harder hauling) with time to climb the first two cruxy pitches. Day two delivers you at the critter bivy after some nice climbing, multiple cruxy pitches and some traversing. Day three beats you down from the start with back to back hard pitches until you reach the final jug haul to the summit.


This route is as good as it gets for big-wall adventure climbing! The rock quality is incredible and each pitch whether its 5.13 or 5.11 is thought provoking. Thanks to Luke Laser and crew for all of the effort it took to put up this awesome route.

The approach beta is somewhat complicated depending on the status of your car -- The road to the top of El Gigante is a burly 4*4 road that has a few stream crossings and some pretty steep sections with rocks. A good truck will make it for sure. The way that we did it was to hire a local to drop us off with a pick up date. This seemed like a great way to go because you get to support the locals which is much appreciated. We meet this very helpful local named Fernando who is the owns the San Lorenzo Ranch just outside of Basaseachi. He is the guy to connect if you are planning a trip -- He has great camping at his place, lots of info, knows all the locals and is just a great guy to hang with. This is the facebook page where you can contact him -- facebook.com/sanlorenzobasa…

The hike down to the base of the face takes about 3/4 hours depending if you stick the right descent gully. From where the road ends there is an obvious camp site with a fire ring, this is where the trail to the descent gully starts. Head out on the overgrown road for about 150 yards past the fire ring to a "pine needle" ridge that drops off the trail to the left. We left some cairns to mark a few tricky sections. Once you drop down angle towards the right to the start of a steep gully -- if you look for it you will find steep switchbacks that lead down this section. At the bottom of the steep gully you will be dried up drainage with water polished boulders. There are some cairns that are scattered all the way down the drainage. There are a few sections that you need to do some down climbing and there is a fixed rope on one section. The drainage will drop you at this amazing stream with great views. There is a nice trail from here to the base -- There is some bushwhacking to get the start but other than that the trail is good.

The route is easy to find and once you are on it there is really no way to get off route. All the anchors are bolted. No gear is needed. There are two ledges to bivy on -- The Tower of Power on top of pitch 8 which is an ok bivy for 2. The Critter bivy is the top of pitch 18 and is a great ledge.

Pitch 13 has several holds that have broken and is much harder now. I thought it was 13a/b with a very short but powerful crux section. Other than that all the grades seemed fairly right on.

GET ON IT!!! Mar 6, 2014
brooklyn, ny
Danny   brooklyn, ny
This is a truly world class route with fantastic climbing. I think a majority of the individual pitches would be classics at any sport crag, and it's certainly unique to climb a 2800' wall with a rack of draws. The climb is indeed engaging and not particularly quick. Doing the route in a day without any fore knowledge would be very hard. It'll be a cool achievement when someone pulls that off. I think a 5.12 climber could enjoy this route. The 5.13 cruxes are short lived, easy to pull through, and not especially hard for the grade.

A few notes:

HK's beta worked well. Rafael is the guy that Fernando will hook you up with for a ride. We paid him $150 for the ride in and out. It all seemed relatively easy logistically, even without proper Spanish.

The area did not strike me as dangerous at all. The grow field at the base was inactive, but Fernando assured us that the people that operate these fields are simply farmers, and are used to the occasional hiker and climber passing through their fields. This is a beautiful part of Mexico. A bivy outside of El Paso Texas seemed like the sketchiest part of the trip. There was so much gunfire it felt like we were in an Iraqi war zone.

The best season for this route is probably October to March. It even seemed a hint warm in early December.

The bivies line up perfectly to do the route in three days and two nights on the wall. That said, the first bivy has one good spot and one that is very tight, unless you're teeny tiny. A strong team, (or one that's not especially concerned with sending) should consider going all the way from the ground to the Critter bivy atop pitch 18 on day one.

We rapped the route in about 5.5 hours. I think this makes a lot of sense as you can stash water and food at the Critter Bivy, and Tower of Power Bivy. This makes the hauling easier. It's easy to find the top of the route; it's 15 meters from the summit of El Gigante, out on a little point. Dec 9, 2017
The only truly tricky part of the rappel is around pitch 13. Be sure to rap hard to skiers left from a midway anchor in pitch 14 to the anchor atop pitch 11. This makes it possible to avoid rapping the "Lichen traverse" on pitch 12, which I can say from experience is a real pain. You will need to put in some directionals on pitch 10 to get into the anchor.

Bringing some extra cord, and Quicklinks, or just extra biners and slings, to upgrade some of the rappels would probably be a good idea.

Arroyo El Durazno was the best cragging area around Baseachic. Lots of good routes in the 5.12 to 13+ range. Dec 9, 2017
Aaron Formella
Atascadero, CA
Aaron Formella   Atascadero, CA
"a 60-meter rope, 20 draws and a few slings will do." "...you don’t need a single piece of traditional gear for the entire 1,000 meters."
- Hayden Kennedy via his article, "The Day We Sent Logical Progression" Jul 1, 2018
Max Tepfer
Bend, OR
Max Tepfer   Bend, OR
Such a fun line! It's crazy how many outstanding pitches are stacked one atop the other. The way to overcome the broken 13a/b crux of the 'short, steep, and brown' pitch that Hayden describes is to traverse left after clipping the first bolt on the vertical face and climb generally left of the arete. The rap beta Josh posted is slightly off. It works best to rap the lichen traverse from the anchor at the top of P13 instead of the midway anchor on P14. I've also got a gpx file to get from the end of the road to the top of El Gigante. PM me if you're interested. Lastly, don't expect to see nearly any sun the entire time on the route. In December we found partial sun on only the last 200'.

Also, pitches 5-6 and 7-8 combine well. Some of the topos are muddled on the last 3 pitches and the best way to do it is to link the two 5.10 pitches listed in the original topo. This puts you at the last anchor before the angle rolls over and the hauling will really start to suck. Jan 1, 2019
To echo the above sentiments: high quality rock climbing for pitch, after pitch, after pitch….!!

A couple more logistical tidbits:
If you are driving down, get a vehicle license ahead of time online (at a minimum 7 days prior), which will save you from standing in line at the Banjercito south of the border. Also be sure to return it on the way out of the country. Overall, we didn’t encounter any trouble, but the consensus from tourists and locals alike was to not drive at night, especially on the mountain roads between Hermosillo/Baseaseachi/Chihuahua.

At the end of the 4x4 road/drop-off zone, walk about 1 mile to the summit of El Gigante, which is NW along the ridgeline. We opted to walk to the summit and rap in instead of approaching from the base. This allowed us to stash water/food and avoid hauling for the first 8 pitches (since we spent the first night at the Tower of Power bivy).

For the climbing, bring shoes that are good at edging and smearing! And have fun :) Jan 4, 2019