Ranch Party & Climb Cañón El Tajo / Trono Blanco, Baja


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Juan Maderita

Trad climber
"OBcean" San Diego, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 5, 2019 - 07:36pm PT
Climbing, Camping, Party!
Announcing a climbing weekend Friday 26 April through Sunday 28 April, 2019. Camping and party at Rancho El Topo in the Sierra de Juárez. We will climb at Rancho El Topo and at Cañón El Tajo. This invitation is open to all climbers and their families. Hosted by John S. (AKA: Juan Maderita on SuperTopo) and Rancho El Topo.

The purpose is to have fun and make new friends at a gathering of climbers from all of Baja California and San Diego. We will also share ideas and information about preserving the natural environment at Cañón El Tajo. The number of climbers and groups of adventure tourism are increasing exponentially in recent years. This may be a good place to meet and plan for the future ethical use of the wilderness.

Please, camping will be at Rancho El Topo only! This is to minimize the environmental impact of a large group at Cañón El Tajo. We will share rides to Tajo for climbing on Saturday and Sunday. Camping at Rancho El Topo is 100 pesos per person per night (no cost for children under 10 years). The rustic barn has been reserved for our group. There are 10 small rustic “hotel” rooms for sleeping in the barn, 600 pesos for both nights. There are shared bathrooms and showers. There is also a very large open room with tables for dining or dancing. If you want a room in the old barn, please contact me in advance to reserve it. Most people will camp in tents with their vehicles, under the pine trees.

My bar will be set up at the ranch, the “Base Camp Cantina” with a large supply of tequila. When I have an idea of how many people will attend, and if there is interest, we might have our hosts, Ricardo Sandoval and family, make a Saturday night dinner and/or Sunday morning breakfast. 160 pesos (approx. $8.50) each.

The outdoor climbing wall will be open for our use, to lead the routes or to top-rope. These 10m routes are very easy 5.0 to intermediate 5.10a. Children ages 5 and older also enjoy the easier routes. Extra harnesses and climbing shoes of all sizes are available.
We will share rides to the climbing area at Cañón El Tajo (5 miles distance). Those of us with experience there will give information about the routes. We can provide guiding for beginners on several easy routes. There is hiking for family members who do not climb, with a mirador of the desert.

We will have a slackline or two. A fire juggler will perform on Saturday night. Perhaps a slide show/climbing movie on an outdoor screen.

El Topo is a working cattle ranch. The children will enjoy the horses, burros, and baby mules (bring carrots). Horseback riding is available. There is a little lake on the ranch among the pine trees and granite boulders which is a good destination for a two-hour ride, 400 pesos. If you want to ride, please contact me. If there is enough interest, I will arrange with the Sandovals for some group rides.

The elevation is approximately 1550m (5,000'). Day time temperatures should be good. Nights may be cold at this elevation in April. We will have a campfire at night. Perhaps we will have some entertainment also.
Rancho El Topo is located 3 km west of the road between La Rumorosa (highway 2) and Laguna Hanson/Parque Nacional. From La Rumorosa, turn right just past the KM 35 sign. Go west approximately 2 km, then turn left. South 1 km to the gate. Parking and camping at the ranch are safe and secure. See the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RanchoElTopoSierraDeJuarez/

I will have more information as the plans develop. Please contact me if you plan to attend.
Saludos, John S. – E-Mail: ClimbBaja(at)aol[dot]com

edited to add:
Just wanting folks to have a good time; not for my profit. Although any money made by the ranch on camping, horseback riding and food will help the ranch and pay for alfalfa for the horses.

Graded dirt road leads to the ranch, 25 miles south of the highway 2. 2WD, no extra clearance needed.

A long way from where I started
Apr 5, 2019 - 08:05pm PT
John -- sorry that I can't make it to your fest. Not just because it sounds like a fine time, but because, for the last 11 years, I think of you every time we go new-routing. Yup, I followed the directions you posted in 2008 for converting a standard Bosch hammer drill to run on SLA batteries.

Still using it -- as recently as three days ago on a cliff on the BC coast.

Best wishes for your party/climbfest.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Apr 5, 2019 - 08:24pm PT
Wow, this sounds fantastic! Anyone from my area going? I can drive or whatever.....
Juan Maderita

Trad climber
"OBcean" San Diego, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 5, 2019 - 08:25pm PT
Ghost, sorry that you can't make it down from BC to the other BC (Baja California).
Glad to hear that the instructions for the Bosch battery conversion helped.
Have you seen my instructions (2015) for an upgrade to lithium iron batteries? 10 amp hours and a weight savings of more than 50% over 7.0 Ah SLA batteries!
A little pricey (approx. $200), but works fantastic.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Apr 5, 2019 - 08:42pm PT
Man, so wish I could go. Been wanting to get to Canon Tajo since the 80s.

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Apr 6, 2019 - 11:23am PT
bump for cool thread invite

Big Wall climber
Apr 6, 2019 - 12:04pm PT
This sounds like mega fun! I must see if I can arrange to get the dates free from work.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 6, 2019 - 03:13pm PT
There can be only JUAN!
Sure to be an epic fun weekend and kudos for opening the invitation up.
Make sure somebody wanders around with their phone camera engaged.
Cheers Man!

Trad climber
Apr 8, 2019 - 04:33pm PT
Make sure someone gets on "Holy Guacamole".

from out where the anecdotes roam
Apr 8, 2019 - 06:05pm PT
"flat out guacamole?" never again.

forty years ago, had to have it. 10 minute struggle, eh?
testosterone driven obsession. taught me mostly about myself ...
there's a whole story, maybe some day i'll get a notion.

but not would work too

Trad climber
Apr 9, 2019 - 08:44pm PT
Lots of great times there starting in the 70’s
It’s been awhile since I’ve climbed there. Bummed I won’t be able to make this.
Thanks for getting this going John
Juan Maderita

Trad climber
"OBcean" San Diego, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 16, 2019 - 01:04am PT
Lynne (and others?),
I'm working on arrangements for a caravan from the USA to the ranch, after work hours on Friday the 26th. I will be at the ranch before noon to start setting up, so can't lead the caravan myself.
If anyone is uncertain about directions, navigating the dirt roads at night, or simply driving in Mexico, let me know.
Mexican car insurance can be purchased online https://www.bajabound.com/

Sorry that you can't make it.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Apr 16, 2019 - 01:50pm PT
I'm bummed, it's not looking good for me. I forgot I have a writers conference already booked for that week. :(((
Juan Maderita

Trad climber
"OBcean" San Diego, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 21, 2019 - 09:15pm PT
A surprisingly light response from gringo climbers for this event.
Only one week away. The weather forecast looks perfect.

Plans include:
Climbing at Cañón El Tajo, 5.4 to 5.11 on superb granite crags.
Outdoor climbing wall at the ranch. 35' lead or top-rope.
A slackline will be set up.
Free margaritas Saturday night.
Traditional beef birria dinner Saturday (optional, $8.50)
Fire juggler and African drums.
Climbing movie and/or slideshow of Canyon Tajo climbing.
Tequila shots around the campfire.
Horseback riding (optional, $22 for two hours)
Machaca con huevo ranch breakfast Sunday. (optional, $8.50)


Ice climber
Apr 21, 2019 - 09:23pm PT
I so seldom go South that I do not even have a passport anymore.

Maybe next time.


Trad climber
Spokane, WA
Apr 22, 2019 - 05:58am PT

Unfortunately I'm still up in Spokane and will have to miss your event. I'm sure it will be a fun time in what I know to be a very beautiful setting. There is a better chance that you might see me down there next year as I'll be migrating a bit further South soon and it won't be quite the drive.

Have fun and enjoy the party!

Eric Barrett
Spokane WA

from out where the anecdotes roam
Apr 22, 2019 - 07:00am PT
for a decade i been sayin' "maybe i should get a passport." yup, shoulda

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Apr 22, 2019 - 11:46am PT
Wish I could go. Baja is so amazing.

It'd be great to have both Californias secede from their respective nations and join forces.

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Apr 23, 2019 - 12:25am PT
sending you a PM!
Juan Maderita

Trad climber
"OBcean" San Diego, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 23, 2019 - 01:18am PT
Is this Cam? If so, I got your e-mail. If not Cam, the PM function does not work. E-mail to: ClimbBaja(at)aol[dot]com

Haven't seen you there since the late 1970s! Get that passport!

Not sure if our paths have ever crossed, though we've had numerous similar experiences & places, as I recall reading from your posts over the years. Well, another time then...

Moving south? Back to California, or?? Perhaps this Rancho el Topo party will become an annual event.

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