El Gran Trono Blanco


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San Clemente, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 10, 2007 - 05:44pm PT
I have been surfing the web for any info on this area and have only been able to piece together the driving directions. My partner and I are heading down on a recon mission for climbing the Grand Girraffe early next year and would like to climb somthing a little less comitting while we are there. Would the Pan Am route be a good choice? I don't know, I have not seen any topo for the routes. Is there a book on the area I should buy?? I have a map of Baja. Is this area still top secret? Will the banditos torch my car?? ;)
Any info is much appreciated as we are leaving first thing in the morning. Cheerz! Gabe
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Dec 10, 2007 - 06:25pm PT
Beta for "The Throne" is hard to come by. Hopefully you will run into locals at the parking/camping area. Do the "South Face" IV 5.10-, "Happy Hooker" IV 5.10- A? (one aid pitch), "La Jolla" IV 5.11-, or "The Pan Am Wall" IV or V 5.10 A2/3, all are good.
Banditos are super rare down there but anytime one travels in northern Mex robbery is a remote possibility. There have been maybe one or two incidences there in the last 25 years.
It is an awesome area and adventure is guaranteed. The first time I went down there we didn't even find the place.
Good luck.

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Dec 10, 2007 - 06:40pm PT
some info here in the bigwalls.net wiki:

Big Wall climber
Blue Jay, California
Dec 10, 2007 - 06:48pm PT
Ohhh the joy of obscurity…

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Dec 10, 2007 - 06:49pm PT
Didn't Largo do the FA of the Giraffe? I thought I read a story he wrote about it, kind of an epic!

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Dec 10, 2007 - 06:57pm PT
What the heck, the San Diego boys will kill me (sorry Watusi), but it's such a good adventure, here ya go:

overall map:
my map, circa 1993, things probably will have changed:
the Y mentioned in the map above:
you've arrived! (at the top):
you've arrived! (at the bottom):
get climbing:

right here, right now
Dec 10, 2007 - 07:10pm PT
That's it Deuce!
You've blown the secret code.
Dispatching banditos to your location now...

Trad climber
Boulder Colorado
Dec 10, 2007 - 08:23pm PT
never forget the time I drove down there
in this van w/ three San Diego madmen...was Behay there?
the driver is drunk,
rough washed out dirt roads nighttime driving too fast and...
the hole the van went in beached us good,ka bam!
next day we were hosed
these Ranchers show up,
no habla too much english either but
man, what super guys!
jeepers they get down in the mud w/
their clean rancher shirts and we
all dig, then pulled us w/ their 4x4

climbing down there might hold adventure
great place
John Vawter

Social climber
San Diego
Dec 10, 2007 - 08:47pm PT
By the way, it's just Giraffe, not Grand Giraffe. I think there's a pretty good topo on Deuce's site.

P.S. Deuce, that last photo of the roof belay at the end of P3 on Giraffe is reversed.

Trad climber
San Diego CA
Dec 10, 2007 - 09:29pm PT
Raydog, I missed that one. The 'ol '69 VW Bus never got stuck, drunk or not. Neither did the '65 Le Mans I was sportin' on my first trips down there. Could it be the driver, perhaps? BH
Ricardo Carlos

Trad climber
Off center, CO.
Dec 10, 2007 - 10:21pm PT
My first time down there forget about the banditos ! One of the posters above with another guide Book author told us we were on the wrong side of the mountain and that they were just backpackers.
Lucky one of the guy’s recognized MR Guide Book Author.
Still epic we missed a turn, HA yer lucky if you only miss one. We ended up axel deep and stuck in the mud.
We started out in two cars one truck, abandoning one car at the boarder and one after getting un stuck in the river bed.
If they look like climbers and say they are going to Laguna Hansen beware.
As for the map it probably only has half the forks marked besides another third you do not see till heading home.

Trad climber
Boulder Colorado
Dec 10, 2007 - 10:39pm PT
"Could it be the driver, perhaps? "

it was Dan Curley driving...and swilling with gusto!
Roch Horton was there...in the van when Curley hit that hole
and nearly rolled it, KA BAM...hahaha! true.

I'd just got a dbl set of friends,
tried em that trip.

Cardiff by the sea
Dec 10, 2007 - 10:41pm PT

Hey Gabe stop off at my place in Cardiff on your way down I will give you good topos for both the Girraffe and the Pan AM, also have one for an obscure route called Leaving on a jet plane. I literally live minuts off the freeway on your way down. Where in San Clemente do you live we are almost neighbors.

Best Regards

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Dec 11, 2007 - 12:03am PT
Blast you for posting this, now I have to add another trip to my tic list. This looks way cool, what is the water/camping situation? My guess is remote, camp anywhere and bring water??

San Clemente, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 11, 2007 - 01:01am PT
hey guys big thanks to JM t2 and everyone else for the info on the GTB.cheers gabe

Trad climber
Dec 11, 2007 - 01:19am PT
I would love to visit there again. Don't have any info other than that hand-drawn map looks about right. I have one stashed away that is similar. I was sworn to burn it after our trip, but heck no, I saved it and never told a soul, until now!

It was eerie creepy, no one around but us, the snakes and some big-ass sounding cat in the night. Found a couple of sport routes that were way hard not too far from camp. Where we camped, you hiked out to the wall and probably 3/4 of it fell away below you.
This is an 18 year old memory.

Really pretty place.
Juan Maderita

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Dec 11, 2007 - 01:47am PT
It just snowed there yesterday. It should melt quickly, and it should be good hiking weather for a recon.
The Pan American route would be just as committing as the Giraffe in terms of logistics. It would however, get you familiar with both the approach to the east face and the descent route. Plan on multi-day. Portaledge recommended.

While you are there, one of the routes on the South Face would be good if the wind is calm. I'd suggest the South Face grade IV, 5.10c, with the direct Baile del Sol .10b (R-rated) finish.
La Joya, IV, .11 a/b would also be a good choice. If you are fast (days are short in December), then El Milenio, IV, .11c, 15 pitches, offers mixed crack and friction.

No guidebook. No rescue protocol. Rescues are now in the hands of the Mexican government, and USA agencies will not assist w/o a formal request (after the Mexican authorities eventually admit they haven't the resources).

Bandidos have been increasingly hitting tourists in northern Baja, primarily on the Pacific coast. The last armed robbery in base camp was 1996. There were several car burglaries, but none known in the past 4 years. Vehicles were torched, probably by pot growers, in the lower canyons of the Sierra de Juarez; none known in the past few years. There have been some armed robbrtirs about 15 miles south, in the Parque Nacional. Don't panic if you are stopped by soldiers with M16s. They're the good guys. (Unless you are holding, which is felony-stupid in Mexico).

Let us know how your recon trip goes.
Buenas suerte,

right here, right now
Dec 11, 2007 - 02:05am PT
Happy adventures Gabe!

Me 'n "E", at the base of the Pan Am in '78 about ready to bail due to impending weather:

But it turned out OK:

It's a long way down:


Social climber
Newport, OR
Dec 11, 2007 - 02:36am PT
My best to all that go to visit this wild place...I have a love for this area to be sure!!!

Dec 11, 2007 - 11:22am PT
Throne sunrise.

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