Cataviña,La Mysteriosa-Baja Beauty Kevin Worrall Climbing 95

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The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Dec 28, 2010 - 01:56am PT
Safety wise, in the outback, either try to camp with others in a group, or hide your camp from any road, and hide your tire tracks to get there, if at all possible. This might sound extreme, but it gives you peace of mind.

Don't stop on the hwy for any reason other than emergency. Drive far enough down a side road so you can't be seen if you've gotta pee or eat something.

I don't worry much at all if I'm over 10 miles from the nearest town once I'm down below El Rosario, and off the paved road.

Don't stop to help mexican motorists flagging you down - let the Green Angels or their hermanos do that.

Avoid camping alone at spots where gringos often camp.


I've spent a lot of time down there, not so much lately, and I've heard some horror stories both second hand and directly - they all seem to have camping and a nearby population center in common.

Keep moving through the border towns. Knowing how to speak Spanish can make your trip safer too.

Juan Maderita

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Dec 28, 2010 - 02:23am PT
Klimmer,
This link provides the best answer on the safety of Mexico. Well, maybe just the funniest answer:
http://www.simplyvallarta.com/safety-of-mexico/

Otherwise, what Kevin said.
I'm at or near Cañón del Tajo a couple 1-2x per month and haven't heard of any robberies in several years.
Watusi

Social climber
Newport, OR
Dec 28, 2010 - 02:47am PT
Checking this thread... I was always psyched to see that place Kev!! I'd been to the Trono countless times and saw this article, I was also intrigued by what my Hatchett brothers had said as well. Cool to see my old friend (and employer at The Kona Bar and Grill) George Hoover in these pics!! If you run into him ever will you tell him Michael Paul sends his best!! Still love to check that place...Mi corazon es en Baja!!! :)
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Dec 28, 2010 - 09:48am PT
San Juanico.

Drive fast. Don't stop. Engage cloaking device, bring dogs, don't exude fear, have fun.

Catavina is beautiful and unique in the world. All of Baja, really.

There was a (semi)recent article about bouldering there. A few diamonds in the rough~ a Caveman meets Hueco kinda affair.


Keep searching.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Dec 28, 2010 - 11:51am PT
all those pinche point breaks look the same, Jefe - perfect!

Only went to Scorpion Bay once, and it was barley breaking at the time. I was shocked to see a guy there I had climbed with once in Yosemite over 10 years previously, and this was in 1981, before it got popular.

We kept driving, and got head high lefts at Conejo.
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Dec 29, 2010 - 03:28pm PT
Here's the video of the "Caveman meets Hueco" problem I mentioned.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzAT9TDnyfo
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Dec 29, 2010 - 03:33pm PT
That's a gnarly looking problem, Jefe. A mantle top-out to boot!
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Dec 29, 2010 - 04:21pm PT
Wow! Really impressive and beautiful problem.

If enough boulderers spent enough time in Catavina, and GPSed all the best stuff...

Tendon

Boulder climber
Fort Collins, CO
Dec 29, 2010 - 05:37pm PT
Thats the best boulder in catavina. very very atypical.
We looked around for 5 days over the course of that trip.
Saw thousands and thousands of boulders.
10% can be climbed on, 5% might actually be worth climbing on,
and less than 1% of those climbs are worth the drive down there.

Tons of rocks but lots and lots of choss....just go to Jtree IMO.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Dec 29, 2010 - 05:44pm PT
As I wrote in my article, to paraphrase, if 1 out of 10,000 boulders has a classic problem with a good landing, there should be about 1,000 good problems in the Catavina area.

I've probably spent 60 to 80 days exploring Catavina over a period of 30 years, and I don't begin to think I have seen it all.
Scole

Trad climber
San Diego
Jan 1, 2011 - 07:59pm PT
Credit: Scole
Credit: Scole
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 1, 2011 - 08:05pm PT
Ocotillo y quien sabe?
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jan 1, 2011 - 10:08pm PT
Es un Cardon, Esteban, el cactu mas alto de los desiertos de Baja California, a vezes creciendo a una altura de casi veinte metros.
Watusi

Social climber
Newport, OR
Jan 1, 2011 - 11:17pm PT
Yeah that's a pretty baddass looking problem! :)
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jan 1, 2011 - 11:30pm PT
That boulder is actually 40 ft tall, Mike
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jan 1, 2011 - 11:31pm PT
That boulder is actually 40 ft tall, Mike
Watusi

Social climber
Newport, OR
Jan 2, 2011 - 02:22am PT
I've seen your awesome shot of this super arete Kevin, forgot the name but it looked 5 star!
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Jan 2, 2011 - 11:39am PT
Thanks for posting this Steve. My family has a home just over the mountain on the Cortez side. I've long been aware of the climbing over there but never actually had the time, opportunity or partners wiling to stop and check it out.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Jan 2, 2011 - 09:15pm PT
Catavina is truly beautiful....I think the blue palms are native only to that area of Mexico. One thing that was a little crazy while hiking, climbing around were the roaming cattle. Some had pretty good "racks". Kinda scary. :D
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jan 2, 2011 - 10:18pm PT
Lynne,

This is from Baja California Plant Field Guide by Norman C Roberts. A must have book for anybody interested in the natural penninsula:


Erythea (Brahea) Armata. Blue Fan Palm. Mexican blue Fan Palm. Palma Ceniza. Palma Azul.

...Endemic to BC, the Blue Fan Palm occurs on desert slopes, canyons and arroyos near water from San Ignacio north to Catavina....They continue north from Catavina on the eastern side of the divide into the Sierra Juarez at lower elevations almost to the international border.


There is an arroyo northeast of the main boulderfield in Catavina about 5miles east of the highway which is accessed by a little dirt road which is tricky to find. It dead ends where a narrow canyon flows out into the desert, and it's full of big Blue Palms. They are spread out all over the rocky terrain even hundreds of yards above the watercourse.

East of the town of Catavina, on the road to Mission santa Maria de Los Angeles are many arroyos winding deep into the rocky sierra packed with Mexican Blue Palms.

Most beautiful desert country. I brought a baby Blue Palm home from there that lives in my front yard.

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