Cataviņa,La Mysteriosa-Baja Beauty Kevin Worrall Climbing 95

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WBraun

climber
Jan 2, 2011 - 10:24pm PT
The Warbler is one of the most inspiring person I ever known.

He can sniff out new routes even blindfolded.

I'm so lucky I've been around him and his incredible positive energy ....
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Jan 2, 2011 - 10:37pm PT
Credit: justthemaid



Credit: justthemaid


You mean like this ^^^^ ;) palm grove? Hard to find. Random palms in the middle of Bum fuk Egypt- desert out near the mission east of Catavina?.

Extremely beautiful desert out there. Unique in the world. I love it.


Credit: justthemaid


Mr. E working a boulder problem at the "Oasis" as I call it.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jan 2, 2011 - 10:51pm PT
That looks really cool JTM, classic Baja!

And the rock looks great. The canyons which run down to the gulf on the east side of the penninsula's crest are loaded with palms. I believe one of those canyons was a favorite cross penninsula travel route for natives.

I took a long hike in Catavina based on my hunch and found what I believe to be the point where the old trail leaves the canyon on the west side and puts the walker on the desert plateau in Catavina.

You see those palm trunks burned like that in the most remote places, and sometimes a single tree among many will be the only burned one. It sounds crazy, but a local told me that bat or bird sh#t up inside the tree's skirt combined with high temperatures can initiate spontaneous combustion.

I think trees close to the road get torched by people for entertainment, myself.

Thanks Werner, some folks think my positive attitude is just me being delusional : )

Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Jan 2, 2011 - 11:24pm PT
Thanks for the info K. Warbler :D

Say, have you, Maidy or anyone been to Bahia de Los Angeles? A great stop on the highway thru the Baja Penninsula.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Jan 2, 2011 - 11:40pm PT
Lynne- The only time I was in Bahia De Los Angeles was when I was a little kid. Most of what I remember was 100 miles of pot holes on the main highway which totally destroyed the boat trailer. Pebble beaches, big hermit crabs and lots of wind.

It's probably much much changed since then.

Warbler- I always wondered what the deal was with the burned trunks. These trees are way out in the middle of nowhere. Not near any highway. You can actually get to the mission from this spot but I hear it is a bit of a trek. There's a well in the middle full of fresh water. We used to haul a small water truck up there and fill it to haul back to Gonzaga back in the day..
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jan 3, 2011 - 12:01am PT
Well, if that's the arroyo below Santa Maria de Los Angeles, I've looked right down it from above. There are big pools of water in there and some good sized cliffs. The old Mission Trail comes up the canyon on the east side of the drainage and you can still see it although I'm sure it rarely is traveled these days.

The view I'm describing is from the very end of any semblance of road past the mission. It ends in a pass with petroglyphs on many of the small boulders, some appearing to be maps.

As I mention in my article, the road to the Mission is the worst road I have traveled in Baja. We barely made it out up the hillclimb.

You can park at the top of that hill and walk about a mile down to the Mission. There's an amazing deep swimming hole just up the arroyo at the bottom of the steep hillclimb.

And Roxjox's advice is good - I had my keys taken by a guy with a gun who claimed to be a federale. He and his buddy searched our car, and made me stand to the side, they had three mexican young men tied up in the back of their car. Don't know that an extra key would have gotten me out of the situation any better than I ultimately did, but...

Thinking about Blue Palms - The most impressive, purely Blue Palm grove I've seen was well north of Catavina, on the west side of the crest, at an oasis near Arroyo Grande, far up the drainage from El Rosario.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Jan 3, 2011 - 12:52am PT
Guess we were just lucky on our trip. No stops going from SD to Bahia de L.A. Just Federale stops by 16 year olds with machine guns on the way back to the U.S. They searched our van but didn't take anything and were polite.

The biggest buzz I experienced was in San Quentin. We were on the huge beach there pretty much by ourselves when @ 3 truck loads of field workers pulled up, the guys jumped out and relaxed on the beach and took baths in the sea.

Dan went to get some beer. While he was gone about a dozen guys came up to talk.....it was a bit scary until I realized they did just want to talk.....practice their English and find out about the States.

They gave us fresh clams they dug up on the beach which they cracked open and put hot sauce on and some of their fav music tapes. I still have them.

I'd love to go back down Highway 1 (is it ?) I think once you get past Ensenada it would be ok. Am I wrong?
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Jan 3, 2011 - 12:59am PT
Warbler: This might be the same arroyo you looked down on from above. You can access it from the east side. Some people use it as a jumping off point to hike up the steep drainage to the mission but I hear the hike is arduous and the old trail is so eroded it is difficult to find these days. Swimming hole is also accessible from here but I've never been to it or the mission. Both are definitely on the hit list.

There's a second well, closer to the ocean by Papa Fernandez's that was built by the missionaries in the 18th century that is also still in use. It is a lot farther away but was much easier to access with pack animals so it was the main water source for the missionaries. Must have taken a week to get down and back with water. Hard to imagine given the temperament of the warmer months down there.

Personally- I've never had any issues with bandits or federales. I did have a military guy kinda help himself to a couple of items during a search, but nothing of real value. A climbing partner of mine was rousted out of her campsite (near San Quintin) in the night and robbed at knife point, but they didn't hurt her physically. A (Baja/Gonzaga) neighbor had his truck stolen at gunpoint after a failed attempt to steal an airplane ended with them needing an escape vehicle. Never saw the truck again. I guess I've been lucky, but its been a lot of years since I've done any long road trips down there.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jan 3, 2011 - 01:04am PT
My neighbor's grandson and his friend were robbed and murdered while camping along the beach south of El Socorro, which is a bit south of San Quintin, and north of El Rosario

And I've heard at least three other lesser horror stories about that area.

The last time I drove by there on the highway, there was a 4x8 sheet of plywood as a sign reading "Free Camping", in English, with an arrow pointing toward the beach.


Just don't stop Lynne around the cities, and don't camp where you can be seen from the hwy. Virtually every resident of Baja I've met have been good people, but like here, there are some bad ones.
Steve Gade

climber
Los Osos, CA
Jan 8, 2011 - 07:24pm PT
I have been driving through for years on my way down to surf. This area about 6 miles ESE of Catavina has always looked promising. Anybody ever poked around up here? I figure the entire ridge is around 1000ft tall.

I was not able to upload so here is a link to the picture

http://www.mountainproject.com/images/52/50/107005250_large_946a08.jpg
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jan 8, 2011 - 10:25pm PT
I've been out there. The road to Mission Santa Maria de Los Angeles heads out that way from the airstrip in Santa Ynez. We drove off that road and up a wash that runs up into those rocks. We were driving like 50 mph on pure white sand for what seemed like a couple of miles, weaving thru palm trees and boulders making fresh tracks.

Not mowing down brush or cactus, just a sand highway in the bottom of a windy rocky canyon. Way fun!

And then we scrambled way farther into the wild after driving as far as we could. The rock's mostly so-so, the place is fantastically beautiful. We never got back to the cleanest and biggest formations back in there, but vowed to go back with a light rack to do a line we saw.

The Mission is totally worth the drive too.
Double D

climber
Jan 9, 2011 - 02:27am PT
Kevin my friend
..you rock!

Steve...thanks for posting. Great read.
Steve Gade

climber
Los Osos, CA
Jan 9, 2011 - 08:44pm PT
Here's the end of the same ridge. Thanks for the encouragement, Warbler. I'll have to sacrifice a few days of surf to broaden my horizons.
East of Catvina
East of Catvina
Credit: Steve Gade
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Jan 10, 2011 - 10:42pm PT
Baja bump
dave

climber
Earth
Jan 11, 2011 - 12:06am PT
Well since were talking big Baja cliffs, how bout that stuff just south of Loreto on the west side of the 1? I dont have pictures but there is this long escarpment that looks to be 400-600', maybe taller, hard to tell. Its long maybe a km or 2 (its been 9 years so sizes and distances could be exagerrated)and probably the craziest rattle snake territory around. Looks like sand stone but hard to tell even with binos. quien sabes?
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jan 11, 2011 - 12:21am PT
There are some fairly easy to get to crags in the bottom of the arroyos below those crags near Loreto. I believe it's all volcanic - no sandstone.

There's a real tight gorge up the drainage at the beginning of the hill climb on hwy 1 where it crosses from the gulf to Villa Insurgentes. Tried to get up there, but there was a gate saying propiedad privada.

Didn't have time to ask the local ranchers if they could work something out, but it looks interesting, and the road goes right to the start of the gorge. Check it on Google Earth. It's up the drainage from a big bridge.
dave

climber
Earth
Jan 11, 2011 - 08:23pm PT
Cool. Ya makes sense it would be Volcanic, but quite impressive looking. Im aware of this tight gorge on the way up the "pass" to ciudad insurgentes, never looked into it though always going surfing and well, thats a 1 track mind you know?

But I'll check it out on google earth, I'm re-interested, thanks!
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jan 11, 2011 - 08:44pm PT
I've been stuck in the surf rut myself in the past. You can have the best session ever down there or you can get the "Baja blowjob" all day long at the beach.

Surfing and climbing compliment each other nicely.

I believe there's a top notch sportclimbing cliff band or three hidden down there not so far from the hwy which hasn't been discovered yet.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Jan 11, 2011 - 08:51pm PT
Uhhh, Steve Gade's pics looks to be promising....Holy!!!!!
dave

climber
Earth
Jan 11, 2011 - 09:09pm PT
How far up that drainage did you look? Looks to be a couple of cliffs not to far up that are N. Facing'ish.

Whats up with La Gigant, I wish those pics were clearer? Looks intriguing as well.
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