Trip Report
Potrero Chico Honeymoon - Jan 2012
Wednesday January 25, 2012 12:13am
El Potrero Chico. Mexico, January, 2012 Mr.E & JTM honeymoon

At last the long-awaited honeymoon. Mr.E and I married in September and with our busy work schedules - had barely laid eyes on each other since. E was starting to wonder if he'd married a figment of his imagination. We blow out of LA the day after New Year eager to spend some time together.

AeroMexico sucks BTW. They ended up being our biggest bogie on this trip. F*#ked it up both going and returning. Going- the plane never showed. Missed connecting flight (of course) half a day was lost. Returning - Mr.E's name wasn't on the registration at all. By the time they straightened it out we got dumped in Mexico City and ended up sitting on our asses, all day waiting for a connecting flight. Our greatest fear... not that we would be killed by marauding Mexican drug-lords, but that we would be left to die in some Aeropuerto-Purgatory/Hell while waiting for a connecting flight to the Twilight Zone. I'll get to my observations about the Mexico City Airport later... but I digress. Back to the climbing.

We eventually got to Monterrey, Magic Ed found us and drove us out to a house we rented. We woke to magnificent, tall limestone. Bolted multi-pitch on finger-friendly rock. Sport-climbers paradise and the perfect place to get back on the rock after a 6 month hiatus. It was all good. We climbed like crazy. Ended up doing a total of 68 pitches (on 57 separate routes) in 11 days.

OK- less writing more pics:

2000 feet of bolted limestone awaited...


El Potrero Chico:

View from our back porch.

Credit: justthemaid

Potrero Chico Entrance
Potrero Chico Entrance
Credit: justthemaid

Credit: justthemaid

Moon setting in the morning light:

Credit: justthemaid


The house we rented. Nice kitchen & scalding hot showers, but the place was a refrigerator and impossible to get warm. A glass baking pan they had provided literally exploded on us one night. We were really hungry and it smelled really good, so we picked our veggies out the shrapnel and ate it anyway.


Credit: justthemaid


Getting our feet wet. 1st few days we stuck to easy climbing.

Jungle Wall: We did the 1st three pitches of Yankee Clipper (5.10b) , Space Boys (5.9+) and Las Chimuelas (5.9)

Credit: justthemaid

Mr. E
Mr. E
Credit: justthemaid

Magic Ed route marker. I started off thinking these were lame, but I'm a convert. Every route, everywhere should have one. It's so convenient when you don't have to actually figure sh#t out. ;) We also noticed that the hangars on the long routes had reflective tape on the top-sides to facilitate night rapping.

Credit: justthemaid

Weather was cold much of the time we were there so we spent a considerable amount of days camped out on the south-facing Mota Wall. All of the climbs were excellent. We worked that wall over. Climbed every route under 5.11. I'm no 5.11 climber but I even managed an 11b (Flaming Bearded Lady)one day. The ratings are a bit soft but hey... I'll take it.

Erik onsighting (Flaming Bearded Lady)11b

Credit: justthemaid


Mota Wall:

Credit: justthemaid

Mr.E- Onsighting Onward Through the Fog 5.11c not a great pic, but he was super excited!

Credit: justthemaid

Obligatory muppet-hair-shot

Credit: justthemaid


The spires are a prominent double-spire in the center of the Potrero

1st day we were there some guys set up a slack-line between them.

Credit: justthemaid

We did some climbing on the south side. Mr. E had his 50th birthday while we were there. This is him- heading up Young Crankenstein 5.11d on his birthday. The crux spit him off so it took a nice whip and a hang but he managed it.

Credit: justthemaid

After the spires we headed up to the Outrage Wall.

Credit: justthemaid

Shot of the Spires from the Outrage Wall (Mota/Mileski wall in the background):


Credit: justthemaid


Strange ocher dirt at the base of the Outrage Wall- probably dug out of the mine. Me ID-ing Little Route, Big Tufa 10c


Credit: justthemaid


Obligatory Phallic tufa-shot: Ride-em-cowboy!


Credit: justthemaid


Every three days or so we'd take a walk into town. It was about an hour each direction. Farmer's market two days a week to pick up fresh veggies and Snickers. That road into town is LONG. The rest-days spent in the refrigeration unit, playing cards and reading got a bit maddening at times but it was nice to spend some quality time with my man. I'll add here.. we had no internet, no computer, no TV or movies, no phone and no car for two whole weeks. We both plowed through like four books each.


"Princess" the complimentary dog that came with the rental:

Credit: justthemaid

Local donkey that was saw hauling huge sacks up and down the road every day:

Credit: justthemaid

Long road to town. Just in case you don't know what a mountain is... I'm pointing at one.

Credit: justthemaid


Mr E visited El Potrero 10 years ago back in it's heyday. His observation was that it was basically a ghost town by comparison these days because of all the negative press. Really only one campground for 99% of the climbers. On the up-side there was less fighting for routes and we only had one French Canadian kick rocks down on us. Damn Quebec-ies.


Busy climbing day at the Wonder Wall:

Credit: justthemaid


Clipping Mexi-mank. Old ring bolt. 1st modern bolt was like 30 feet off the ground so we took it.

Credit: justthemaid


Das Mr.E "Coach" as I always call him when he wears the stripey-shirt.

Credit: justthemaid

Stone sitting man we found at the base of a climb:

Credit: justthemaid


We took a long trek up to the tippy-top of the cliff-line above the Milesky Wall one day. Were looking for some crack-climb. Since there were no magic Ed markers up there we of course were dorks and couldn't find it, but it's not a true Mr.E/Maidy epic unless we bushwhack (through cactus or something appropriatly spiney) for an hour looking for a route. We looked like we had been ambushed by a pack of chupacabras after that hike. The trip felt more complete after that.

Shot at the top of the hill. Me and E:

Credit: justthemaid


Cemetery in Hidalgo:

Credit: justthemaid

On the trip back, as I mentioned, we had to fly south to Mexico city to get north to our destination. (Meh) . As we were finally boarding our now-extended flight, the airport ugliness finally got to me.

Credit: justthemaid

I turned to E and blurted out:

"Let's blow this colander!"

We both were laughing hysterically as we boarded.









































  Trip Report Views: 3,137
justthemaid
About the Author
justthemaid is a climber from Jim Henson's Basement.

Comments
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yo

climber
Mudcat Spire
  Jan 25, 2012 - 12:23am PT
"Let's blow this colander!"


lmao
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
  Jan 25, 2012 - 12:24am PT
Yay Skip & Eric!!! Congrats and what a great trip. I gotta get down there. Looks super fun.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
  Jan 25, 2012 - 12:26am PT
thanks for the TR, yet another place to go that I haven't been to

and I like Mexico, even Mexico City in it's own way... but I don't remember the airport, the times I've been we had some wicked parties the night before and all I remember is how green everything looked
rhyang

climber
SJC
  Jan 25, 2012 - 12:32am PT
Looks like a fun destination ! And congrats to the two of you !
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
  Jan 25, 2012 - 12:32am PT
Just fantastic....awesome....good for you guys....wonderful....thanks for sharing...
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Jan 25, 2012 - 12:36am PT
Yay! Looks like you had fun, and I'm glad.

If it could be like that I might think about getting married again, ...couple details to work out first though...
S.Leeper

Social climber
somewhere that doesnt have anything over 90'
  Jan 25, 2012 - 01:05am PT
thanks for the excellent pictures and TR!
Glad to hear people are still going to the potrero, despite the press.
tasty limestone!!
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
  Jan 25, 2012 - 01:19am PT
well, this is an OUTSTANDING TR! It's got everything: funny, great pictures, lots like fabulous climbing, the stone man, the rental dog, big hair -- thanks!
BrassNuts

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
  Jan 25, 2012 - 01:31am PT
Looks like a great honeymoon! Glad you guys had fun down there, we miss that place. Did you see a lot of soldiers? Were there any problems in Hidalgo?
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Jan 25, 2012 - 01:40am PT
I'll add here.. we had no internet, no computer, no TV or movies, no phone and no car for two whole weeks. We both plowed through like four books each.

So thatís what happens on honeymoons! I had no idea.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Author's Reply  Jan 25, 2012 - 09:24am PT
I should really thank our friends who came to our Yosemite Facelift wedding here. (wedding link: http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1615553/Just-the-Maid-and-Mr-E-wedding )Your contributions to the honeymoon fund made this entire trip possible and we are really grateful for the opportunity to travel. Thank You!

@Anders: Er... yeah. That's what people do on honeymoons...er .. when they aren't doing...er...other stuff ;)

@BrassNuts: Hidalgo and the Potrero felt very safe to me. No soldiers. Most of the drama seems to be happening in Monterrey and the cities that are located more on the main-line for drug trafficking. Every local we met was polite and uber-friendly. Tourism is down so much I sort of felt like they were being protective of the climbers. We saw ZERO drug use by climbers BTW (in stark contrast to a decade ago) - seems like the tourists are doing their best to discourage that element as well. Magic Ed offers an airport taxi-service for climbers, so we were picked up the minute the plane landed in Monterrey.

Art and airport critiques to come....
sullly

Gym climber
  Jan 25, 2012 - 09:20am PT
Great TR. Good to see you're no longer injured, pulling 5.11s. I guess renting a place instead of camping spares you the horrors Cr. & Brass experienced last year.
couchmaster

climber
  Jan 25, 2012 - 09:30am PT
Awesome stuff all the way around! Woot!


Thanks for sharing it.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Author's Reply  Jan 25, 2012 - 09:36am PT
Er... I pulled like...one 5.11. I just dangled like a fish on all the others.

I thought of Crimpie and Brass while we were there. Now which palm-tree is the romantic proposal tree? I know they had some difficulties last trip. You do wonder about the folks who-tent camp.


Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jan 25, 2012 - 09:47am PT
Great Honey moon and TR, Thanks for bringing us along.

Loved the Ride em cowboy tufa!!!
MisterE

climber
Bishop, CA
  Jan 26, 2012 - 11:10pm PT
OK, I feel obliged to chime in here...

It was quite different in Hidalgo than it was 10 years ago when I was there. I like the new, quieter Potrero Chico! Also, nobody was using drugs this trip. I talked to a few climbers, and the word at the crags was they considered the Mexi Brown "Blood Weed", indicating an awareness for the social and human costs of the drug wars that was great to see.

Casa Tamo was really nice, the south-facing deck was a great spot to stretch and wake up every morning:

Skip warming up for the day
Skip warming up for the day
Credit: MisterE

The kitchen area at Casa Tamo:

Nice kitchen at our rental
Nice kitchen at our rental
Credit: MisterE

Every day we would be forced to observe this "art" on the wall of the casa:

Credit: MisterE

so we decided we would make a regular habit of critiquing the piece.
From our notes:

"Mother pot expels babies from her womb, still attached by the umbilical string."

"Mother Spain spills forth her Spanish colors - the cord represents the tie of Christianity still held. The band of gold represents the power of Spanish gold ultimately shackeling all resistance."

"The juxtaposition of pots coming out of pots, and there is a certain tension created with the poor knot-work, speaking of letting go at any moment."

"The bleeding pot of revolt spills forth cups of dissent."

OK, enough bad art commentary. I will let Skip comment on the Mexico City airport...I got some photo-shopping to do.








Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
  Jan 25, 2012 - 10:10am PT
Nice time! Glad it went almost perfectly well. Also happy to see you weren't camping with the Federalies/Army/masked men with big guns. Sure gave a different feeling to the Potrero when they were there.

The palm tree is on the top of Las Estrellas. Going in, it's high on the left. Hope you had a chance to climb that route. It, like so many, is terrific. :)
Dos XX

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
  Jan 25, 2012 - 10:12am PT
For the two of you, a [belated] Mazel Tov! Thanks for sharing the pics, too.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
  Jan 25, 2012 - 10:15am PT
Sweet TR thanks
Prod

Trad climber
  Jan 25, 2012 - 10:37am PT
Cool stuff.

Gotta love when a dog comes with the rental.

Prod.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
  Jan 25, 2012 - 10:48am PT
Thanks for the pictures and stories.
Wedberg

Mountain climber
Bishop
  Jan 25, 2012 - 11:09am PT
Nice to see there weren't any stories of trouble in Monterrey in your report. Looks like you two had a great time there. Congratulations on your marriage and great honeymoon!
eKat

Trad climber
  Jan 25, 2012 - 11:13am PT
Youz dadz iz SO RAD. . . this TR makes my heart sing.

OXOXOXOXO

eK@
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
  Jan 25, 2012 - 11:34am PT
Nice TR!
Les

Trad climber
Bahston
  Jan 25, 2012 - 12:09pm PT
"Let's blow this colander!" -- hilarious!

Also laughed out loud at The Warriors/Cyrus "Can you dig it?" cemetary photo! Awesome reference!!!!

Looks like an amazing time!
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
  Jan 25, 2012 - 01:17pm PT
Thanks, really nice.
Happy Birthday, too!
Teary eyes and smiles here.
stich

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
  Jan 25, 2012 - 03:25pm PT
I could go with a new, quieter Potrero. Always had good trips going down there. I think I went in 2006 the last time. We would even drive down from Austin for a long weekend.
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Jan 25, 2012 - 05:29pm PT
Congratulations and thanks for sharing!
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
  Jan 25, 2012 - 05:37pm PT
I really liked those hanging pots btw, nice touch!

DMT
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Jan 25, 2012 - 09:31pm PT
Congratulations you two and thanks for sharing your honeymoon with us!

These are days of ruthless scheduling so ya gotta keep it fun!
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
  Jan 25, 2012 - 11:22pm PT
Thanks for the post - sounds like it was fun and it is nice that you are able to laugh off the difficulties. I would love to have found my rental came with a dog!
nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
  Jan 26, 2012 - 02:39am PT
Hey Kids...Looks like Honeymoon money was well spent, and enjoyed.....very cool...

Cheers..
xo
nita
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Author's Reply  Jan 26, 2012 - 09:12am PT
I have to add one of the crazy/cool (scariest?) things we saw there was a mega-trundle by some guys cleaning a new multi-pitch up above the Milesky wall. Erik and I were on the Spires so we had a front seat view. They were trundling loose stuff off the 3/4th pitch. They kicked off a refrigerator-sized boulder at one point which fell to the base... then about 10 minutes later we hear "rock".... "rock" again and see another gigantic piece come off. It hits the base... breaks into two enormous rock Frisbees which start to roll and pick up momentum on the steep hillside.

They kept rolling ... and rolling... and rolling. The hillside gets steeper so they get funneled into a gully were they keep going - bouncing right across the climbers trail and down the entire mountain. They almost made it to the road at the bottom of the canyon. Not sure of the exact distance but maybe a 1/4 mile of distance covered? Even Tucker would have been impressed.

Fortunately Sporties are too lazy to walk up hill so no one was on the trail. er... wait- we hiked that trail the day before... ;(

I'm fumbling around and can't get the video working of course. Meh.

White line aproximates the climber trail. Red is the trundle-path. I probably have the exact start point wrong but it was therabouts.

Mega-trundle
Mega-trundle
Credit: justthemaid
Fish Finder

Social climber
  Jan 26, 2012 - 09:19am PT




Happy Marriage !
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Author's Reply  Jan 26, 2012 - 11:08pm PT
Mexico City Airport. Sorry- architecture critiquing is sort of a .. hobby of mine. After staring at that place for hours all I could see was the wall of my Grandpa's garage.

This was my first impression:

Mexico City Airport
Mexico City Airport
Credit: justthemaid

The whole "colander"- thing just sort of flew out of my mouth as we were boarding the plane.

Credit: justthemaid



LuckyPink

climber
the last bivy
  Jan 29, 2012 - 12:03am PT
hahaha! GREAT trip report! and great Airport Critique!!
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Jan 29, 2012 - 01:55am PT
Viva Colander!
BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
  Jan 29, 2012 - 12:36pm PT
Fun TR and looks like a wonderful honeymoon - glad you escaped the trundles and giant colander unscathed.
sullly

Gym climber
  Jan 29, 2012 - 01:59pm PT
Both airport and art critiques hilarious. JTM, you need to start an art critique thread full of sophomoric entries.
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Jan 29, 2012 - 01:58pm PT
Looks like a great place to spend some quality time together :)

The airport toolshed pic is priceless!
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Jan 29, 2012 - 10:49pm PT
sweet trip, that house was a stylish touch!
seneca

climber
jamais, jamais pays
  Jan 29, 2012 - 11:14pm PT
Nice Thanks
MisterE

climber
Bishop, CA
  Nov 15, 2013 - 10:57pm PT
Shameless happy climbing couple bump.

Plus yo was the first to respond. That never happens.

:)
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Nov 15, 2013 - 10:48pm PT
Another approved self bump!


Great TR guys, brings back some fun memories of time spent down there.


Aren't glass casserole dishes just the dumbest invention!
FRUMY

Trad climber
Bishop,CA
  Nov 17, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
TFPU
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