Mexico’s varied geography has made it a premier destination for all kinds of adventure tourism, from caving and canyoneering to jungle treks, white-water rafting and rock climbing.
This 6-minute video shows mountaineer Alex Honnold climbing the 460-meter (1500-feet) high rock face known as El Sendero Luminoso near Monterrey in northern Mexico. What makes this climb special (and slightly scary to watch) is that Honnold climbs solo and without any safety measures such as ropes.
Interviewed for National Geographic Adventure before he had seen the video, Honnold said, “I’m not sure what the video shows, but my true solo was all alone with no photogs [photographers] or helis [helicopters]. We then went back and filmed on big portions of it. In my mind there’s a clear difference between personal climbing—the actual solo—and work days—the filming afterward.”
The El Sendero Luminoso rockface is in an area known as El Potrero Chico, a short distance from Monterrey, near the town of Hidalgo.
The Wikipedia entry for El Potrero Chico describes it as having “a large range of different climbs, most of them in the 5.8 to 5.13 grade. The type of climbing can range from steep overhanging face to easy slab. The rock is usually quite sharp. The climbs are mostly situated in a canyon at the entrance of the park, while the interior offers undeveloped mountain terrain with many mountain biking routes, ranging from very easy to expert options.”
According to Wikipedia, El Potrero is “considered one of the top 10 locations to sport climb in the world. In addition to well over 500 routes, the area boasts the second longest sport route in North America, Timewave Zero, with 23 pitches and over 2,000 feet (610 m).”
- Copper Canyon in Chihuahua
- The volcanic spine of Tequila Volcano, Jalisco
- Peña de Bernal, a monolith in Querétaro
- Geotourism in Mexico: García Caves (Grutas de García) in Nuevo León
- The geography of Mexico’s caves
- Deepest water-filled sinkhole in the world: El Zacatón, Tamaulipas
- Mexico’s geomorphosites: El Sótano de las Golondrinas (Cave of the Swallows)
2 Responses to “World-class rock-climbing near Monterrey”
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There used to be a sizable international community of rock climbers living in Monterrey. Now I doubt if there are any; it’s just too dangerous for a small group to go out side of the city to take up outdoor activities. There are a few indoor bouldering / rock climbing clubs though, perhaps they came about as a response to the danger of driving off main roads and tracks in bandit country.
It’s not that dangerous as long as you don’t interfere with drug trafficking or appear wealthy. You risk your life in nature, man is from nature also. Live life on the edge. Don’t be timid or cowardly