27-Pitch Mexican Route Nearly Onsighted
Two French teams managed near onsights of Logical Progression, a 27-pitch, 5.13a "sport climb" on northern Mexico’s El Gigante, with Arnaud Petit onsighting all but one pitch over two long days. Climbing in two ropes of two, Petit, Stéphanie Bodet, Titi Gentet, and Sylvain Millet free-climbed 18 pitches up to 5.13a during the first day, bivied on a ledge system, and then finished the wall’s nine remaining pitches, with six pitches from 5.12b to 5.13a. Petit fell only once, on the second day’s 5.13a pitch, blaming dirt (and lack of chalk) on the holds; Millet flashed the pitch after Petit’s effort. The quartet rappelled the route at the end of the second day without redpointing the pitches they had failed to onsight.
Meanwhile, Mickaël Fuselier, Mathieu Ménadier, and Julien Nadiras spent four days on the route, making a film along the way. Fuselier onsighted both of the route’s 5.13a pitches but fell on a 5.12b and 5.12d pitch.
Rob Pizem redpointed all of the pitches on LogicalProgression in 2004/2005 bud did not make a continuous free ascent.
Basaseachic National Park’s Logical Progression was established in 2002 by Peter Baumeister, Luke Laeser, and Bert van Lint, and the fact that they rap-bolted the route generated a minor furor among big-wall free-climbing activists. (The rack for the climb is 25 quickdraws.) Alexander Huber vowed to chop the route, and the 2003 American Alpine Journal published a 10-page “debate” on the climb. But the bolts remain in place, and Petit wrote on Kairn.com that, compared with the aid climbs in the area, the route was a “chef d’oeuvre” (“masterpiece”).
Find Petit’s report (in French), photos, and a topo of the route at www.kairn.com/article.html?id=776.
Dates of Ascents: December 2006