Petzl RocTrip 2010: Sport Climbing in Mexico

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El Chonta is cave near the town of Taxco, an old colonial town built on hills covered by thick vegetation with underground rivers and caves. One of these caves captured our attention: overhanging 50-meter-long routes in the middle of the jungle. There are even multi-pitch routes that navigate through human-sized stalactites and other crazy formations.Jilotepec is a completely different climbing area. Here, it's cold, and instead of big holds and stalactites, climbers crimp and pinch on the conglomerate knobs of the Godzilla's Egg formation. It was a great opportunity to see some major first ascents such as Initiativa Mexic" (5.13b/c), El Mexican (5.14b) and El Pendulo (5.14a) in El Chonta, in addition to the two ultimate routes, Las Chicas Sùperpoderosas (5.14c) and Cruz Diablo (5.14c) at Jilotepec.There were numerous presentations by athletes (Dave Graham, Nina Caprez, Liv Sansoz, Joe Kinder), slideshows, and traditional pre-Hispanic dance shows. We were even offered a special gift from the local Jilotepec population: sugar candy skulls (a Mexican tradition for the  "Día de los Muertos," November 2). Each one had the name of the Petzl Team climbers written on them. Mexicans believe that death is a friend and not a terrifying end.At any rate, it's impossible to describe everything that happened with words, photos and videos - so you'll just have to plan a visit to Mexico to see for yourself!