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Has anyone been to Potrero Chico lately?
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plamq


Jan 9, 2013, 9:31 AM
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Has anyone been to Potrero Chico lately?
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How's the situation in Northern Mexico? Is it still safe to climb in El Potrero Chico?

Thanks!


TheGriz


Jan 9, 2013, 10:02 AM
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I was there a couple weeks ago. All was good!


plamq


Jan 9, 2013, 12:05 PM
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Great!

Do you know if it's possible to rent a car in Hidalgo?


skellie


Jan 9, 2013, 6:28 PM
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I was there a year ago. No problems at all. The military did make their presence known a couple times per week, but they didn't hassle anyone. You're pretty safe at the Potrero.
Some people who were there had driven. Of the drivers, a few of them did say they got hassled by the police/military/whoever while they were driving and had to pay a bribe.
Another genius showed up with a dirtbike on the back of his van and said he didn't have any problems, which is surprising. Dirtbikes are a valuable item down there.
The consensus was "Don't drive unless you have to, and stay out of Monterrey unless you're looking for trouble." If you do have to drive, take the toll roads, they're safer.
Potrero seems to be hurting for visitors, which is unfortunate because it's an amazing place. I wouldn't let the bad press deter you.


gblauer
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Jan 9, 2013, 7:27 PM
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Re: [skellie] Has anyone been to Potrero Chico lately? [In reply to]
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Reach out to Potreroed. He can help you make all transportation and housing arrangements. He can also give you the "local" perspective.


potreroed


Jan 9, 2013, 10:00 PM
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Everything here is tranquilo.

It is possible to rent a car here in Hidalgo. It's also possible to rent a car in Laredo and bring it in to Mexico.

If you're just here to climb in the Potrero, however, you really don 't need a vehicle--everything is within easy walking distance.


dagibbs


Jan 10, 2013, 10:26 AM
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potreroed wrote:
Everything here is tranquilo.

It is possible to rent a car here in Hidalgo. It's also possible to rent a car in Laredo and bring it in to Mexico.

If you're just here to climb in the Potrero, however, you really don 't need a vehicle--everything is within easy walking distance.

What Ed says -- I was down there almost a year ago. Once at EPC, you really don't need a car -- all the climbs are easy walking distance, and the walk in to town for groceries, coffee, or a meal is about 1/2 an hour -- and you can often hitch-hike along the road, too.

If you are flying, then yes you would probably like between the airport and EPC. A taxi at the airport can do that (though, I'd suggest having explicit directions for where you're going... a Google Maps directions print-out in Spanish, for example), or Ed can pick you up & drop you off for a competitive price -- and in his case, he'll put the profit towards bolting. (A taxi from EPC/Hidalgo would be expected to be able to find the airport on their own, though.)


plamq


Jan 11, 2013, 7:09 AM
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All right, thanks everyone.

Actually, as we plan to camp there, the purpose of the vehicle was mostly to have a place to store our gear but we learned that lockers are available at the campgrounds.

How long (walking distance) is Hidalgo from the crag/campsites? The other reason we were considering to rent a car was to carry food supplies/water if the market is too far away from the campsite. Would we be able to get everything needed for basic meals at walking distance from the campground?

Thanks again for the info!


dagibbs


Jan 11, 2013, 7:40 AM
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Walking distance already been answered but...

Crags are about a 10 minute walk from camping areas.

Shopping in Hidalgo is about a 20-30 minute walk from the usual camping areas, in the opposite direction from the crags. It is very doable entirely without a car.


skellie


Jan 11, 2013, 8:32 AM
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Water is available at the camping/lodging sites. Food can be attained in Hidalgo. With the walk + shopping, it's probably a 1/2 day outing. Not a big deal.


plamq


Jan 11, 2013, 7:46 PM
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Oh sorry, I read a bit fast at work today...

So, well, I'm really happy to learn that we can make it without a car. We just bought the plane tickets a few minutes ago. Can't wait to be there...


gblauer
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Jan 12, 2013, 7:49 AM
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Re: [plamq] Has anyone been to Potrero Chico lately? [In reply to]
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Seriously, reach out to Ed, he can help you with your arrangements to/from airport. And he can answer any other questions you may have. He also has the latest version of the guide book (you can buy it directly from Ed).

We always do our shopping at the market on Tuesdays and Fridays. We walk down from our casita (20+ minutes) and hitch a ride back (too many bags to carry). It's really easy.

Things that you might want to bring (hard to find in Hidalgo):
Good Coffee beans
Peanut butter
Trail mix, snack bars etc
gatorade powder (or similar)
chocolate

If you are inclined, I would bring sunscreen. Sunglasses and for sure a helmet. 70M rope is preferred, although you can certainly get away with a 60. 24 draws to link pitches. Otherwise 12-14 should work.

I have been going to EPC for more than 10 years, other than the first year, I have always used tap water. I do not buy bottled water anymore, I have never gotten sick.

You need your own toilet paper. When you use the facilities, you are expected to bring in your own toilet paper. Don't flush it, put it in the trash cans next to the toilet! Toilet paper is easily purchased in Hidalgo.

Other tips:
you can buy beer, soda, small snacks at the little depositos very close to the camp ground. Don't lug that stuff from Hidalgo

Down in Hidalgo you can get pollo or carne asada from road side stands. Grilled Chicken/meat, onions, peppers, tortillas, hot sauce for less than $5. Beats cooking! We often purchase a couple and leave them in the fridge. The campgrounds have great common kitchens with fridges for your use.

Ther are lots of fruits, veggies, meats and cheeses down at the market. There is also all kinds of other stuff (ranging from rat poison to sunglasses to undies for sale).

Dogs roam free in the area. For the most part they are friendly and leave you alone. With the exception of the pit bull that lives behind the green stucco fence on the way to the cliff (left side). You will notice that there are small rocks on posts on the right side of the road, before and after that particular house. Pick up one of the rocks, show the dog that you have it and it will leave you alone. That said, I have watched that dog sneak up behind a couple and take a bite. He leaves you alone if he sees that you are armed.

Watch out for cacti. Stay on the trails. You can find yourself surrounded if you are not careful.

There are lots of new routes, again, Ed will have the information on the route changes.

If it's really hot, there are plenty of areas to chase the shade (Virgin canyon, los lobos) . If it's cold, there are plenty of areas to be in the sun (mota , super mini for example). If it's windy you will have to figure out where to climb. We have always been able to climb, irrespective of the heat, cold or wind.

THere are some really cool hot springs that are pretty far away. It's a great, restorative rest day if you can organize a ride (talk to Ed). Also, you can arrange for a reasonably inexpensive massage at Posada.

Crescent Moon Buttress is a great day trip. Very fun climbing, a cool tyrolean traverse (that you have to set up, although not necessary, just fun) and a nice mellow day. More fun to get a group of climbers to head out there. We did it in 4 groups of 2, had a full day, enjoyed it very much.

Time Wave Zero is a great climb, just make sure you have the time to get it done. We linked most of our pitches, but, it still tooks us 12 hours door to door. We did it in March, 95 degrees, full sun. We were grateful to have camelbacks.


(This post was edited by gblauer on Jan 12, 2013, 7:55 AM)


plamq


Jan 13, 2013, 7:12 AM
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Well, that's a lot of info. Thanks man!


markpaul


Jan 14, 2013, 1:58 PM
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I know I posted this question in another thread but here it goes again:

I'm renting a room at Posada this week. It looks like they give you blankets but somewhere I've seen mentioned that a sleeping bag id a good idea. Do you know if we'll need to bring sleeping bags or are the blankets warm enough?

Thanks in advance!


camhead


Jan 14, 2013, 2:07 PM
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plamq wrote:
Well, that's a lot of info. Thanks man!

Gblauer is a woman, FYI. And yes, her beta was all excellent.


yodadave


Jan 14, 2013, 3:06 PM
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One thing I didn't see in the info above is the coffee shop in town, El Buho (the owl) run by a couple from NC, great place to chill on rest days. Games, books, comfy chairs, best latte I've ever had (seriously, EVER), movie nights and a hangboard incase you don't want to rest. Also good for getting out of the midday sun on market days.


dagibbs


Jan 14, 2013, 8:30 PM
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yodadave wrote:
One thing I didn't see in the info above is the coffee shop in town, El Buho (the owl) run by a couple from NC, great place to chill on rest days. Games, books, comfy chairs, best latte I've ever had (seriously, EVER), movie nights and a hangboard incase you don't want to rest. Also good for getting out of the midday sun on market days.

Yup, and a source of decent ground coffee if you neglected to bring your own coffee with you.


gblauer
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Jan 15, 2013, 5:12 AM
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In all the years that I have been to EPC, I have never been to the Owl. Next time...


So...Who wants to open a pizza place with me in Checo's place? We ould probably make hundreds of dollars...


robx


Jan 15, 2013, 7:33 AM
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I've been having a REALLY hard time finding affordable tickets to mexico. I can fly to the west coast and climb for around 250/300 but I haven't seen nyc->mexico for under 550/650/700! I know that once you get to EPC it's very inexpensive to climb, but being able to afford the up front cost of the plane ticket is really making my march trip look less and less likely.

anyone have any tips? I have trip price alerts set up on three websites, delete my cookies to get the best prices, and have even been calling airlines once a week to see if there are any deals.

bummed I might have to cancel a trip because of steep airline fees. I can honestly almost fly to spain to climb for the same price (or close to it) on a good day!


camhead


Jan 15, 2013, 8:02 AM
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robx wrote:
I've been having a REALLY hard time finding affordable tickets to mexico. I can fly to the west coast and climb for around 250/300 but I haven't seen nyc->mexico for under 550/650/700! I know that once you get to EPC it's very inexpensive to climb, but being able to afford the up front cost of the plane ticket is really making my march trip look less and less likely.

anyone have any tips? I have trip price alerts set up on three websites, delete my cookies to get the best prices, and have even been calling airlines once a week to see if there are any deals.

bummed I might have to cancel a trip because of steep airline fees. I can honestly almost fly to spain to climb for the same price (or close to it) on a good day!

I've never flown to EPC (or done anything but drive my own car there), but know of several people who have done different tactics to save money. It's supposedly not that complicated to take a bus from San Antonio or Austin. I know that Houston is a much bigger airline hub, and you may be able to find a bus from there to Monterrey, too.

For that matter, if you are really wanting to save money, an Amtrak line runs parallel to the US-Mex border through all of Texas, and I've heard of folks using that as part of their EPC approach, too.

I knew one guy who actually took the train to Alpine, West Texas, then hitched a ride into Big Bend National Park, where he illegally waded the Rio Grande and walked to the tiny Mexican town of Boquillas, where he waited a week for a bus to take him several hundred miles to EPC. You probably don't want to do that.


potreroed


Jan 15, 2013, 8:08 AM
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Monterrey is a business city, not a tourist destination, so airfares and car rentals are expensive. Some climbers fly to San Antonio or Laredo and take the bus into Mexico, thereby saving quite a bit of $. It can also be a lot cheaper to drive, if you have the time, especially if you have others to share expenses with.


plamq


Jan 29, 2013, 2:01 PM
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I don't know what to think of this... This is pretty close. For those who are there at the moment, did it change anything about how secure Potrero is?

http://world.time.com/...band-went-missing-2/


acorneau


Jan 29, 2013, 2:16 PM
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This was from a friend that just moved down there:

"Some crazy shit went down here the other night across from posada and next to homeros when 20 people went missing from this ranch party and then this weekend were all found dead in a well 39 km away. It was pretty crazy the state police and federales swarmed hidalgo and potrero and then the military rolled in really deep for like 3 days."


gblauer
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Jan 29, 2013, 3:12 PM
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Wow, that is really really scary. My friend Dot is down there...I hope she is unscathed.


matterunomama


Jan 29, 2013, 4:35 PM
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plamq wrote:
I don't know what to think of this... This is pretty close. For those who are there at the moment, did it change anything about how secure Potrero is?

http://world.time.com/...band-went-missing-2/

They were killed and dumped in a well at Homeros
http://rockice.amgbusiness.com/...paign=MP%2BFeed-News

So much for Ed's constant reassurances. Its a climbing paradise, but violence in the area will affect it.

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