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KTmonkey


Jan 10, 2011, 6:19 AM
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newbie in cuba  (North_America: Cuba)
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Hi,

This is my first time posting on this forum, so thanks in advance for any advice. My sister and I want to go on a climbing trip in february. Cuba has been recommended to us by several people as a good winter destination because of the weather, great climbs, a safe environment (vs. mexico right now) and friendly people

We lead indoors (both somewhat new to it), but have never lead routes outdoors (we have TR'd a little outside). We will have all the gear we need, but don't have experience setting anchors or cleaning a route.

We are excited and ready to learn, and we're wondering how do-able this would be in cuba. Are there enough climbers there that someone will be able to help us out?

If not, is there another winter climbing destination in North America that would be better for some newbie outdoor sport climbers.

Thank you for any suggestions!


Bowman_15


Jan 10, 2011, 8:07 AM
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Re: [KTmonkey] newbie in cuba [In reply to]
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www.cubaclimbing.com has some information about the climbing in Cuba. Remember that it is illegal for a U.S citizen to go to Cuba. If I remember right, it is also illegal for the locals in Cuba to climb. Rock & Ice magazine did an article over climbing in Cuba a few issues ago. It had quite a bit of information in it as well.


KTmonkey


Jan 10, 2011, 8:19 AM
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Re: [Bowman_15] newbie in cuba [In reply to]
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Thanks! I have checked out the site and its helpful, but didn't really answer whether as a newbie I'll be ok to learn from people there. I suspect there are better places with more climbers that might suit me better (mexico? vegas?) I will be coming from Vancouver.


potreroed


Jan 10, 2011, 8:51 AM
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Re: [KTmonkey] newbie in cuba [In reply to]
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I doubt whether there is enough for beginners in Cuba to make it worthwhile, although I think going to Cuba before Castro dies would be worthwhile.

Climbing-wise you can't do better than El Potrero Chico. Everything here is peaceful and there are tons of moderate well-bolted routes perfect for beginners.


rtwilli4


Jan 11, 2011, 1:11 AM
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Re: [KTmonkey] newbie in cuba [In reply to]
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I haven't climbed in Cuba or Mexico so take what I say however you want.

While there will probably be others climbing in Cuba, it is not popular enough yet for there to be people down there who are so desperate for partners that they will take you under their wing. You might get lucky and I'm sure you'll meet nice people, but you might not learn a whole lot. Also, if the stone in Cuba is anything like it is in Asia (and I know that it is) then there probably isn't much climbing below 5.10 and not much good climbing under 5.11. I'll second the sentiment to travel to Cuba before Castro dies.

I know less about Mexico than Cuba but I really don't think you have to worry about safety. Sure if you drive around near the border you're asking for it but if you're flying or even driving straight to Hidalgo I don't think you'll have issues. If white folks were getting killed at El Potrero I think we'd all know about it by now.


Partner j_ung


Jan 11, 2011, 3:32 AM
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Re: [KTmonkey] newbie in cuba [In reply to]
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Is hiring a guide for the first day or two out of the question? Contact the website folk from the link above and see if they can recommend somebody.


davidbr


Jan 11, 2011, 12:10 PM
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Re: [KTmonkey] newbie in cuba [In reply to]
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KT,

First a few clarifications of others' posts, then I'll try to get back to your original questions:

It is US law, not Cuban law, which makes it difficult, and legally dangerous, for Americans to travel there.

Everyone is climbing in a sort of grey area of legality/illegality. Some climbers have been harassed by authorities; at some times it is worse than others; and some crags are worse than others for this. Though foreign climbers have been harassed, the threat to them is minimal, while the risk to Cuban climbers is great.

There are no legal climbing guides in Cuba.

It's hard to recommend Cuba as a beginner's destination. There is no access to the top of the routes for top-roping and few routes below 5.10. While the bolting is well-done, a scarcity of equipment over the years has meant that, depending on where a person is used to climbing, and especially if that place is a gym, the bolts may feel spaced.

Depending on the season, there are times when there are plenty of climbers around, and times when there aren't. As with any destination, it's a crap-shoot as to whether whomever you meet is going to be keen to hang a rope for you.


KTmonkey


Jan 11, 2011, 12:14 PM
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Re: [davidbr] newbie in cuba [In reply to]
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Thanks for the info everyone! Based on this, I think we will likely check out other destinations. Now to find somewhere warm and sunny...

KT


rtwilli4


Jan 11, 2011, 12:25 PM
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Re: [KTmonkey] newbie in cuba [In reply to]
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Why don't you look into Cayman Brac?

http://mountainproject.com/...ayman_brac/106458273

I've heard good things.


LindaMexico


Jan 12, 2011, 11:18 AM
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Re: [KTmonkey] newbie in cuba [In reply to]
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Hi,

I'm Canadian and have been living in Mexico City for a while now. Just to let you know there are plenty of lovely climbing areas throughout the country - up near Monterrey but also just a few hours drive from the Mexico City. I'd suggest the DF - if you can't climb every day there's a bit more to do.
Try the guys at Escalodromo or Boulderlandia (Facebook) for information on everything.
The crime is just being over reported in the news, though I don't recommend drinking gallons of tequila in a scruffy canteena until 6 in the morning then being surprised if your new mexican friends decide to become less friendly. Same everywhere in the world.....
L


darkgift06


Feb 3, 2011, 9:07 AM
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Re: [LindaMexico] newbie in cuba [In reply to]
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I will be down in Puerto Vallarta in March. I know there isn't any climbing in the area, but do see that there is climbing a few hours drive to Guadalajara. My question is most people going on vacation to a tropical country are looking for a compromise of Beach & Climbing... is there a location in Mexico or Cuba that provides both of these? Beach, Hotel, & Climbing with in 30min of each other..


YannLyng


Feb 13, 2011, 1:40 AM
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Re: [darkgift06] newbie in cuba [In reply to]
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We are going to Cuba in feruary. We choose Cuba, because we would like to climb sportroutes, in a warm clima.
Cuba is the most safe country in Latin-America, and i can only recommend to go there, see the country and meet the people.

Routes in Cuba are bolted and limestone, witch is perfect for sport climbing, but canīt imagine that it will be good for trad climbing.

We will be there and ready to set up a toprope and give you advice, if you need it.

Yann


riverrock


Sep 15, 2013, 10:17 AM
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Re: [KTmonkey] newbie in cuba [In reply to]
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I know this is way late for the poster, but I will add this for others looking for new info.
I am a Canadian climber who lives in Vinales, Cuba 6 months a year. I have many local climbing friends who work as guides. If you stay at the right casa they can direct you to these guides. There are at least 6 of them on any given day. They will be more than happy to climb up on lead to set up TR for less experienced climbers.
While there is plenty of talk about climbing be prohibited in Cuba, they are not very proactive about this. I never saw one guard last winter for the 6 months I was there. In fact I have been told there is only one that will ask you to stop climbing while he is around.
For more info please refer to the following web sites:
http://casaarcoiris16.wix.com/casa-arcoiris
http://climbingcasas.wix.com/cuba-climbing-casas
http://www.cubaclimbing.com/
http://escaladaencuba.com/
BTW I have climbed with many Americans in Cuba. There are many ways to get here depending on where in the US you live.


roadstead


Sep 23, 2013, 7:40 AM
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Re: [potreroed] newbie in cuba [In reply to]
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potreroed wrote:
Climbing-wise you can't do better than El Potrero Chico. Everything here is peaceful and there are tons of moderate well-bolted routes perfect for beginners.

You make make a nickle every time you say that ;)


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