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El Potrero Chico
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cpowers15


Mar 19, 2014, 11:21 AM
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El Potrero Chico
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So we took a few days off and went down to El Potrero Chico and got our first taste of multi-pitch climbing. I did a little write up you can find here you so choose: http://cpowers15.tumblr.com/tagged/el-potrero-chico

And here are a couple pictures that can hopefully peak your interest enough to want to check it out






(This post was edited by cpowers15 on Mar 19, 2014, 11:50 AM)


gblauer
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Mar 19, 2014, 2:38 PM
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Re: [cpowers15] El Potrero Chico [In reply to]
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I love EPC. How safe did you feel? (cartel-wise)


cpowers15


Mar 19, 2014, 6:01 PM
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Re: [gblauer] El Potrero Chico [In reply to]
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I felt very safe. We didn't have any instances that were uncomfortable regarding safety. We were a little hesitant before going down, a lot of the reading made it seem pretty bad. But I would go back in a heartbeat


marc801


Mar 20, 2014, 8:48 AM
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Re: [gblauer] El Potrero Chico [In reply to]
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gblauer wrote:
I love EPC. How safe did you feel? (cartel-wise)
Perceived safety vs actual safety - kind of a tricky question.

"We felt totally safe" (Until we were kidnapped, beaten, and held for ransom.)

[Disclaimer: never been to EPC or Mexico for that matter; only know what has been written - most notably the big piece in Rock and Ice a year or so ago - and the State Department travel warnings. Then there are the Mexicans that my wife works with who say that anyone who goes to the Hidalgo area now is crazy.]


cpowers15


Mar 20, 2014, 12:16 PM
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Re: [marc801] El Potrero Chico [In reply to]
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The state warnings were definitely disconcerning prior to leaving, and I definitely can't disagree with the perception of safety, whether or not we truly were will remain unknown. Hidalgo was one of the friendliest and outgoing places we visited while we down there. Everyone seemed eager to help us find spots to eat/drink to refuel and get back to the wall


sonso45


Mar 20, 2014, 1:09 PM
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Re: [cpowers15] El Potrero Chico [In reply to]
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I've got friends in Mexico that have begun heading to EPC again. They as well as many others stayed away after the horrible incident last year.

Still, if you want to go, don't pay attention to the fear mongering and conjecture, as in ""We felt totally safe" (Until we were kidnapped, beaten, and held for ransom.)" Which has never happened to a single climber in Hidalgo.


potreroed


Mar 20, 2014, 9:53 PM
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Re: [cpowers15] El Potrero Chico [In reply to]
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I've lived in the Potrero Chico for 20 years and met hundreds of visiting climbers. The 2 comments I hear most often are "Damn, I should have come here years a go but I was skeered" and, "I feel safer here than I do back home."


marc801


Mar 21, 2014, 10:01 AM
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Re: [sonso45] El Potrero Chico [In reply to]
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sonso45 wrote:
Still, if you want to go, don't pay attention to the fear mongering and conjecture, as in ""We felt totally safe" (Until we were kidnapped, beaten, and held for ransom.)" Which has never happened to a single climber in Hidalgo.
That wasn't fear mongering or conjecture - just a metaphor to amplify that doing a risk analysis based on a perception that is only valid up to this moment and not the future is perhaps less than optimal.

Everyone gets to make their own choices. Personally, I need something a little bit more solid than a handful of folks saying that they felt safe. It's a little like deciding on a run-out slab route. As far as the truth that nothing has ever happened to climbers in 20 years, well, seems that things now aren't quite like the past 20 years.

Sure, anyone should go if they want. I'm just suggesting realistic risk assessment that matches any individual's comfort level.


sonso45


Mar 21, 2014, 10:30 AM
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Re: [marc801] El Potrero Chico [In reply to]
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A metaphor, really? Your statement that "feeling safe" really means "kidnapped etc"; ok, I get it. Lousy metaphor.

I stand by my statement that you are afraid that you may get kidnapped or beaten and choose to spread your fear. Given the fact that someone actually visiting the place has an opposite opinion, this totally bugs me. I hear you and understand you. I just don't agree with your opinion.


Gmburns2000


Mar 23, 2014, 9:56 AM
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Re: [marc801] El Potrero Chico [In reply to]
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marc801 wrote:
Then there are the Mexicans that my wife works with who say that anyone who goes to the Hidalgo area now is crazy.

One of the great cultural aspects of Central and South America is how the locals shit on their countries more than they should. This isn't because their lives are actually crap, but more that there's a strong colonial sentiment that keeps them forever feeling the grass is greener on the other side, which of course is where all the fertilizing bullshit resides, but that's another point altogether.

cpowers15 wrote:
Hidalgo was one of the friendliest and outgoing places we visited while we down there. Everyone seemed eager to help us find spots to eat/drink to refuel and get back to the wall

But then there's this, which is very real: the vast majority of Americans, and Europeans for that matter (actually probably more so Europeans) lack the internal radar to know when they're actually in trouble in Central and South American regions. I know this from personal experience. Often times its pure luck that one doesn't discover that this is true.

I would venture that EPC is quite safe and that Hildago is probably less than one thinks it is. I would also venture that the vast majority of crime is targeted and that climbers are quite likely to be unaffected, unless the locals are pressed to play and decide not to.

Based on these two points, if I had to choose, I'd choose folks like Manny and Ed who have a pretty good idea of what it's really like. I'd also choose to head straight to EPC and stay there.


marc801


Mar 23, 2014, 2:27 PM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] El Potrero Chico [In reply to]
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
marc801 wrote:
Then there are the Mexicans that my wife works with who say that anyone who goes to the Hidalgo area now is crazy.

One of the great cultural aspects of Central and South America is how the locals shit on their countries more than they should. This isn't because their lives are actually crap, but more that there's a strong colonial sentiment that keeps them forever feeling the grass is greener on the other side, which of course is where all the fertilizing bullshit resides, but that's another point altogether.

cpowers15 wrote:
Hidalgo was one of the friendliest and outgoing places we visited while we down there. Everyone seemed eager to help us find spots to eat/drink to refuel and get back to the wall

But then there's this, which is very real: the vast majority of Americans, and Europeans for that matter (actually probably more so Europeans) lack the internal radar to know when they're actually in trouble in Central and South American regions. I know this from personal experience. Often times its pure luck that one doesn't discover that this is true.

I would venture that EPC is quite safe and that Hildago is probably less than one thinks it is. I would also venture that the vast majority of crime is targeted and that climbers are quite likely to be unaffected, unless the locals are pressed to play and decide not to.

Based on these two points, if I had to choose, I'd choose folks like Manny and Ed who have a pretty good idea of what it's really like. I'd also choose to head straight to EPC and stay there.
+1, and some who commented in this thread, specifically in reply to my posts, might be surprised at that. That would be because they misunderstood what I was trying to say.

I disagree with the Mexicans my wife works with for much of the same reasons Burnsy mentioned. Plus, they haven't been to Hidalgo any time recently.

Everyone has their own level of risk comfort - some more than others - and everyone gets to make their own decisions. I was merely suggesting that there are probably better ways to decide if Hidalgo and EPC are within an individual's acceptable level of risk than going by the perception of safety of two people posting on a net forum. I never, ever said don't go or that it's unsafe or that you'll be kidnapped and beaten. That could happen in J-Tree, too.

I do feel that it's probably a good idea to take as direct a route to EPC as possible and stay there as well as limiting travel, esp. by personal car, esp. with US plates, in northern Mexico right now.


rocknice2


Mar 24, 2014, 4:57 AM
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Re: [cpowers15] El Potrero Chico [In reply to]
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I've been down there a bunch of times and never felt insecure while at the EPC or in the town of Hidalgo. The people were nothing but super friendly. Must say that I didn't feel it prudent to travel around the countryside but many did without consequence.

The way I see it is, there is a drug war going on so the risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time is a risk. Kidnapping not so much because let's face it a climber does not stand out as a wealthy individual. Don't drive down in your big shiny Escalade with spinners and keep the bling to a minimum.

Go straight there don't hit the local bars late at night and don't hit on their women and things are fine.


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