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Old 11-08-2013, 10:09 PM   #94
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Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Somewhere in Latin America
Oddometer: 493
25. Slapping Rock In DF

Being the second largest city in the world, DF has a lot to offer. From the various latin and foreign cultures that congregate here, a wealth of activities are born and the excuse of “I’m bored”, just doesn’t fly. As with any big city, you can find something new to do on any given day, usually you don’t have to look very far either. One activity that I am always in pursuit of, is climbing. Turns out though, there’s some pretty darn good spots that happen to be right at the edge of the city.

Much like adventure motorcycling, climbing is one of those activities that for the most part is completely selfish, and for all practical purposes, it doesn’t contribute anything to anyone else but those that are the ones doing it in that very moment. Yvon Chouinard - a famous climber, entrepreneur, and personal hero of mine, once called climbers “conquerors of the useless”.

It is an activity that is for you, and you alone. However, just like adventure motorcycling, climbing can be a good vector for teaching you important lessons about yourself, life, and the world around you. For me, the two addictions are about the same stuff. Challenging oneself both physically and mentally, putting yourself outside of your comfort zone and into new experiences, and through the process, hopefully attaining some sort of personal growth while having a bitchen good time.

My new roommate, Dante, said he’d show me some of the local spots, so we set out to see what DF had to offer. After weaving in and out of traffic we reached the very outskirts of DF where the smaller communities start to fade away into the mountains. Here we found what is technically a city park, and is contained within the governance of DF. It’s a place that seems transplanted straight out of the pacific northwest, and at 8k ft above sea level, the geography is surprisingly similar as well. We parked the car and started the hike in.

The hike in is less than a kilometer, but we gain 1k ft in elevation in that distance. Currently we are at around 9k ft, I felt out of shape pretty quick.

The trail to the location where we’ll be slapping some rock cuts off the main trail and heads straight up to the main walls.

There are 4 different areas in this park, we are headed to one called Segunda, it’s not the biggest area, but still has ~70 separate routes. Plenty for us.

We found the base of the wall that we were looking for, and I promptly got excited like a kid in a candy shop. This was the first bit of real climbing I’ve seen since I was in california.

We spent the early afternoon warming up and shaking off the dust on some warm up routes.

This is Dani, one of Dante’s friends, he also came to have some fun outside the city.

The views at the top of the routes were good. You can see most of DF in the background. Everything that isn’t concrete and steel is part of the park.

Dante said there was a really good route on another wall, so we went to go check it out.

Here we found our prize. This chunk of thick, vertical, dense useless rock may not look like much to most people, but this looks pretty damn sweet to me.

There were several routes on this wall, but the one that we wanted climb was the one that went right up the middle. I don’t remember the name of the route, or if it even had one. The rating was a 5.12a (if that means anything to anyone) and was a technical and fairly sustained face climb with small feet, crimps, and several two-finger pockets. The moves were fluid, and super fun. Here’s a quick vid I made of the route (~3 min).

Dani had been projecting this route and made his first ascent of it today. Congrats Dani.

Dante also jumped on and got’er done. Shit yeah Dante.

Eventually the end of the day came and we scraped together the last of the routes that we could. I was burnt, my fingers were toast, and the day was done. We ended up hiking down in the dark which wasn’t ideal, but the long day of good climbing made up for it.

20 minutes of driving later and we were back in Mexico City, drinking beer and eating food. Haven’t been to a ton of places where I can spend a good full day climbing, not hike in very far, and be back in time for dinner no sweat. Cheers Mexico City.

"In life sometimes you just need to value adventure above security and comfort."
No-Moto-Boundaries, Tanning A Ginger Tip-to-Tip, '04 KLR 688

SeanPNW screwed with this post 11-08-2013 at 10:25 PM
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