The Petzl Rock trip this year was to Mexico. They just keep getting better and better! This was a big trip with some serious crankers and some of my best buddies, Joe Kinder, Dave Graham and Said Belhaj.
Redpointing Cruz Diablo, 8c+ Picture - John Evans. Yes they just keep getting better and better! Serious crankers indeed, no grades and CV required; Enzo Oddo, Mike Fuselier, Gerome Pouvreau, Joe Kinder, Said Belhaj, Liv Sansoz, Martina Cufar, Nina Caprez, Melissa Leneve, Daniel Woods and Dave Graham to name just a few. 5.10 were well represented as always with Dave, Enzo, Joe, Martina, Melissa, Nina and myself all doing the business.
It was a tale of two venues, El Chonta and Jilotepec, both just a few hours from Mexico City, but both with different characters. For Chonta think wild limestone madness in a monstrous cave with sub-tropical rainforests, mosquitoes, tarantulas and boiling sun. For Jilotepec it was edgy conglomerate, technical face, sub-zero temperatures and duvet jackets! To be honest I might have planned this trip for myself, both being my perfect styles. A dodgy finger was lingering but didn’t seem to stop play and I was like an excited kid rediscovering a favourite toy after months of it being lost. I went out expecting to be useless, looking for some easy movement in a new environment, but came back with a horde of routes including an 8c+ first ascent, an 8b and 8b/+ flash as well as a jumble of other 8’s onsighted.
And of course I came back with the Petzl Rock Trip experience! But Petzl rock trips are not just about the climbing, they are far bigger than that. And this year was the biggest yet, with visits to Aztec Pyramids, saunas, town visits, traditional dances, fantastic food, slide shows and presentations, all topped with the best party ever with the techno banging out to the hundreds of crazy Mexicans all dancing till really really late! A huge big up to the organisers! For me this was the best rock trip ever, but not just because it was so damn good, but because, after what felt like an age not climbing with a bad finger, it felt like I was back in the game, my passion flooding back in and becoming a climber again.