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PEÑOLES, 2012-2013 The Aztec Game - Diego Lopez Montull

PEÑOLES, 2012-2013 The Aztec Game - Diego Lopez Montull
PEÑOLES, 2012-2013 The Aztec Game - Diego Lopez Montull
PEÑOLES, 2012-2013 The Aztec Game - Diego Lopez Montull
PEÑOLES, 2012-2013 The Aztec Game - Diego Lopez Montull
PEÑOLES, 2012-2013 The Aztec Game - Diego Lopez Montull
PEÑOLES, 2012-2013 The Aztec Game - Diego Lopez Montull
PEÑOLES, 2012-2013 The Aztec Game - Diego Lopez Montull
February 05, 2013 -  Diego Lopez Montull    

Two months ago I arrived to Mexico City, after spending six months in Colorado and one in France. Like every winter, since 13 years agos, I like to go to Peñoles for climbing from two to four months in this spot. This place has become very special for me because it is there where I opened my first boulders and the most difficult ones. The quality of the rock and the grades are world class (from v0 to v14 and some v16 projects). Definitely, Peñoles has a lot of potential.

When I get to Mexico City I can’t wait to head back to Peñoles; it fuels me with motivation, it is like my home, my school, the place where I have spent the last 13 Christmas, eating quesadillas with frijoles (beans), alone or with good friends. It is where I look for dreams and make them real, sometimes trying one same problem for three months, again and again. Every day.

This particular year I was more motivated cause, some friends, who where never here before, planned to visit me at Peñoles. So good!! It is my chance to hear other opinions, particularly from climbers of other latitudes. During the winter, these pro climbers will try for the first time the boulders problems I’ve accumulated for years.

Chihuahua is around 1,200 kilometers north of Mexico City and it took me more than 12 hours to get there. I arrived on a 29th of November. The first thing to do is to try some problems (best if already known for me). This is my personal test, a sort of challenge to know how much I have improved during training and competing the rest of the year. Particularly this one, that I went to two world cups and trained hard at the gym.

After this personal test, I start looking for boulders in other areas of Peñoles; the place is huge and there are some rocks that I have not visited for years. Each time I get surprised with new problems and this year I got to do (faster than I thought) new v8, v9, v10 and a v12. They even may become classics of this rock spot such as "Chimba la Cachimba" (V10), "Amarra Vientos" (V12) or "Oro Blanco" (V12).

During the first month, the weather was too hot. Each year I get there earlier so I can use that time for maintenance, before other climbers arrive, for cleaning the area from plants and what cows destroy, mostly working on the trails with the machete for other climbers to find a better place.

Days go by. Every day I wake up, set a fire, make coffee, breakfast, and… the hardest part: to decide where to climb, which sector, which project or to search for new boulders. With the decision taken, I leave until sunset. Then, by night I cut some wood (which after a while you start hating), and make dinner (quesadillas), watching the fire and fighting the smoke that seems to always follow you.

This year I found a new sector, with lots of boulders, so I had to open a trail and had a lot to clean. This means many hours of work with the machete. Sometimes this keeps me away from my projects and I need to focus so I get them. Thats when I choose some projects that I know are possible for this season.

Well, that does not happens always: I have a project called "El Intento" (The Try); I have being trying it for years so this time I will too, but I know I will not get it. It has six moves but I can only do four of them. It is harder than the v15 that I have tried in the past. It is a dream that gets closer every time. Actually this year I got surprised because I could see my progress. That is when in my mind I think that all the time I have been training has good results.

From the first days of december to Christmas we were only 4 climbers at Peñoles. But then, others from Chihuahua, Mexico CIty and Monterrey arrived; For New Years eve we where about 40 climbers. It is so nice to see that every year more people come to make second ascents the problems. Standing up on a boulder and watching several campfires I think "the game is on".

Within the first days of January the weather gets colder and my friends Nalle, Chad Anton and Clement arrives to the place. They have traveled all over the world and the best bouldering spots, but it's their first time here. It is my chance to hear the opinion of other climbers about Peñoles.

On their first day, I gave them a quick tour around the closest sector from where we camp. There is a V14 and many other projects there. I am happy to hear Nalle and Chad's comments; "Sooooo chido (nice) Diego! This place is really cool".

After a few days, my main intention was to take Nalle to "El Intento", to know from him if it could really be a V16. We tried it for some hours and I realized that I was not exaggerating, the grade it's possibly fine. Some of those hard six moves could be doable with the help of a knee pad, and Chad had one, great! So I put it on and…it works!!! No more "campus step" for that move. But still two more. It was great to try "El intento" with someone who says it is a great project, super hard.

Days go by, this time, quickly. My foreign friends are really enjoying the place. The weather is cold, excellent for climbing, but is it too cold for camping, and everyday the smoke of the fireplace, getting the wood for it, everything gets more annoying. We are getting tired. Nalle has done three of my very old projects that I had not tried for the longest time -too many other projects, too much to do. Deep inside I was a little jealous to see someone else getting my projects, but on the other hand it is good to see that there are three project less to be done. But then it is cool, I am happy.

The day my friends have to hit the road back to Hueco, Texas, Nalle gets two more projects. They leave t the USA; they look happy and willing to come back. I stay some more days and repeat one of Nalle's ascent, a v14 called "El Infierno" (Hell), and then a v12, "Alma Negra" (Black Soul).

Personally, I feel very happy to have had visitors at Peñoles, they made things easier for me. Climbing with people it is an extra motivation. Chad was really helpful cleaning boulders everywhere -it it easier to have 5 machetes instead of one.

As I have said: At Peñoles, the game is one. I only can think of going back next year to try "El Intento" and the rest of the problems, and keep developing the place.

Now I am, in Mexico City. I will train at the gym and develop Mineral del Chico. Then Colorado…

But remember Peñoles, game on…
Chido and fo


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