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Exploring Aguacalientes - Urs Moosmuller

Exploring Aguacalientes - Urs Moosmuller
Exploring Aguacalientes - Urs Moosmuller
Exploring Aguacalientes - Urs Moosmuller
Exploring Aguacalientes - Urs Moosmuller
June 29, 2013 - 

Aguacalientes is located north of Mexico City in a desert setting. The climbing is all volcanic on vertical to slightly overhanging rock. Currently the local climbing community is very small and new routes are being put up by a handful of people.

I heard rumors about potential for first ascents and several open projects in the 5.13/5.14 range. This caught my interest and Daniel, Alma, and I headed out for several days. The first day we headed out to a well developed cliff line and climbed a 12a dihedral on small crimps and technical stemming for 90 feet. The top exits into a steep bulge on micro crimps, right next to it on the left there is a 5.13b that is the one of the hardest routes established in the area. The climbing is on vertical micro crimps and stays sustained for the whole route. Its one of those unique routes where finding the sequence through non existent holds makes you think a lot about the route and your calfs die first. Sadly 3/4ths of the way up the wall there is a massive wasps hive that prevented me from topping it out. After attempting to climb the route we headed to the other side of the formation and climbed some fun moderate 10’s and 11’s.

Around mid day the sun shines onto the routes heating the cliff up forcing us to flee for shade. We drove around the mountain and checked out a hillside with several large boulders. You park at a ranch gate and walk through a small meadow to the base of the first boulder. This boulder has the hardest established line at V12. Without much of a warm-up I started making attempts at it. I have very little experience on V12’s and for me they can be very intimidating. Luckily this line is very short on small crimps which is more my style. With a lot of pressure for sending it in a day, I started putting all my energy into it. After several hours I was able to start linking moves, but by the end I didn’t have any energy left. We left the boulder and headed further up to check out some of the moderate classics in the area and look for other hard lines.

The next day we decided to go sport climbing again and check out a 35m wall that was recently bolted. Most of the lines on the wall haven’t been attempted before, but were guessed to be in the 5.13 range with one line in the 5.14 range. After warming up I attempted the 5.14 line to see if it was possible. The first section contains a really easy dihedral to a small roof. Pulling the roof is about 12c on small crimps which leads to the first anchors. From here you have a 5.13a crux on small crimps to sustained edging for 6 bolts before you reach a slabby section. The slab is extremely technical and near the top you reach a V9 boulder problem on micro pockets. From there the features end but the bolts keep going. For the line to go it would need to have the anchors lowered to be possible. This was an extremely high quality line and definitely a line worth checking out when it gets rebolted. After that our time was up in Aguascaliente and we made the 4 1/2hr drive back to Mexico City.

Photo credit: Juan Correa

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