October 2014

Quote for the Day

Life is without meaning.

You bring the meaning to it.

The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe to it.

Being alive is the meaning.

–Joseph Campbell

 

Potrero News

For the first time in many years Tami and I stayed in Wisconsin long enough to enjoy the Fall colors and we were not disappointed…

Fall in Wisconsin

Fall in Wisconsin

Maple forest

Maple forest

Forest floor

Forest floor

Devil's Lake

Devil’s Lake

 

But now we’re happy to be back in the land of big limestone walls…

 

Climber starting the crux bulge on Golden Puff, 5.10d

Climber starting the crux bulge on Golden Puff, 5.10d

 

The weather is perfect, climbers are trickling in from the far corners of the globe and the 2014-2015 season is under way!

 

Recent Climbing Photos

Sunday afternoon on The Wave

Sunday afternoon on The Wave

Climbers on the Spires as seen from the Chalet

Climbers on the Spires as seen from the Chalet

The first roof on Golden Puff

The first roof on Golden Puff

Maxie on Gringo Disco

Maxie on Gringo Disco

Doin' the Gringo Disco

Doin’ the Gringo Disco

 

Virgin Rock

 

Unclimbed rock in the Virgin Canyon

Unclimbed rock in the Virgin Canyon

Big unclimbed wall at the far end of the Virgin Canyon

Big unclimbed wall at the far end of the Virgin Canyon

 

Miscellaneous Photos

Mine truck

Mine truck

Free camping in the basin

Free camping in the basin

Basin view

Basin view

Spires moon

Spires moon

 

 Climber’s License Plates

Oklahoma, USA

Oklahoma, USA

 

Rogues Gallery 2014-2015

Birddog, Austin, TX

Birddog, Austin, TX

Elizabeth Honaker, Chris Barton, Kiko Giraldo, Austin, TX

Elizabeth Honaker, Chris Barton, Kiko Giraldo, Austin, TX

Dylan Cunninghant and Jess Taylor, Ravelstoke, B.C.

Dylan Cunninghant and Jess Taylor, Ravelstoke, B.C.

Yanik Simoneau-Chatigny, Michael Herbert, Sherbrooke, Quebec

Yanik Simoneau-Chatigny, Michael Herbert, Sherbrooke, Quebec

 

Mexican Folk Wisdom

El que mucho mal padece con poco bien se conforma.

He who suffers many evils is comforted with just a little good.

 

Potrero Dreamscapes

Dreamscape #16 Breakfast Club Peak and Buzz Rock

Dreamscape #16
Breakfast Club Peak and Buzz Rock

September 2014

Quote for the Day

Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.

–Oscar Wilde

 

Potrero News

Tami and I are still in Wisconsin but will be heading South soon to get ready for what is promising to me another fine Winter in the Potrero.  Most of our casitas have been reserved for the Christmas/New Year’s high season so if you haven’t made your plans yet you’d better get on it.

Meanwhile here’s a few more…

 

Potrero Photos from the Internet

Amy Trook on Timewave Zero photo by M. Morley

Amy Trook on Timewave Zero photo by M. Morley

 

Callie on Timewave Zero photo by brassnuts

Callie on Timewave Zero photo by brassnuts

 

Timewave Zero photo by jhump

Timewave Zero photo by jhump

 

Through the Looking Glass photo by CM

Through the Looking Glass photo by CM

 

Nemo  photo by Charman

Nemo photo by Charman

 

The outrageous Outrage Wall  photo by unknown

The outrageous Outrage Wall photo by unknown

 

Wisconsin Gallery

 

Devil's Lake shenanigans

Devil’s Lake shenanigans

 

Tami in Wisconsin

Tami in Wisconsin

 

Cool shadows on the trail

Cool shadows on the trail

 

Creek scene

Creek scene

 

The woods are full of interesting mushrooms these days…  I won’t try to identify them all…

 

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Mexican Folk Wisdom

Cada quien tiene su forma de matar a pulgas.

Everyone has their own way of killing fleas.

 

Potrero Dreamscapes

Dreamscape #15 The Virgin Canyon

Dreamscape #15
The Virgin Canyon

 

 

August 2014

Quote for the Day

Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor.

–Sholem Aleichem

 

Homero Gutierrez

Jeff Jackson has written a beautiful tribute to Homero.  You can read it on the Rock & Ice website

rockandice.com      Couldn’t get the link to work so you’ll have to type in homero in the search box

Homero Gutierrez 1954-2014

Homero Gutierrez
1954-2014

 

 

Alex Honnold

Alex has written about his experience soloing the Sendero Luminoso in the latest issue of Alpinist.

alpinist.com/doc/ALP47/70-sendero-luminoso-alex-honnold

Alex Honnold in Alpinist

Alex Honnold in Alpinist

 

Alex Honnold on Sendero Luminoso

Alex Honnold on Sendero Luminoso

 

 

Guest Photos

Here’s a few more Potrero photos taken from the world web:

 

North face of El Toro photo by Daniel de Regil

North face of El Toro
photo by Daniel de Regil

 

Barret Parker on Aguja Celo Rey photo by David Preston

Barret Parker on Aguja Celo Rey
photo by David Preston

 

Phil on Milk Cow Blues photo by grizz

Phil on Milk Cow Blues
photo by grizz

 

Climber on the Mota Wall photo by Tork

Climber on the Mota Wall
photo by Tork

 

Riders approaching the Potrero Chico photo by Hamie

Riders approaching the Potrero Chico
photo by Hamie

 

 

Wisconsin Album

Tami and I are spending the Summer in the Land of Sky-blue Waters.  Doing a little climbing, lots of hiking with the dogs and enjoying some real water and real trees.

My permanent campsite at Wheeler's near Devil's Lake

My permanent campsite at Wheeler’s near Devil’s Lake

 

Cool tree on Wheeler's property

Cool tree on Wheeler’s property

 

Yellow Daisies

Yellow Daisies

 

Purple Cones

Purple Cones

 

Wisconsin sandstone, Gibraltar Rock

Wisconsin sandstone, Gibraltar Rock

 

Gibraltar Rock

Gibraltar Rock

 

Devil's Lake from Elephant Rocks

Devil’s Lake from Elephant Rocks

 

Climber at Elephant Rocks

Climber at Elephant Rocks

 

Climber on Alligator Wall, Old Sandstone area

Climber on Alligator Wall, Old Sandstone area

 

Chloe and Isaiah in Fisher Creek

Chloe and Isaiah in Fisher Creek

 

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne’s Lace

 

Isaiah checking out the Rock River

Isaiah checking out the Rock River

 

Mexican Folk Wisdom

El que temprano se moja tiempo tiene de secarse.

He who gets drenched at dawn has the rest of the day to dry out.

 

Potrero Dreamscapes

Dreamscape #14 Mota Wall and El Toro from Time Loves a Hero

Dreamscape #14
Mota Wall and El Toro from Time Loves a Hero

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 21, 2014

Quote For the Day

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. –Joseph Campbell

 

R.I.P. Homero Gutierrez

I am very sad to report the death of our good friend Homero Gutierrez. Homero was the first Hidalgo local to befriend the visiting climbers and turn his property into the Camp 4 of the Potrero Chico.

For many years he offered us all a home away from home and hosted many a Thanksgiving dinner for 100 climbers, many a Super Bowl party, and the annual New Year’s Eve bash complete with live music, fireworks and mechanical bull.

Homero Gutierrez in a tyical pose at his ranch. photo courtesy of Brian Feldman

Homero Gutierrez in a tyical pose at his ranch.
photo courtesy of Brian Feldman

Tami and I were the first climbers to settle permanently in Hidalgo and relied heavily on Homero for everything from purchasing property to finding a good mechanic.

Homero’s generous heart gave out on July 3rd, 2014 at the age of 59.  He will be sorely missed.

 

Guest Photos

Herewith a selection of photos culled from the interwebs:

Annette on Two Pumed Chump photo by krillen

Annette on Two Pumed Chump
photo by krillen

 

Drew Peterson on Pangea photo by David Vuono

Drew Peterson on Pangea
photo by David Vuono

 

Diana on the summit of Timewave Zero photo by Mark Grundon

Diana on the summit of Timewave Zero
photo by Mark Grundon

 

Homero with rattlesnake photo by Danny Inman

Homero with rattlesnake
photo by Danny Inman

 

Magic Ed on the FFA, pitch 3, Time Loves a Hero photo by Kristen Shelburg

Magic Ed on the FFA, pitch 3, Time Loves a Hero
photo by Kristen Shelburg

 

The Illuminati Wall from Timewave Zero photo by ashwartz

The Illuminati Wall from Timewave Zero
photo by ashwartz

 

Manboy on Nemo hoto by unknown

Manboy on Nemo
hoto by unknown

 

Spires in the fog photo by unknown

Spires in the fog
photo by unknown

 

Potrero Pups

Remember this little guy?

 

Nap time for this crag dog in training

Nap time for this crag dog in training

 

Caleb was adopted by Chris Palmer, a Brit who was living in Austin but has since moved back to England.  Not bad for a Mexican street orphan.

In next month’s post I will be featuring our efforts to improve the lot of the local mutts.

 

Mexican Folk Wisdom

Todo por servir se acaba. Everything wears away from use.

 

Potrero Dreamscapes

 

Dreamscape #13 South face of El Toro behind the matorral

Dreamscape #13
South face of El Toro behind the matorral

April, May, June, 2014

Quote of the Day

I recently finished my first novel by Peter Temple, Truth,  and came across an excellent paragraph.  It talks about boxing but I think it very well describes the rock climbing experience.

“He thought boxing might give him courage.  It didn’t but he loved it from the start–the exercises, the drills.  And most of all the sparring, the fighting.  In the ring, in the thrall of adrenaline, looking over the fence of your fists into the stone eyes of the other man, a great calm took you.

“There was nothing else–a world stopped.  Just the two of you, the smell of glove leather, of resin, of the salve, you were in a dance, hypnotized by each other.  In the ring, time became elastic, it extended,  contracted, extended.  You felt alive in a way you never felt otherwise.  There was a sense of order, there were rules, there was clear intent, ways and means, there was discipline and power.  You felt little pain, your concentration on your opponent was total.  He was your universe.  He was you and you were him.”

 

Potrero News

Many of you have noticed that it’s been a while since I posted.  I had major computer problems in April and lost a whole month of good photos.  Then May came and went and I fell victim to my procrastinating habits so here we are in the middle of June and I’m finally getting out my May posting.  There was actually a small but steady stream of climbers passing through in May, including a couple of blokes on their way to Brazil for the World Cup.

 

New Route Chronicles

Ann Ramsey and I have finally finished the new route we started on the Jungle Warfare sector.  Galletas con Leche (Milk and Cookies) 5.8, is a fine addition to this beginner’s wall.

Meanwhile, Mark Grundon put up a couple of moderates on the TNT Wall to the left of Tortilla Flat: Muffin Top (5.8) with Norma Torres and Dos Ninis (5.9) with Cope Fernandez.

The big news is that I finally, after two full years, finished and climbed my new 8 pitch route, Time Loves a Hero (5.11), on the Mota Wall.  You can see the first ascent by following my blog posts starting on April 30, 2012.

As you can see, I was quite ambitous when I started, hoping that the route would continue on the walls above the huge ledge.  When I got up there, however, I found that building a trail to the back walls would be a monumental task.  A better approach will be following the ridge for one more pitch past the summit of Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

Time Loves a Hero follows the obvious line right up the middle of the photo

Time Loves a Hero follows the obvious line right up the middle of the photo

The first week of May I had a huge day when I jugged up 8 pitches, pulling up, coiling and stashing the static ropes, then spent the next 8 hours doing the last of the trundling and removing the last recalcitrant cactuses that were in the way.  Overall, however, I was very pleased with how clean the route was.  It was dark by the time I reached terra firma and I was so exhausted it took almost an hour to make my way back down the hill to my van.  It felt like I’d hit the proverbial wall while running a marathon.

A couple of weeks later I went up and removed the fixed ropes from the first two pitches and the stage was set for the free ascent.  Being the end of May there were very few climbers around but I was fortunate to enlist a couple of hard-climbing gals from California for the big day.

Herewith the photos from the first ascent:

Amy Vevoda starts up the first pitch of Time Loves a Hero

Amy Vevoda starts up the first pitch of Time Loves a Hero

 

Amy leads through on the second pitch

Amy leads through on the second pitch

 

Amy on the second pitch

Amy on the second pitch

 

Krinten Shelburg on the third pitch

Kristen Shelburg on the third pitch

 

Amy nears the anchors on the third pitch

Amy nears the anchors on the third pitch

 

Kristen starts up the fourth pitch

Kristen starts up the fourth pitch

 

Kristen leads the fourth pitch

Kristen leads the fourth pitch

 

Amy belaying Kristen on  the fourth pitch

Amy belaying Kristen on the fourth pitch

 

Kristen in the crux of the fourth pitch

Kristen in the crux of the fourth pitch

 

Amy on the upper part of the fourth pitch

Amy on the upper part of the fourth pitch

 

The first crux of the fifth pitch is right at the start.  Kristen leads

The first crux of the fifth pitch is right at the start. Kristen leads

 

Kristen pitch 5

Kristen pitch 5

 

Amy on the fifth pitch

Amy on the fifth pitch

 

Amy leads the sixth pitch

Amy leads the sixth pitch

 

Amy on the seventh pitch

Amy on the seventh pitch

 

Kristen rapping the fifth pitch

Kristen rapping the fifth pitch

None of us brought enough water so by the end of the day we were all dehydrated and running on empty.  Since we all took falls at the harder bits the ratings for this route are still ambiguous.  It will take a few ascents to reach a concensus.  A tip of the cap to Kristen and Amy for the hard work of climbing the route and helping retrieve the rest of the static lines.

And by the way, now that it’s done I’m permanently retiring this old harness:

My old Yates big wall harness

My old Yates big wall harness

 

 

Kids Climbing

The next morning was Saturday and, as usual, there was a group of kids at my door bright and early wanting to go climbing.  My whole body ached and my feet were killing me but I didn’t want to disappoint them so I loaded the kids and the dogs in the van and took them up to see the huge old Oak tree and the spring where it flows out of the mountain.  Everybody had a blast.

These younsters had never been to see the 400 year-old Oak tree

These younsters had never been to see the 400 year-old Oak tree

 

This is where the water springs from the mountain and runs for a ways before being directed into the aqueduct

This is where the water springs from the mountain and runs for a ways before being directed into the aqueduct

 

It didn't take long for them to strip down and get wet and dirty

It didn’t take long for them to strip down and get wet and dirty

 

Miscellaneous Photos

The Potrero Diamond towers over the central plaza in Hidalgo

The Potrero Diamond towers over the central plaza in Hidalgo

 

Riders on the back roads

Riders on the back roads

 

East side rock

East side rock

 

Beautiful one-finger pocket on the Wonder Wall

Beautiful one-finger pocket on the Wonder Wall

 

The pack in a cool little cave we found in the basin

The pack in a cool little cave we found in the basin

 

Little Eloise is looking more and more like a Red Heeler

Little Eloise is looking more and more like a Red Heeler

 

Artistic rendition of the Snott Girlz Spire

Artistic rendition of the Snott Girlz Spire

 

 

Rogues Gallery

Kristen Shelbug and Amy Vevoda, Mammoth Lakes, CA

Kristen Shelbug and Amy Vevoda, Mammoth Lakes, CA

 

Liz and Jerry, Smithers, B.C.

Liz and Jerry, Smithers, B.C.

 

Timothe Beaudoin and Valerie Biron, Montreal, Quebec

Timothe Beaudoin and Valerie Biron, Montreal, Quebec

 

Barclay Lewis and Zack Blickhan, St. Louis, MO

Zack and Lewis, St. Louis, MO

 

 

Mexican Folk Wisdom

Quien sigue a la liebre, este la prende.

He who chases the rabbit is the one who will catch it.

 

Potrero Dreamscapes

Dreamscape #12 Front side East

Dreamscape #12
Front side East

March 18, 2014

Quote for the Day

Pursue not the outer entanglements,

Dwell not in the inner void;

Be serene in the oneness of things,

And dualism vanishes by itself.

–Seng-t’san

 

Potrero News

The weather can’t make up its mind–every time we think Winter is over we get slammed by a few more days of chilly, wet misery.  A few days ago everyone got caught on the walls by an unexpected storm that blew in with high winds and a drenching rain.  No one is complaining, though;  we’ve had many beautiful sunny days in  the high 80’s.

A tip of the cap to Jon Jones who was here for a few weeks and did quite a bit of maintenance work replacing and upgrading many of the old anchors on the Mota Wall.  He also did some fine tuning on a few routes that needed improvements and bolted a new route with Andy Genereux on the TNT Wall between Baked Fresh Daily and No Habla Español.  Señor Sucio is graded at 5.10d/11a.

Jon Jones with one of the new spine boards

Jon Jones with one of the new spine boards

 

Honnold Video

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a link for the short video they made of Alex’s unroped ascent of El Sendero Luminoso:  http://youtube.com/watch?v=Phl82D57P58

The Central Pillar

The Central Pillar

 

Recent Climbing Photos

Climbers on Mugre Mugre and Trouble at the Border

Climbers on Mugre Mugre and Trouble at the Border

Virgin Canyon, climbers on Mugre Mugre and Trouble at the Border

Virgin Canyon, climbers on Mugre Mugre and Trouble at the Border

Mugre Mugre and Trouble at the Border

Mugre Mugre and Trouble at the Border

Climbers on the 2nd ptch of Las Chimuelas

Climbers on the 2nd ptch of Las Chimuelas

Las Chimuelas, pitch 2

Las Chimuelas, pitch 2

 

Virgin Rock

There's only a handful of routes on this wall on the South side of Los Lobos Canyon

There’s only a handful of routes on this wall on the South side of Los Lobos Canyon

Afternoon sun lights up the South face of Buzz Rock

Afternoon sun lights up the South face of Buzz Rock

 

Kids Climbing

Every Saturday morning Rosaura 10, and her brother Bryan 8, show up on my front porch all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed eager to go climbing.  Sometimes they bring other kids who want to have a go.  Both of them have become adept at belaying and lowering a climber with a gri-gri.

Rosaura and Bryan

Rosaura and Bryan

Bryan on Gracias Mi Amor

Bryan on Gracias Mi Amor

Rosaura on Espantasuegra

Rosaura on Espantasuegra

Bryan on Espantasuegra

Bryan on Espantasuegra

Rosaura belaying

Rosaura belaying

Hiking out

Hiking out

Rosaura

Rosaura

 

Miscellaneous Photos

Selfie

Selfie

Exploring the old quarry on the front side

Exploring the old quarry on the front side

East-side above the swimming pools

East-side above the swimming pools

Slacklining between the Spires

Slacklining between the Spires

Windmill factory near the airport

Windmill factory near the airport

Snott Girlz Peak and ridgeline

Snott Girlz Peak and ridgeline

Late afternoon sun lights up the Spires and Space Boyz Peak

Late afternoon sun lights up the Spires and Space Boyz Peak

 

Rogues Gallery

Russ Clune, New Paltz, NY and Chris Thomas, Salt Lake City

Russ Clune, New Paltz, NY and Chris Thomas, Salt Lake City

Richard Stohlman, Brooklyn, NY and Paul Funs, New York City

Richard Stohlman, Brooklyn, NY and Paul Funs, New York City

Kim K and Lauren Chandler, Portland, OR

Kim Crihfield and Lauren Chandler, Portland, OR

Erika Neal and Chad Diesinger, Fairbanks, Alaska

Erika Neal and Chad Diesinger, Fairbanks, Alaska

Cliffmama and crew, NY

Ariel Pazer, Jannette Pazer aka Cliffmama, Matt Logan, Charlie Kirkwood, Christopher Martin, New York

Avi

Ari Menitove, at large

Ann Ramsey, New Paltz, and Christiane Siebert, New York City

Ann Ramsey, New Paltz, and Christiane Siebert, New York City

Andy Genereoux, Canmore, BC

Andy Genereux, Calgary, BC

Kevin Boyko, Florida, and Adian Costello, Boulder, CO

Kevin Boyko, Florida, and Adian Costello, Boulder, CO

Natalia Rodnova, New York City and Julia Leder, New Paltz, NY

Natalia Rodnova, New York City and Julia Leder, New Paltz, NY

 

Mexican Folk Wisdom

Hay mas tiempo que vida.

There is more time than life.

 

Potrero Dreamscapes

Giant Oak tree in  the basin

Giant Oak tree in the basin

 

 

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