Reality is what refuses to go away after I stop believing in it.
–Phillip K. Dick
The season is well under way, with climbers from all over the globe arriving by land and air. We’ve had some chilly weather dipping down from the North but it hasn’t been severe enough to prevent anyone from getting out and on the walls.
Two years after his horrific accident (remember here: magicedspotrerochico.com/?p=1822) Frank has returned to the Potrero with one main goal: to climb Double Trouble, the route he was working on when he fell.
Because the second pitch is a tricky 5.10d (which everyone knows is harder than 5.11) and both of us are kinda outta shape, we enlisted the cutest girl in the world to lead us up it.
Adrian Tanguay led the first pitch of Double Trouble while Sierra and I climbed the first two pitches of Leap of Faith so I could get some good photos.
Sierra then rapped to the first pitch of Double Trouble and smoothly led the second pitch.
Frank struggled a bit but did not give up.
Congratulations, Frank, long may you run.
Gino and Sierra made a three-day ascent of Sendero Luminoso, 15 pitches, 5.12d, over a very chilly Thanksgiving.
You can see the video they made here: vimeo.com/user3044616
The tiny puppy we found is developing into a beautiful, strong, healthy pit bull who needs a permanent home.
La amistad sincera es un alma repartida en dos cuerpos.
True friendship is one soul shared by two bodies.
Climbers are starting to trickle in and the owners of El Buho, The Owl, coffee shop, are back from North Carolina so I’m declaring the 2013-2014 season OPEN! I’m predicting another great season so start making your plans to be a part of it.
In the meantime, Happy Halloween and Dia de Muertos.
I took a hike with the dogs a few weeks ago to the natural arch I “discovered” just a couple of years ago…
It was an overcast day which provided some dramatic scenery…
Imagine my surprise to find that the arch has collapsed and is no more!
Little Sunshine, the puppy we found with an infected bite on her back has been adopted by a local family.
Buddy Knutsen, now known as BK, is now part of our pack. Because of his bad paw he has trouble keeping up with the other mutts on level ground but on the steep stuff he’s a veritable climbing machine.
While hiking with the pack along the dirt roads below the front side we came upon a tiny, 4-week-old female puppy.
Unfortunately, folks around here still take their unwanted puppies and ditch them. This little girl got lucky that we
found her before she starved to death or got eaten by the coyotes.
The wildflowers were a big hit in my last post so here’s a few more:
I’m slowly adding to the list of climber’s license plates seen in the Potrero. It’s too bad I didn’t start a while back ‘cuz I would have some very rare sightings such as Hawaii and Rhode Island.
El que demonios da, diablos recibe.
He who gives demons receives devils.
“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.”
Our September rains arrived punctually on September first and have been generous. Even before the tail end of Ingrid swept though, we’d already more than doubled the average rainfall for the month. Those of us who live here love the rain; it clears the dust out of the air and turns the desert a lush verdant with thousands of wildflowers blooming everywhere. It’s also when the rock is at its most dramatic, with the grey rock turning black and the cream-colored walls jump out at you.
With the exception of a few climbers from Monterrey on the week-ends, there has been no climbing action to report but we did receive a three week visit from a group of Mexican and French highliners. They set and walked a number of amazing high–and I mean really high–lines.
Besides the obvious between the Spires, they set lines from the Spires to the Outrage wall, across the gap in front of the Wave, across Las Estrellas canyon to the top of Tami’s Pillarl, and they even humped all their gear to the summit of El Toro for a spectacular walk at the top of the mountain.
The following photos are from their facebook page. You can see many more photos and videos here:
In September of 1846, an American army of 6250 men led by Zachary Taylor, attacked the city of Monterrey at the beginning of a war which would last an entire year. The reasons for this war are complex and involve a border dispute over the newly annexed territory of Texas and redress for a large amount of commercial debt that Mexico owed to American businesses.
Both sides in this battle for Monterrey committed costly blunders. The Americans failed to recognize a couple of Mexican fortifications guarding the entrance to the city, and once inside, they realized that they were ill trained for urban warfare and became easy targets for the Mexican snipers posted on the rooftops and windows of the buildings.
After suffering hundreds of casualties, the Americans retreated and now the Mexicans blundered by not pressing their advantage and giving chase. The following day, after another bloody battle with serious consequences, the Americans finally gained the upper hand and the Mexicans realized it would be to their advantage to surrender.
Surrender they did, but under their own terms, which allowed them to retreat to Saltillo with their weapons, their flags unfurled and with the promise of a two week armistice.
A couple of interesting side notes:
When the Americans entered Mexico, a number of disgruntled soldiers, mostly of Irish descent, defected over to the Mexican side. This St. Patrick’s Brigade is honored in Mexico to this day.
Both Generals in this conflict, Zachary Taylor and Pedro de Ampudia, would become President of their respective countries.
La necedad cierra las puertas de la bondad.
Stubborness closes the doors of kindness.
We cannot directly choose our circumstances, but we can choose our thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, we can shape our circumstances.
I’ve slowly but surely been plugging away at the new route. I now have the alternate 3rd pitch bolted and added a couple of bolts to the original 3rd pitch. I took a close look to adding another bolt on the 4th pitch but decided it wasn’t necessary and I’ve bolted a variation on the 5th pitch. I’m having trouble deciding what to do about a fragile hold on the 5th pitch; do I go ahead and break it off, making the pitch considerably more difficult, or should I reinforce the hold???
Tami and I have rescued 2 more dogs this past month. We found Knutsen lying in the grass by the side of the road being eaten alive by a thousand ticks–and I’m not exaggerating. It took 4 chemical baths to kill them all and we’re still combing dead ticks off of his skin. He also has a deformed front paw. We’re not sure if it’s a birth defect or if he got run over and it healed funny.
Sunshine, as we’ve named her, was roaming the streets with a serious, infected dog bite on her back. She has healed up rapidly and we have already found her a permanent home with a good family in Hidalgo.
The curious case of Niño Fidencio, the Edgar Cayce of Mexico
Jose Fidencio de Jesus Constantino Sintora was born in 1898 on a small ranch in the state of Guanajuato. The young altar boy reached only a third grade education when, in 1912, he and his best friend (and future benefactor), Enrique Lopez de la Fuente, moved to Morelia to serve in the kitchens of a wealthy family.
It was in 1921 when Enrique, who had moved to the tiny desert town of Espinazo, Nuevo Leon (50 miles from Hidalgo), contacted Fidencio and asked him to come work for him and help take care of his children.
It was during this time that Fidencio discovered a gift for diagnosing and healing and began to develop his methods which included herbs, massage and spiritual faith. He also became known as an excellent midwife and was also known to perform surgeries with primitive instruments and no anesthesia. Word kept spreading and he developed a large cult following which got a huge boost in 1925 when the President of Mexico, Putarco Calles, visited Espinazo and requested a healing. (The exact nature of his ailment has never been disclosed.)
He earned the name Niño Fidencio because of his youthful appearance and his playful nature. It is said that during his life the tiny town of Espinazo, population 200, would often swell to 25,000 faithful seeking cures.
Niño Fidencio died in 1938 at the young age of 40–many believe due to the strain of his work–but his cult lives on.
Fidencista festivals are held twice a year in Espinazo and there are many web sites devoted to him, such as this one out of Texas: http://elninofidencio.com
The following photos were taken at the regional museum in Mina, just a few miles from Hidalgo:
Mas vale gotita permanente que aguacero de repente.
Better a steady drip than a sudden deluge.
You have no obligation under the sun than to discover your real needs, to fulfill them, and rejoice in doing so.
Things have been quiet here–just a few climbers from Monterrey and Saltillo on the week-ends. The swimming resort is open but only busy on the week-end. It’s hard to tell what the upcoming Winter season will be like but I am getting inquiries and taking reservations so hopefully we’ll continue the good energy we had last year.
I’ve been procrastinating getting back to my project because there is some hard work ahead doing the final top-down cleaning, including another day of big trundling. I decided to have some fun first and put a top rope on the alternate third pitch to see how it would go and where the bolts should be placed. I think it’s going to be a fun pitch at around 5.10b/c with a hard move near the top.
Another day I went up and replaced the old fixed rope on the first two pitches which has been getting rather worn and scary.
There are lots of these tortoises in the area. My dog Chloe seems to have a nose for them.
Found this fellow amongst the gear I have stashed at the base of my project…
By popular demand, a few more photos from Radek and Shirley Chalupa. chossclimbers.com
The town of Hidalgo seems to follow the latest statistics which tell us that Mexico is 88% Catholic, 4% atheist, and 2% Jehovah’s Witnesses with everyone else coming in at around 1%. Hidalgo has no Jewish Synagogue, Muslim Mosque or Buddhist Temple but these can be found nearby in Monterrey.
El que con lobos anda a aullar se enseña.
He who walks with wolves learns to howl.
If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.
–Lao Tzu, 6th century BCE
Not much to report since the season is definitely over and there are no climbers here. Although I have the entire canyon to myself and my broken finger has healed I have not gotten back to my project because we’ve been having a lot of rain and I’ve been suffering from an attack of gout in my right foot. I did get to the base of the route one day to retrieve my waterlogged gear. It was a sunny day and I thought I’d be able to set the gear out to dry but soon realized that everything would have to be brought down and scrubbed–even the aluminum carabiners had a weird mold starting to grow on them!
This post has been deleted to save the guilty arty any further embarrassment.
I’ll just leave one photo…
Here’s a few more photos by Radek and Shirley Chalupa. Check out their website: chossclimbers.com
Que bonito es ver llover y no mojarse.
How beautiful to watch the rain and not get wet.