Climb Europe - helping to plan and organize your rock climbing holiday in Mexico
There is a wealth of different types of rock climbing to be found in Mexico, including sport climbing, traditional climbing, big wall routes (up to 700m long) and bouldering that exist all over the country. Mexico has a great diversity of ecosystems with forests, deserts, and mountains, providing all types of rock from granite, sandstone, basalt, to quartzite, and limestone.
El Potrero Chico is the best known rock climbing area in Mexico with hundreds of limestone sport routes and multi-pitch routes. Also in the north of the Country there are big wall routes at La Huasteca, the giant waterfall wall at Basaseachic, and at Canon Tajo. Close to Mexico City there are a number of excellent sport climbing areas, particularly at Jilotepec. The best bouldering area in Mexico is at Penoles, with Catavina, Chico National Park and El Diente near Guadalajara also being very good.
The best known climbing area in Mexico is called El Potrero Chico near the city of Monterrey, close to the America border. El Potrero Chico is a sport climber’s haven with hundreds of limestone sport routes and multi-pitch routes. These towering mountains reside in the arid Chihuahuan desert of northern Mexico offering hundreds of brilliant routes, up to 700m long. There is something for everyone, from steep overhangs to easy slabs, with the majority of routes between 5.8 and 5.13 (French 4+ to 8a). There is a choice between 1, 3, 10 or 20 pitch routes on bolted limestone rock. Though the rock can be sharp there are plenty of crimps and pockets.
The best time to climb at El Potrero Chico is from mid-December through to mid-March, with late February offering the very best conditions. With regards to gear, a minimum 60m long rope is essential for the single pitch sport routes and twin 60m long ropes are recommended for the multi-pitch routes. Bring along around 20 quickdraws and even though the routes are bolted a small set of nuts are useful.
The limestone towering mountains of El Potrero Chico, Mexico’s best sport climbing area.
Around Mexico City and Guadalajara in the south of the country many climbing areas have been developed, offering sport, trad and bouldering options.
To the south of Mexico City is the huge cave at Chontacoatian that has some of the hardest sport climbs in Mexico. Closer to Mexico City there is the excellent sport climbing at Jilotepec and Los Dimamos, with Aculco offering the best trad climbing. For longer multi-pitch routes then Pena de Bernal and Chico National Park are the best areas that are situated to the north of Mexico City. Chico National Park is also the best bouldering area closest to the capital. Further north near San Luis is the excellent limestone sport climbing area of Guadalcazer with many overhanging routes with huge stalactites, tufas and pockets.
Close to Guadalajara there are several rock climbing areas with the granite blocks of El Diente being the best. Here there is excellent bouldering and sport climbing. However the best sport climbing near Guadalajara is on the coast at Ixcatan with many excellent routes on first class basalt rock.