Friday, 21 February 2014

Achicalada in Mehico

The approach to Los Animas in the morning fog
To be brutally honest I have failed to upkeep the blog. The details of the days past have far been lost in the dark corners of my culpably complacent mind. Colin has come and gone. The lack of wifi could be blamed, but I much rather throw the blame to the fact that being on vacation here far outweighs the urge to sit in front of a computer screen and blast away at the keyboard. No disrespect to the written word at all, but in order to write something interesting, you must first do something interesting.
Joe lowering off Bunga Bunga after another burn
I am currently sitting on a less than comfortable chair, sunbathing on our porch taking pleasure in relaxing on this rest day. The distant sounds of rouge roosters, other exotic birds and “honkeys” fill the air when some Mexican music isn’t blaring out of the speakers of a nearby truck passing through. My plan this evening is to write one blog recapping everything I can remember since I left off last.
James at the top of Hijo de Puta 12b

As I recall it was the end of our first rest day. The following day was spent like any other day inscribed in previous blogs. Wake up, drink matcha, eat eggs, warm up in the sun, read game of thrones , hike to the cliff, climb, and come home. The day of climbing was dedicated to our projects, perfecting and memorizing the moves of the dance up the wall. Our good friend James was coming tonight to join us on our little Mexican adventure. His flight was delayed, as was ours, and so he showed up a little later than expected. Being the amazing people we are, Joe and I left a plate of dinner in the microwave for James, which he quickly gobbled up as we wasted the night away telling stories of what to expect in the days to come.
Joe poking his way through the tufa maze
The sun rose and the birds chirped.  Nine eggs sizzled away in the pan as James and I slowly rolled out of bed, and Joe bounced off the walls in his morning spurt of energy. We decided to spend the day at Los Animas, showing James the gem crag of el Salto. Little did I know that today would be one of my best climbing days to date. To wrap it up quick I had three flashes, all at grades I was not use to flashing, let alone three in one day. 11d, 12a, 11d. James quickly found his endurance and flashed the first 11d, but very unfortunately fell on the last move of the 12a. Joe was able to get back on his 13d/14a project Bunga Bunga Christmas and work out the clipping stances, which would ultimately lead to his success. James spent the day working the 12a but to no prevail. At the end of the day we made a quick pit stop at La Boka where I gave my 12b project a couple burns. I made it look really fluid and enticing to James, who decided to start working it with me. It was nice to have someone climbing at my level and working the route with me.
Working one of many cruxes on Tufaluna
We were expecting Colin to drive in tonight, but once again due to plane delay, he was later arriving than expected. We thought he got lost, as he chose to rent a car and drive himself. He’s loco. Just like for James we had dinner ready for him in the microwave. The 5 days Colin spent with us went quick. We did a day of climbing at the Boka where James and I worked the project while Colin flashed it and started to work a bouldery 13a to the left called Lounge Puppy. The next day Joe and I were due for a rest day again while James and Colin went to explore the climbs the Cave had to offer. We spent the day in the sun, exploring the town and just taking it as easy as possible. We have ongoing beef with the chickens and often chase them around cars. At this rate I feel like the conflict will not be resolved. They continue to wake us up at 5am, well before sunrise. The following day it was back to the Boka for the morning and finally the 12b succumbed on the first try of the day, for both James and I. After a couple pitches we left with the sun at its zenith and moved on to Los Animas. With one project in the bag, I quickly found a new one. A 13a called Tufa Luna which suited my style of climbing perfectly. Burly, powerful and short. I went up it bolt to bolt to learn the beta and came down so confident that it would surely be freed this trip. Colin used what little time he had with us and jumped on everything that seemed appealing. James started working the 13a with me, and we were able to share our thoughts on the sequence. In the next couple of days Joe sent his mighty 14a project with only a few attempts invested into it. Quite a feat considering how chubby he is. Throgh out Colin’s trip he finished off most of the climbs at both crags that were below 12d, including two 13a’s and felt satisfied by the end.
Stealing the wifi outside
The last climbing day of Colins trip we used his Ford Focus rental car and drove down the hill to town. When you’re in a reliable car and not riding in an ancient broken down transport bus, the mountain road down to town doesn’t seem so scary. We used the time in town to grocery shop, and found a new market with better prices, but not as much selection. An hour of paid Internet afterwards summed up our trip. James left the net café early to stand in some sunlight. When we left, he was missing for almost 20mins. We had no idea where he had gone, and the jokes of kidnapping a rare Asian for Mexican drug sweatshops started. He had only left in search of authentic tacos. We made incredible time driving back up the mountain, and made it to the crag for an afternoon climbing sesh. James and I worked on the 13a and Joe spent the day flashing un-attempted routes with Colin.
Colin left this morning early on. The rest of us attempted to sleep in, but with paper thin walls, the annoying sounds of roosters and Mexican music made this impossible. Kika’s was closed this morning so we were unable to obtain freshly laid eggs for breakfast. Instead I whipped up some guacamole and salsa hot sauce for sandwiches. This would be adequate. Our dinner will be yet again Mexican Gumbo. A term Colin coined before leaving. Rice, Onion, ground beef, black beans, chic peas, tomato, garlic, green pepper, green onion and corn made this meal a heavy one, but one that left you drooling for more. It would never get old.
The el salto crew with our plates of Mexican Gumbo
 The tiny grains of sand in the great hourglass of time slowly fall as our subtle arts of obsession and determination carry us through the days. The fake sound of progress is ringing in our ears as we fight to send our projects before time runs out. All in due time.

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