Friday, November 5. The sport action at Petzl RocTrop 2010 is heating up just as the trip nears its end. The Petzl team and hundreds of RocTrip participants from around the world have been throwing themselves at the conglomerate routes of Jilotepec, and with only a few short days here, the team has managed to dispatch multiple routes in the 5.13/5.14 range, including a first ascent of what may be Mexico’s hardest climb, a 5.14c called Cruz Diablo.

Steve McClure sending Cruz Diablo (5.14c)
Strong Steve McClure on the first ascent of peharps Mexico's hardest climb, Cruz Diablo (5.14c). Photo: © Petzl / John Evans.

Thursday was a rest day, and 20 members of the Petzl team took a tour of the ancient pyramids at Teotihaucan, a holy site built by an unknown pre-Aztec civilization. After the tour, the local tourism board invited the climbers to watch a traditional Aztec dance and then enter a sweat-lodge ceremony called Temazcal. Here, the climbers squeezed into a dark stone hut with hot stones in the center. Water was poured on the rocks and the steam mingled with herbs, filling the space and creating a very primal, and very sweaty, atmosphere.

The Temple of the Sun, Teotihuacan, Mexico. Photo: © Petzl / Justin Roth.

By Friday, despite a cold front that moved in Thursday night, the climbers had acclimatized Jilo’s technical climbing style. The big sends, all of which happened on the massive El Huevo de Godzilla formation, included Steve McClure’s first ascent of the crimpy Cruz Diablo. The men’s Ultimate Routes -- both proposed 5.14+ projects -- Los Chicas Superpoderosas and The Mexican Guey, remained unsent as of the end of Friday. Still, Dave Graham and Jerome Pouvreau both managed to climb through The Mexican Guey’s steep, bouldery crux, only to fall on the face above. At one point, Pouvreau climbed up to a highpoint on the route, in the process skipping several clips. It was a tense and exciting moment, with both the send and a potential ground fall growing near.

Also on Friday, Nina Caprez managed the first female ascent of a 5.13+/14- called Bell Tunnich. Joe Kinder sent the same route earlier in the week, and went on to tick a 5.13d called Azoe, which was selected as one of the women’s Ultimate Routes but has not yet seen a female ascent.

Joe Kinder sending Bell Tunnich, a super-long 5.14 that combines two pitches into one. Photo: © Petzl / John Evans

Other 5.14 action that went down included Jerome Pouvreau and Daniel Woods ticking Requiem, a 14a on the left side of the wall, and Jon Cardwell’s ascent of La Venus di Jilo, on the right.

In addition to hard climbing, Friday was clinic day for the RocTrip attendees, with topics like Bolting, Competition Climbing, and Belay Technique lead by Petzl pros and local climbers. Throughout the day, spectators lounged in the field in front of El Huevo watching the climbers. Several locals rode up to the crag on horses to check out the scene.

Horses at the crag in Jilo
Horses parked out front of El Huevo in Jilo. Photo: © Petzl / Justin Roth.

Saturday is the final day of Petzl RocTrip Mexico, which will close with a fiesta featuring DJs and live music. We’ll likely be out late dancing Saturday night and then in transit Sunday. Go to for updates in the interim and check back here for a final wrap-up with more photos…


-Roctrip photos

Petzl RocTrip Mexico slideshow. Click the lower right-hand corner to view full-screen.


-Roctrip video