On Saturday, November 7, Petzl athletes again made their mark on the Mexican climbing scene, adding a second 5.14 first ascent to the amazing El Huevo crag at Jilotepec. The latest hard project to fall to the visiting troupe of international rock stars is called Las Chicas Superpoderosas (“Super Powerpuff Girls” in Spanish), and it weighs in at roughly 5.14c, or 8c+.
Mickaël Fuselier (left) and Jérôme Pouvreau Las Chicas Superpoderosas, roughly 5.14c / 8c+, on El Huevo de Godizilla, Jilotepec, Mexico. Photo: © Petzl / John Evans.
Two climbers -- Mickaël Fuselier and Jérôme Pouvreau -- sent the route on the last day of RocTrip. Based on the athletes’ comments, Las Chicas Superpoderosas is likely a bit harder than Cruz Diablo, the route that Steve McClure made the first ascent of earlier in the trip. Together, these two former projects are contenders for the hardest sport climbs in Mexico.
Despite the cool, low-humidity conditions (not to mention high psyche levels) on Saturday, one of the Ultimate Routes, The Mexican Güey, still went unclimbed. This intimidating route connects an existing 5.13b, via a new middle section, to the top of a 5.14a and then adds a left-traversing finish. (A note on the route name: “Güey” -- pronounced “way” -- is the Mexican slang equivalent to “man” or “dude” in English.) Several athletes, including one of the trip favorites, 15 year old Enzo Oddo, threw themselves at the route repeatedly but were rebuffed by a stopper crux.
Phillipe Ribiere plays with fire at the at the RocTrip Mexico closing celebration. Photo: © Petzl / John Evans.
In addition to Las Chicas, Saturday was also the day of the RocRally, in which climbers attempted to climb the most routes possible, collecting points, based on grades, for each. Accordingly, the crag’s many sectors were packed all day long. The stands selling food, beer, climbing gear, and more in the parking area were abuzz. “Not only was it inspiring to watch the athletes climb hard routes quickly, but I was also blown away by the amount of time they devoted to getting to know the people who had come to watch them clip bolts,” said Urban Climber Editor-in-Chief Andrew Tower. “It was refreshing to see a group of young athletes stop for photos, autographs, and handshakes, even when they'd just come off the rock.”
This energy spilled over into the closing festivities, hosted at the climber house. Here, traditional mariachi music sparked the crowd’s excitement and then gave way to the beats of DJ Lafouche and Petzl athlete Said Belhaj’s live percussion. At one point, the two donned lucha libre (Mexican pro wrestling) masks.
Said Belhaj plays the drum, lucha libre style. Photo: © Petzl / John Evans.
The fiesta thumped on into early Sunday morning, despite unseasonal below-freezing temperatures -- a fitting way to end the first Petzl RocTrip in Mexico. “It was so rad to climb with some of the best climbers in the world for a week straight,” said Joe Kinder of the event. “It is probably the most motivating experience I could have.”
The key figure in organizing RocTrip Mexico was Alejandro Rivera, of Petzl's Mexican distributor, Alta Vertical. After spending months of long days preparing logistics -- climbing, lodging, food, transportation, registration, etc. -- the event went smoothly. All agreed that it was an excellent and memorable RocTrip -- for the climbers, the hunderds of participants from around the world, and for Mexican climbing in general. "We'd like to thank all the people involved in this adventure, starting with the athletes, but especially to all the staff who took in their hands such a big responsibility," said Rivera. "Each one of you is in our hearts and in the heart of Petzl RocTrip Mexico forever."
Stay tuned, as plans are already in the works for the next Petzl RocTrip...and it’s going to be big...
Petzl RocTrip Mexico slideshow. Click the lower right-hand corner to view full-screen.
- For more information, go to the RocTrip schedule
- Read the first news of the RocTrip at El Chonta, Taxco
- Read the second news of the RocTrip at Jilotepec
- Read the third news of the RocTrip at Jilotepec