El Potrero Chico
El Potrero Chico: (Multi-pitch & Sport Climbing) El Potrero Chico is a mexican pride! It is one of the world´s largest big wall sport climbing destinations and is home to over 650 sport routes. Located on the outskirts of Hidalgo, Nuevo Leon, a little town that has been welcoming the international climbing community since the late 80's and early 90's. A great place for the beginner sport climber to get into the awesome world of multi-pitch climbing. Although many of the big multi-pitch climbs are considered moderates ranging from 5.10a to 5.10d, there are several that reach into the 5.11 and 5.12 range and even a couple in the 5.13 range. So there is plenty of high quality climbing for everyone. Also there is single pitch climbing for those who want to have a chill day!
Climbing Rating Systems
Yosemite Decimal System (YDS):
The Yosemite Decimal System (YDS) is a three-part system used for rating the difficulty of walks, hikes, and climbs, primarily used by mountaineers in the United States and Canada. It was first devised by members of the Sierra Club in Southern California in the 1950s as a refinement of earlier systems, particularly those developed in Yosemite Valley, and quickly spread throughout North America.
- Grade I: Up to three hours.
- Grade II: Three to five hours.
- Grade III: Five to eight hours.
- Grade IV: Ten to fifteen hours, generally at least 5.7
- Grade V: Overnight on the route.
- Grade VI: Multiple days of hard technical climbing.
- Grade VII: Remote big walls climbed in alpine style.
Difficulty (CLASS): Uses numbers one through five.
Class 1 : Easy trail walking.
Class 2: Hiking on more difficult trails.
Class 3: Scrambling, using hands and feet.
Class 4: Scrambling with exposure. Rope should be used.
Class 5: Technical rock climbing. Further broken down as 5.0, 5.1, 5.2 to 5.9. At 5.10 it is subdivided into 5.10a, 5.10b, 5.10c, 5.10d, 5.11a up to 5.15d.
Class 6: Aid Climbing. Using equipment to climb and hang off of, rather than body movement on the rock. This class is further broken down by numbers preceded by the letter “A”.
- A1: Easy aid. No risk of a piece pulling out.
- A2: Moderate aid. Solid gear that’s more difficult to place.
- A2+: 10-meter fall potential from tenuous placements, but without danger.
- A3: Hard aid. Many tenuous placements in a row, 15-meter fall potential, could require several hours for a single pitch.
- A3+: A3 with dangerous fall potential.
- A4: Serious aid. 30-meter ledge-fall potential from continuously tenuous gear.
- A4+: Even more serious, with even greater fall potential, where each pitch could take many hours to lead.
- A5: Extreme aid. Nothing on the entire pitch can be trusted to hold a fall.
- A6: A5 climbing with belay anchors that won’t hold a fall either.
French Alpine System
In contrast to the Yosemite Decimal System (described earlier), the French alpine system evaluates the overall difficulty of a route, taking into consideration the length, difficulty, exposure, altitude and commitment-level, number of difficult pitches and how sustained they are, and quality of rock, snow and ice. It is world-wide recognized and it is often used to grade mountain climbs.
- F: facile (easy). Rock scrambling or easy snow slopes; some glacier travel or easy uphills; often climbed ropeless except on glaciers.
- PD: peu difficile (slightly difficult). Routes may be longer at altitude, with snow and ice slopes up to 45 degrees. Glaciers are more complex, scrambling is harder, climbing may require some belaying, descent may involve rappelling. More objective hazards.
- AD: assez difficile (fairly difficult). Fairly hard, snow and ice at an angle of 45–65 degrees, belayed climbing in addition to a large amount of exposed but easier terrain. Significant objective hazard.
- D: difficile (difficult). Hard, more serious with rock climbing at 5.5 up to 5.7 (YDS), snow and ice slopes at 50–70 degrees. Routes may be long and sustained or harder but shorter. Serious objective hazards.
- TD: très difficile (very difficult). Very hard routes, at this grade are serious undertakings with high levels of objective danger. Sustained snow and ice at an angle of 65–80 degrees, rock climbing at grade 5.8 up to 5.10b with possible aid, very long sections of hard climbing.
- ED1/2/3: extrêmement difficile (extremely difficult). Extremely hard, exceptional objective danger, vertical ice slopes and rock climbing up to 5.10a to 5.12b, with possible aid pitches.
- ABO: Abominablement difficile (abominable). Difficulty and danger at their limit.
Rock Climbing is a physical and mental sport that can be quite helpful to forge character and give you positive changes in your personal life. It is a perfect way to taste the synthesis of facing yourself in a mountain because usually rock climbing is easier to access and to exit as well than mountaineering.
All over the world there are plenty of rock formations like caves, mountains, towers or spires, big walls, canyons, etc.
Mexico has to offer lots of world-class rock climbing spots of all levels such as El Potrero Chico, Peña de Bernal, Jilotepec, El Salto, Guadalcazar and hundreds of more crags…
Over the past decade, Rock Climbing has exploded in popularity, therefore, the number of accidents has increased, so we offer courses and rock trips that are taught with the latest safety standards to practice this magnificent sport safely.