AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

North America, Mexico, Chihuahua, Basaseachic Waterfall National Park, El Gigante, Blade, Scars and Stars

El Gigante, Blade, Scars, and Stars. In November 2000 I returned to Mexico with Jakub Gajda and Gareth Llewellin to attempt El Gigante. The month-long journey was wrought with near-death encounters and bucketsful of snakes. But we succeeded in establishing a new route on the monstrous monolith. The line ascends the 2,800-foot southwest face, ascending to a huge ledge and then following the left-most waterfall stain. The climbing was sustained hard aid. This previously unclimbed side was a little looser than expected. We climbed wall style, heavy and molasses-slow, averaging a pitch a day. After we spent 14 days on the wall, Blade, Scars, and Stars (VI 5.9 A3+) was finished. The route tops out at a place similar to Zodiac on El Cap, 1,000 feet shy of the summit proper. We were probably the first Australian, Czech, and American team to climb El Gigante.

Brent Edelen, AAC