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North America, Mexico, Elsewhere in North America, Mexico, El Cerro Blanco, Irritilas (Nómadas) and Lluvia de Estrellas

El Cerro Blanco, Irritilas (Nómadas) and Lluvia de Estrellas. This is a brief account about the lovely land and people of the states of Durango and Coahuila, México. Desert lands with multicolored sunrises and sunsets and incomparable beauty. The Peñón Blanco massif, better known as the Cerro Blanco, is one of the most accessible walls in México. It is a granite massif with 400 meters of vertical rise. Located in a desert zone where the temperatures in winter reach 28°C (85°F), it is best visited between the months of October and March. To reach Cerro Blanco you must take the national highway, Durango-Cuencame No. 40, to the town of Yerbanís where you turn toward Peñón Blanco until reaching Pueblo de Nuevo Covadonga and encounter the gap from the west of the rock massif. The Base Camp is two kilometers from the base of the wall. It is important to arrive with all of the food, fuel, and water you will need. This is a destination for adventure climbing. It is a one-hour approach to the base of the wall. All of the routes have been established and equipped in Yosemite style: Ground-up free climbing, placing bolts where there are no cracks for protection. There is trad, sport, and bouldering. There is vast potential here.

In December 2000, Jorge Colín and I climbed a seven-pitch route that we called Irritilas (Nómadas) [Irritated (Nomads)] (350 meters, VA1 5.11). Spending three days on the wall, we climbed with clean protection and bolts. Those who conquer the desert can experience excellent granite and feel the climatic contrasts. You can also contemplate the beautiful sunsets and share with the people of the States of Durango and Torreón.

In November (2001) I was drawn back by a strong attraction to the desert and especially to a massif of granite rock that rises between hills, spiny bushes, orange colored blocks of granite, and a night sky teeming with thousands of stars. This is the place to live a good adventure. This time I was accompanied by James Scarse, an American climber interested in getting to know the area and opening a new free route. We spent two days on the wall climbing some exceptional pitches with a few bolts and fascinating rock features. We made the first ascent of Lluvia de Estrellas (Rain of Stars) (300 meters, V Al 5.12+). In the Piedra Partida campground, where there is an enormous boulder perfectly split in two, waited some friends from Torreón, Monterrey, México (City), South Africa, and Switzerland. It’s a magical place.

Luis Carlos García Ayala, Mexico