American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Mexico, Neuvo León, Parque Nacional Cumbres de Monterrey, Cañón de la Huasteca, Cañón de San Judas, Pico José Pereyra, Peyote Brujo

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2003

Cañón de la Huasteca, Cañón de San Judas, Pico José Pereyra, Peyote Brujo. Paul Vera is a local climber in Monterrey who invited José Pereyra (Venezuela) to climb in the area. Francisco Medina (Mexico) was invited to a meeting at Paul’s house, where he met José for the first time. Paul and José discussed different climbing projects in La Huasteca, and José proposed a climb in San Judas canyon based on a picture of this wall. They agreed and invited Francisco to participate in the attempt. Due to the long approach, the idea had only been a dream for Paul and Francisco.

On December 10 they started the approach on horses. One of the horses could not continue and they had to split the extra load. They reached base camp by morning on the 11th, but continued to porter gear until the next day. Paul made some climbing attempts later on the 12th but could not find a route. On December 13, Francisco returned to Monterrey for a night and came back to base camp on the 14th. By then, José and Paul had trad-climbed the first two pitches and fixed a rope to the anchor. A third pitch was accomplished on Sunday the 15th, and a new anchor was bolted by Paul and Francisco, while José and friend Ian Wolf kept portering gear from the distant van.

On December 16 they made an advanced camp, with portaledges, at pitch three, at the base of a wall emerging from this point. For the next two days they attempted a fourth pitch without success, but on the 19th Francisco was able to complete it. This proved to be one of the most difficult of the climb. José continued with a fifth pitch and they all descended to the advanced camp.

The sixth pitch was accomplished by Paul on the 20th. This was a very dusty crack with moving plates and falling rocks. This was very difficult and eventually Paul successfully climbed it with hooks, and installed a rivet hanger and a bolt. They slept again in the advanced camp.On December 21, José and Paul decided on a one push ascent—Francisco had never heard this term before and learned what “one push” meant only when he was asked to lead in the middle of the night, after a full day climbing. The trio climbed to their highest position and continued with a mixture of aid and free. José led the pitch seven, Paul completed pitch eight in the dark, and Francisco climbed the ninth in the middle of the night, finishing at 4 a.m. the next day. José crowned the route with the final 10th pitch. On December 22 they reached the summit and descended to advanced camp. They rested and descended to base camp the next day, then returned to Monterrey on Dec. 24. For route photo and description, see: More information about this climb’s location may be found on

They named the route Peyote Brujo, and the peak was baptized days later in memory of José Pereyra, who died while climbing in Potrero Chico (Mexico) the week after this ascent.

Francisco Medina, Mexico (summarized and translated from Medina by Rodulfo Araujo)

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.