American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Mexico, Parque Nacional Cascada de Basaseachic, El Gigante, Los Sueños del Gigante

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2004

El Gigante, Los Sueños del Gigante. This 22-pitch route (5.11d/A0 or 5.12d) was established in mixed style, by Alex and Nathalie Catlin and Matt Greco, in December 2003. The route was cleaned on rappel over three weeks (and could use more). Many pitches required no bolts. Others are fully bolted, some bolts being drilled free, on lead, others on rappel. We believe the route justifies the style and hope that others who climb it will agree. A double set of cams and one dozen draws are needed. The approach is the same as for Man on Fire, and the first six pitches of the two routes coincide.

Pitch seven starts as Man on Fire’s does but continues right past the anchors to the bivy bolts. Pitch eight follows a diagonal corner to a crack and the top of a pillar. Pitch nine takes a thin crack right around an arête to a hand crack. Pitch 10 passes a small roof. On pitch 11 climb an overhanging crack and traverse right from a bolt. Above, retreat would be complicated. Pitch 12 is another steep splitter crack. On pitch 13 follow a corner to a long ledge. Pitch 14 begins with a hard move to a thin crack that turns into a seam; eventually move right to a good bivy ledge. On pitch 15 we left fixed a short piece of cheater rope at the otherwise 5.12d crux. The next two pitches, in contrast to the crack pitches below, involve bolted pockets, and pitch 18 involves a traverse right to a bivy cave. On pitch 19 take the crack out the roof of the cave, then traverse right. Pitch 20 is more pocket climbing, with 2,000 feet of exposure. From a flat spot left of the belay (where you can leave your haul bag and spare rope, to be picked up on descent) finish the route with two pitches up the arête above. Descent: Scramble east from the summit to a saddle, and after retrieving your gear, follow the trail east to your car.

Alex Catlin

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