American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

El Salto: El Chamán Loco

Mexico, Nuevo Léon, El Salto

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Dougald MacDonald
  • Climb Year: 2015
  • Publication Year: 2017

In November 2015, Italians Marco Maggioni, Paolo Marazzi, and Simone Pedeferri completed a 400m route up the El Chamán (Shaman) face at El Salto. The route was started about two decades earlier by Mexican climbers Paco Medina and Alex Patino. The Italian climbers spent six days aiding the line to the top of the wall (14 pitches). Marazzi and Pedeferri freed all but four of the pitches, with very sustained difficulty: The upper 11 pitches are mostly 7b to 8a+ (5.12b to 5.13c), with two pitches estimated at 8b or 8c but yet to be redpointed.

The new route, El Chamán Loco, is the second line up this huge face in El Salto, an area best known for difficult sport climbing. In 2006, Jimmy Carse (USA) and partners completed Samadhi after several years of effort. Alex Honnold and Chris Weidner free climbed the route (10 pitches, 5.13-) in 2009.

– Dougald MacDonald, with information from Planet Mountain, Ulric Rousseau, and Chris Weidner

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