Cañón del Chiflón (Coahuila, México)

Party : Felix Ossig-Bonanno

Note : slightly shortened version

Tired of trains, I caught a bus from Torreón and camped below the canyon near the small town of “Plan de Alaya”. I rose just before the sun peaked the horizon, and on the other side of the pylons located a trail following the towns water pipeline. On the way up I passed through a small bamboo forest I think local canyoners refer to as “Vietnam”. The transition from the desert environment was quite sudden.

Passing through ‘Vietnam’

The top of the cañón, which is really a series of waterfalls is an idyllic spot. A cow came to bid me farewell as I dropped the first pitch which was just over 30m. My 60m rope was slightly to short doubled.

At the bottom of the first pitch I found a couple of options, either go through a constriction where the water flows or climb up CR to rap of a tree. I chose to follow the water as the water was really warm, I wondered if it was partly of thermal origin? There was a thread on the left, or a single bolt on the right which I used you as a handline. There was a deep pool at the bottom. I managed to avoid swimming by grabbing a solid piece of wood jammed beneath a boulder. The construction was nice, but very short.

Three bolts are CR where it opens. This is a fun rap with interesting travertine formations. There are spectacular views of a natural rock amphitheatre.

At the bottom I couldn’t find any established anchors and ended up lopping my rope over a horn. The rock was very corse and rope retrieval was difficult. I ended up having to climb a weakness CR to the pitch, and flick the rope off from there.

Looking at the horn from the top (bottom of P3)

A bit more downclimbing followed before I found a single bolt CR to finish the canyon. It was then a walk down the stream with bamboo on both sides (but mainly left). In spots I found a trail CR, but for my efforts a branch with thorns slashed me across the face. Luckily only catching my nose. Soon I found a small small dam diverting water into a channel. Exciting, I followed a trail/Rd back to the hwy. I retrieved my cached gear and after a good lunch headed to the junction to hitch the rest of the way into Saltillo.

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