El Salto y Laberinto (Nuevo León, México)

Party : Fernando Fraire Tirado and Felix Ossig-Bonanno

Routes : El Salto and Laberinto

After canyoning around Potrero Redondo for the week, I walked to Las Adjuntas and then hitched Puerto Genovevo with some ecologists studying carnivorous plants. There is a cell tower here and after a week of no contact, I sat with the midges and organised the w/e. Fernando confirmed he’d be coming and Samuel suggested some good camp spots. I hitched to González and grabbed some fresh food from Donña Kika. I headed towards El Salto running into the Canadian van that had given me a ride a week ago. In the dark, I set up camp nearby. I was almost asleep when they returned. Some Americans joined them around a fire, and when the guitar started to sing, I decided to emerge and join them. A bit of talking, some marshmallows and it was time for bed.

I walked out and met Fernando at the tienda. He was running a bit later than me and by the time Fernando ate some breakfast it was quite late… But both trips we had planned were short, so it wasn’t really a concern.

Walking out past my camp, we followed the wash. Passing some large large boulders (road heads up to the right) we were soon peering down the dryfall called El Salto. It was an amazing spot. A commercial group was already there, but despite other anchor options we sat there just enjoying where we were. There were bolts everywhere, reaffirming my perspective that bolts should only be used when necessary. After-all, there were natural options available.

Sitting on a large rock overlooking the drop over 30 bolts were counted. The best options are CR. One set at river level and another up higher. Both groups used the higher ones. It looked like you could also climb up higher to another anchor and abseil down onto the arch.

We watched as a girl got her hair caught in her descender. “Remember your ABCs” I reminded Fernando. I gave some suggestions on what to do, and Fernando relayed the directions in español. Soon the girl was standing on the guy and had her hair free.

The commercial group used a long rope having people rap down either end. Maybe 40m down. (So 35ish from the lower set). They then extended the one rope to rap the remainder. They let us use their rope and I found after the initial drop you can scramble to the bottom. The hardest climb CR right at the end.

We walked back out having lunch at the car before driving off to do Laberinto.
In town, the clutch gave out and we couldn’t fix it. Eventually we found a mechanic and pushed the car there. We camped in the same spot I’d used the previous night.

After the clutch troubles the day before, we had no car. Walking out of town we scored a ride up to the drop in for Laberinto.

Near the drop in, there is a cross and statue of Christ. At the far end of a short stone wall you can abseil down into the canyon. The other option in to climb down into the drainage around a loop in the canyon and get in that way. There was a guided group at the pitch so we took the latter option and scrambled down.

There are two short pitches of no more than 10m. After this you approach the Laberinto, the narrowest constriction. There is a black pool below. You can drop two pitches here or utilise the steel cable for a guided rappel. The cable finishes a few metres off the ground so you might need to abseil at the end.

The cable is 60m. So you could being two 60s and just make it. Also possible with a 100m rope and a tag line so you can be lowered the last bit.

We didn’t know this when we did it and I finished several metres short of the end and dropped from the cable. Fernando cleaned my gear when he arrived with the pull rope. We did a counterbalance to get him down. Having lunch we watched the other group do it much more elegantly (using the 100m + tag line).

It was then a short walk to the road. The guides drove us back into González to grab our things and then gave us a ride into MTY. Hopefully we can join them on a trip they have planned!

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