"That is a HORRIBLE idea...mmm...ok, I'm in"...was how one phone call from Mexico ended and how an epic adventure began.
I have learned...that when certain opportunities come your way you have an obligation to grab hold and hope to whatever higher power you celebrate, that you can hang on. If not, you are sentenced to live a long life as your soul slowly dies and you fade from average pedestrian to forgotten footnote on ancestry.com
I had for the last couple years been a willing co-pilot/pilot in a Volvo station wagon that had been hurtling north from San Miguel De Allende Mexico to Chicago at speeds that would concern any safety minded individual and enrage law enforcement. My good friend Tom, a restaurant owner, motorcycle rider, generally swell guy and...avid rock climber, spends time in Mexico every year and while wife and kids fly back to or from Chicago, he'll take the bulky whatevers, Taco the dog, and put it all in or on the XC70 and do the drive North in June, South in August.
I love road trips...let's get that out of the way...if you say, "Jim, lets drive to....." You'd be stopped mid sentence with me saying, "You had me at drive". If there's an opportunity to cross vast space in short time via wheeled mechanical beasts, I'm in love with the idea.
The problem with Tom and I is that we had done this particular trip a couple times already. This time we both had an itch to do something a little more fun than stop off at random places for BBQ, Carnitas or a historical marker. This was going to be the EPIC road trip of all road trips...and still stick it into 5 days.
The HORRIBLE idea? Climb Pico Independencia just outside of Moterrey Mexico. Suffice to say, rock climbing has never been a main hobby...I've actually never climbed before the day I hiked my size 15 Keen boot up to the first metal rung of a Via Ferrata route nestled in a dicey part of Mexico on a rock formation straight out of an apocalyptic film set. Via Ferrata is basically a route of metal rungs attached to a rock face. You have the "safety" of a cable and something to hang onto, but the open air quality of free climbing....ie...at one point there was 1500' under of open air under my heels.
Quite possibly one of the scariest things I've ever done, and with a complete suspension of common sense and belief in my climbing partners ability and years of experience and my physical abilities we did the whole thing in 6hrs car door to car door. It should also be mentions that it seems that particular route was closed, and in leu of hiring a guide, which was an option, I suggested we use the money for a good dinner and tequila. Priorities. Have a look at the video and enjoy the scenery.