Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Geckos in Penas

The Geckos are a La Paz-based climbing club.  Two weeks ago, I went to Penas with them for a day of rock climbing.

Welcome to Penas:

Penas is a small historical village in the altiplano about an hour drive once you get out of El Alto's perpetual traffic jam.  Here is the main square:

Like most altiplano villages, the church lies at the center of town:

A mighty eucalyptus stump:

Bolivian virgen:

And child:

Some of the climbing area is located right behind the Church and the priest wants to encourage climbing as a tourist activity to help the village:

He had copies of topos for the climbs waiting for us along with breakfast:

Soon we were exploring the crags.  Roberto leads one of the routes:

Another enjoyable route:

Franco leads a hard route:

It goes directly out the big roof:

The same route from a different angle:

Some of the original fixed protection:

Getting crowded on top:

First day climbing and first lead for this ambitious young lady:

I made a new route with David, the local making most of the new routes.  It was easy but fun.  I think we graded it 6a.  We called it Welcome to Penas:

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