Mexican Big Wall Climbing With Honnold and Stanhope

Altus Guide Paul McSorley just returned from a great session down in the Mexican Big Wall mecca of El Gran Trono Blanco last week.  The team consisted of ace photographer Andrew Burr and young rock masters Will Stanhope and Alex Honnold.  Our crew managed three ascents of the highly featured granite monolith with Will and Alex freeing the Pan Am and El Giraffe routes at V 5.12+ and V 5.13 respectively.  Alex and Paul threw a speedy lap (ca. 5 hours 30 minutes) up the Pan Am route and added a more direct two pitch finish of spicy 5.10 and 5.11 that avoids the regrettably vegetated via normal.  Though only a few hours from the US border, this place has a really remote and isolated feel that makes climbing here a real plaisir.


Bigwall Banditos: Stanhope, Honnold and Burr throwin' gunz

Sunrise on the Sierra de Juarez


Will Rappin' the Giraffe

Burr on the Giraffe Roof

Honnold topping out the Pan Am

Pitch one of the Giraffe Libre Willy tacking 5.11 cornerwork

Climbers at left on the Giraffe, the Pan Am is the obvious system on the right

About Ross Berg

Ross has guided, climbed and skied in the European Alps for the last several seasons. When he's at home he can be found working as a heli ski guide in winters and climbing alpine rock routes in summer.