El Rito, New Mexico is roughly three hours from Durango, Colorado. It is national forest campsite with distinctive conglomerate sport climbs.
For memorial weekend, it was packed. However, the area is large enough, that you can still manage to find a good campsite. Our campsite had a creek nearby and was secluded by trees that we felt alone, which may or may not be what you are looking for. It was exactly what we were looking for.
The sport climbs here are often overhung, with deep pockets. A lot of the climbs locally are crimps as oppose to pockets, so we were out of our element. It is nice to be out of your element, climbing wise. It is a challenge.
My last post talked about projects. This is the place to project because the 5.12s have lots of pockets, so the sequence is there it is just whether you can get it or not. Added bonus, there are a ton of 5.10s and 5.11s at El Rito. We got about 3/4 of the way up a 5.12 and then climbed a 5.10 right next to it to retrieve our draws.
With that said, the 5.7-5.10a were in heavy rotation this weekend. If 5.9s are your jam, I would wait for a less crowded weekend.
Now, returning to that 5.12, D rode that whip. He fell while clipping. It doesnt happen all that often, it was a smooth fall. That’s another bonus of this area, clean falls. The best way to fall.
We climbed as hard as we could, but the long routes and pockets ate our hands, we ended with seven routes total in two days. Don’t worry, we officially have the climbing bug – we will be back.
It be a shame to post about our adventure and not talk about food. Our meals this trip were spot on. We have really amped up our car camping game. We shopped local with our meats, everything came from Monta Vista. We had green chili and chive brats with avocado for dinner with a load of stir fry veggies and tequila chorizo scramble with tomatoes, garlic and left over veggies. It was legit. We also splurged on a Coleman, we are over using the whisper light while car camping. It is worth the 40 bucks.