So you want to go to the Cumbia Cave, you’ve reached the right place! The Cumbia Cave is located about half way up the road on your way to El Salto. Approximately an hour and a half from El Potrero Chico, a half an hour from El Salto and 45 minutes from Monterrey.
Appoximate GPS Coordinates of Cave:
For private tours and guiding you can contact Mark Grundon at http://www.elpotrerochicoguides.com/
For those looking to adventure to the caves on their own, you use the following directions.
You will reach the very small town of Puerto Genovevo. The sign will say Potrero Redondo. Turn down the dirt road (a left if coming from Monterrey, or right if coming from El Salto) Follow this road for around 30 minutes, 4wd and some clearance is recommended. We made the venture in a 4wd truck but as of 1/2016 a Subaru shouldn’t have any problem. (As you can see from the pictures they are currently paving parts of the road, so be friendly to the workers if you see them) It’s not recommended to go down the hill if it has just rained or if it’s calling for rain. Coordinates for intersection: (25.343144, -100.182741)
The dirt road turn off.
Where the rivers come together (Las Adjuntas) you’ll reach the parking area. The GPS coordinates for the parking area are: (25.300830, -100.141430)
Currently (as of 1/2016) Don Lalo who would show people out to the cave for some pesos is in the hospital. The following directions should get you there just fine.
Walk along the left side of the river a couple hundred yards (going downstream) until you reach a small rocky road that goes uphill to the left.
This road will put you in a picnic area and a field. Once you are here you will need to locate a big chossy looking boulder in the middle of the field.
Walk around the right side of the boulder and follow the path straight behind it. Follow this trail marked by a couple of cairns to the back rightside of the field where the real trail begins at a large rock cairn and leads into the woods.
Follow the Cairns in the slideshow to find the beginning of the trail.
Even if the rest of the cairns are knocked over or gone if you find this you should be able to follow the trail all the way to the cave.
Some more broken tufas mark the rest of the trail back to the cave.
Follow the trail to a ridgeline, then down the hill. You likely won’t be able to see the cave from the ridgeline but should be able to see some striking walls across the canyon, (pictured below)
Continue on the trail until you locate a small cave with bolted routes, this is the start of the Cumbia Cave, don’t be disappointed though, the main cave is still another 5 minute hike down the trail.
Congratulations, you made it, TUFA HEAVEN. From the parking area to the second cave is a 30-45 minute hike, probably closer to 45 minutes. Enjoy and don’t forget to thank the developers who put in all the work to create this area!
Location: The Cumbia Cave is located in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, about an hour and a half from El Potrero Chico and a half an hour from El Salto.
Approximate GPS Coordinates of Cave 25.30394, -100.13145
For beta and route descriptions:
On an annual winter trip to El Potrero Chico, Mexico we decided to ditch the overcrowded big walls of Potrero for the promised land of overhanging, hard single pitch climbing and tufa heaven! Our first few days at El Salto were filled with amazing climbing at Las Animas wall and the Tecolote Cave, which could have easily been enough to keep us occupied for a couple more weeks, if not for one simple fact, like zombies crave brains, we craved MORE TUFAS!
El Salto was hard to leave!
We had heard of an enourmous tufa cave located down a dirt road turn off on the road up to El Salto. We tried gathering up some beta from El Salto regulars, but it seemed that no one had been to the Cumbia Cave, it looked like we were in for a bit of adventure, armed with a gps and some beta from mountain project we headed off to find the cave. All 7 of our crew piled into my Access Cab Toyota and we headed down the dirt road for a bumpy half an hour ride. About half way down the hill some local dogs started chasing us, they wouldn’t leave our side for the rest of the day. Finally reaching the river crossing detailed in the description we parked and had the Mexicans of our crew, ask the local store owner for directions. The conversation was less than fruitful, as the self described 92 year old said there were many caves in the areas and gave us directions to one only big enough for 5 people to stand in! He also relayed that Don Lalo, the local who knows directions to the cave, was in the hospital. So we decided to just use the online directions, after A bit of searching we found what we believed was the trail, an extremely overgrown path through the woods which matched the description. Needless to say after an hour of hiking and bushwhacking with no cave in sight we decided to call it a day and try again another day.
The next day I contacted Mark, an acquaintance of mine who developed much of the cave, to beg for better directions. It turned out that Mark was in town and generously offered to show us way out there! With some renewed sike and a slimmed down crew, we met up with Mark the next morning and headed out to the cave, we found the trail, about a hundred yards away from the trail we tried to take before. Judging by the trail, it didn’t look like anyone out there since last season.
Arriving at the cave we realized we had found everything we had hoped for, TUFA HEAVEN! (beta: you will reach a smaller cave with some routes on it first, keep walking along the trail for another 5 minutes to reach the big cave and the routes you came for!)
Mark and I warmed up on the Abuelo Malandro, 5.11d, a good warm up for the steeper stuff. Perhaps a bit easy for the grade, but still a total pumpfest, with good holds and a decent rest, it was a good fit for someone coming from the Red River Gorge . Mark set the draws and I got the flash.
Meanwhile our crews crusher, Zac, got the onsight on Ceslo Pina, 5.12c, a super steep and heavily featured route that goes straight out the center of the cave. Probably one of the best lines of the cave!
I personally clipped 3 bolts from the monster tufa before finally leaving the no hands rest!
Zak Roper working a 5.13 not yet online.
Revision Assignment: Kloeker_Revised_Case_Response_Memo
Reflection Memo: Kloeker_Reflections_Memo
Below, please find my updated summaries and writer’s memo.