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Safety in and around Potrero/ Monterrey
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By Blake_Salmony
From Nashville
Aug 7, 2012

I know that there have been postings as of February 2012 speaking to the safety of Potrero and surrounding areas. But with the ever changing political climate of Mexico, I was hoping to hear more confirmation on the safety traveling to and from Potrero Chico as of late. If anyone wants to give specifics on how to stay safe, for instance whether to drive down or fly into Monterrey, any and all info would be appreciated. Looking to go there at the end of October. Thanks in advance to all who respond.

BSNP


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By Tradoholic
Aug 8, 2012

Don't drive. Depending on where you stay they will pick you up at the airport. Ed Wright on MP owns a place down there and he can give you more specific info.


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By Jack Sparrow
From denver, co
Aug 8, 2012

Ive driven from colorado to potrero the past two years in the height of the border drug violence, I can tell you that if you stay on the toll roads and cross the border at nuevo laredo early in the morning, the chance of you getting caught in any cartel issues are fairly small. The only issue ive had is military checkpoints on the highway and other than being a little nervous nothing happened.
The safest way down would be to fly into monterrey and get picked up. There will be no issues getting into the potrero if you go this route. Once your in the potrero everything is pretty safe. The town of Hidalgo has not had significant problems with drug cartel violence. The sketchiest thing ive seen in the months ive spent there is the military patrols the town and every now and then a really nice car rolls through and it sticks out a lot. Overall i would defidently go, the climbing is really good for multipitch or single pitch and even has a sick bouldering cave. The scene at posada is awesome and super chill, no crowds in the park anymore as so many climbers are scared to make the journey down. hope this helped and have a great trip.


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By T.J. Esposito
From San Diego, CA
Aug 8, 2012
Espresso @ New Jack City

Was there first week of April, no issues. Taxi (prearranged) from airport to Posada via the autopista.

Had a great time, Easter week there is like Spring Break for the locals!


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By JakeSpeed
From Denver, CO
Aug 8, 2012

You might save a few bucks driving, but it doesn't seem worth it. I went there last year in December for about 4-5 days. Flew to Monterrey, and had an arranged pick-up from the airport. No problems... although, when we were driving through Monterrey, I'm pretty sure we saw a bunch of military charging into a convenience store with weapons drawn.

Once in Hidalgo/Potrero Chico, it was super cool. Plenty of other climbers. Felt very safe.


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By Blake_Salmony
From Nashville
Aug 8, 2012

How do you pre-arrange a pick-up?

Thanks again to all who have replied.


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By Dean Hoffman
Aug 8, 2012

Track down Dane, I think I found him through the guidebook, he picked us up no worries at all!


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By JakeSpeed
From Denver, CO
Aug 8, 2012

styron11 wrote:
How do you pre-arrange a pick-up? Thanks again to all who have replied.


I stayed at a hotel/campground called La Posada www.elpotrerochico.mx I asked them to arrange the ride for me. There are other similar places near EPC, which I'm sure would be willing to help book rides, etc.


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By wankel7
From Indiana
Aug 18, 2012

Could one head down there solo in oct or nov and be able to find a partner?


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By Sure-man
From Boone, NC/ S.F.
Aug 18, 2012
On Las Aguajas with TW0 summit in the background

I decided to park my car in San Antonio, TX and took a bus across the border to El Potrero. This was because I was living out of my truck and had all of my belongings in it. The bus was a great way to travel and relatively cheap. It felt safe, though it was very stress full not being able to speak much spanish. I am pretty sure I did not follow protocol in paying a tourist visa or whatever, so you may wanna look into that. My friend and I did stick out like a sore thumb because we were the ONLY non mexicans. If I remember correctly, it cost $40 from San Antonio to Monterrey, then $1 or $2 from Monterrey to Hidalgo. Good luck finding the next bus though...

I love the town of Hidalgo so much. Dont feel afraid in that town, it is filled with good people and it is beautiful. I would probably avoid going into Monterrey at night nowadays. I drove my car down in 2009, went out at night into the city and was arrested by police and had to bribe them in their cop car to let me out. After that we had a fun night out on the town, but I have heard that the night scene is not the same anymore and can be dangerous.

Finding partners is pretty easy. I went down with a friend and he left me by myself for another few weeks and I was climbing big multipitch everyday with new people. Like the other poster said, there are a lot less people down there now than there were 3 years ago. But still quite a bit of climbers.

If your feeling homesick, or just want some good coffee, go to El Buho near the closest carneceria. A very nice american couple runs the coffee shop and they are good company. They even invited me over for dinner one night. I think its thursday nights, they set up a projector and watch a movie. Good place to use internet and play board games too. Have fun, and think about taking a bus to save money!! Its fun!

-Brett


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By Blake_Salmony
From Nashville
Aug 20, 2012

Thanks again to everyone for sharing these experiences. Since I am coming from the east coast already, might as well make the most of the air travel and fly down to monterrey then take advantage of the campsite pick up. Although my plans have been a bit derailed by work, its nice to hear that picking up random partners is easy and I will most certianly be there this winter sometime. All of your comments have solidified this as a must do trip. Can't wait.

Thanks again and hope everyone is staying safe.
BSNP


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