Skip to content


Marked in red is Subiendo El Arcoiris (5.13b or 8a, 300m), Basaseachic National Park, Chihuahua, Mexico. On March 13 David Kaszlikowski and Eliza Kubarska made a rare repeat of the testpiece before travelling to Huasteca National Park to bolt a new ten-pitch route. Of Subiendo, Kaszlikoski said, “The climb is beautiful indeed. A delicate breeze blowing on the waterfall made a constant rainbow that hung just behind our backs.” [Photo] Courtesy of David Kaszlikowski

Having spent the last few years obsessed with free routes on big walls in the Himalaya, Morocco, Mali, Madagascar and Alaska, Eliza Kubarska and I spent March in Mexico, where we completed the popular sport testpiece Subiendo El Arcoiris (5.13b or 8a, 300m, 10 pitches), Basaseachic National Park, Chihuahua, Mexico. The route was first climbed free in 2001 by Stefan Glowacz, with Klaus Fengler photographing. Holger Heuber and Gunda Fruhwald climbed just behind Glowacz, but Heuber was unable to free Pitch 3. However, Kurt Albert and Hans Martin Gotz repeated the line only a few days later; it has seen only a handful of free ascents since.

David Kaszlikowski leads through Pitch 7?the crux?of Subiendo El Arcoiris (5.13b or 8a, 300m). Kaszlikowski and Eliza Kubarska redpointed the route after a short period of preparation. The pair made slight detours on the third, fourth and seventh pitches due to friable rock and broken holds. [Photo] Eliza Kubarska

Glowacz and Albert have deemed the overhanging rhyolite pillar “a superb five star classic,” for its exposure, several difficult pitches (6c, 7a+, 7c, 7a, 6c, 6b+, 8a, 6b, 7a, 6c+) and spectacular views of Basaseachic, a 250-meter waterfall. Eliza and I climbed the route free on March 13, finding some fragile rock and broken holds, which forced us to detour slightly on the third, fourth and seventh pitches. While we were there, Curt Love (USA) and Laurent Antichant (France) made a noteworthy “almost free” ascent of Subiendo, with a single fall on Pitch 2 (5.12d).

We then moved to Huasteca National Park, relatively close to Potrero Chico, to find our own virgin wall. Malaria hospitalized Eliza in January after a climbing trip to Chiapas, but she remained in good form as we established Arte de Malaria (5.12c, 300m, 10 pitches), Guitarritas, Huasteca National Park, on the new wall. We spent eight days during the end of March bolting the route ground-up. Although we’re modest about our accomplishment, the Huichole Indians refer to this location as the center of the universe.

Arte de Malaria (5.12c, 300m) ascends a previously unclimbed wall in Huasteca National Park, where Kaszlikowski and Kubarska established the sport route ground-up over eight days in March. Here, Kubarska is working through Pitch 5 (7b). [Photo] David Kaszlikowski /