El Gran Trono Blanco, Mexico climbs for Honnold and Stanhope
On the big wall El Gran Trono Blanco in Mexico Alex Honnold and Will Stanhope have repeated the Pan-American route and freed Giraffe (8a).
American climbers Alex Honnold, Will Stanhope, Paul McSorely and photographer Andrew Burr have recently made a lightening visit to the secluded and relatively unknown El Gran Trono Blanco (the Great White Throne) in the Mexican state of Baja California where they carried out two interesting climbs, Pan-Am and Giraffe.
The Pan-American route was freed by Paul Piana and his wife in 1994 and the route has seen very few, if any, other free ascents until Honnold and Stanhope's repeat. Honnold fell off the 5.12+ corner during his attempt to on-sight the line and sent this pitch second go, then repeated the route with Paul McSorely a few days later to add a two-pitch, cleaner and more logical finishing variation suggested by Piana.
Giraffe is a historic aid route established by John Long, Billy Westbay and Hugh Burton in the 1970's and originally graded 5.10 A3+. Honnold and Stanhope have now freed this route with difficulties up to 5.13b, adding some slight variations and a few bolts away from the original aid line. The route involves some thin and bold climbing and Honnold commented after the ascent "It's a super nice route actually."