Only Titanium Bolts Now!

February 10, 2018  |  Posted by Armando |  Comments Closed

Eternal Titanium Bolt

As of 2018, Cuba reached an important milestone. All of the bolts on the island available for replacement and new routes are titanium glue-ins. The numbers aren’t huge, around 220 titanium bolts, but the last stainless steel glue-ins and expansion bolts are gone. In 2015, CubaClimbing asked climbers to bring only titanium bolts, In 2016 Bolts4Cuba started buying only glue-in bolts, almost all titanium. This winter season, 2017-18, Bolts4Cuba announced it will buy and bring only titanium bolts. Most gratifying is that almost all bolt donations by climbers are titanium. Only one climbers has rejected our wishes; he and 7 other climbers are coming to put up routes for a month with stainless expansions. We would shame him if we knew more. He calls himself Stefan from Austria.

Hot Henry in Cuba to Climb and Help Cuban Climbers

January 22, 2018  |  Posted by Armando |  Comments Closed
Tito Pimente with Henry's Donation

Tito Pimente with Henry’s Donation

Henry Barber and his wife Sara visited Viñales December, 2017.  Hot Henry as he was known was in the 1970s, can claim many firsts, including first ascents, first free solos, first to travel widely to rock climb, and among the first professional climber. Henry climbed of course, declaring it a “fantastic time.” Henry added, “I wish we had a few more days and that I was in better shape.” That’s usually a good measure of a climbing venue. Henry and Sara brought gifts of bendryl, Alka Seltzer, bandaids, and climbing gear. Petzl’s director of sales, John Pieper, sent new Petzl quick draws, grigri’s, and 20 glue-in bolts and drill bits. The Petzl bolts have been used to set routes for the Cubans annual Festival-Comp on 23-25 February 2018.

Trump has not made Cuba off-limits for climbers

December 17, 2017  |  Posted by Armando |  Comments Closed

True, Trump took away the category of legal travel to Cuba that created a travel surge for Americans in 2016 and 17. Barely noticed, however, Trump redefined another category of legal travel, to provide Support for the Cuban People, that should make legal travel to Cuba even easier than before, at least for climbers. Cuba remains open for direct, convenient flights from a dozen U.S. cities. DO: stay, eat, and interact with ordinary Cubans, and take climbing gear and provide donations to sustain the Cuban climbers. DON’T DO: stay in expensive government hotels or go on tours run by Cuban Army or its enterprises. It’s that easy. Check out Rock & Ice.

In May, 2017, Meredith Caccese McConvill and her climbing partners traveled to Cuba. As Meredith tells it, “somewhere over the state of Texas, 30,000 feet up, I decided a blog post about our journey was in order. . . because it’s not very often that we can rally our best outdoor adventure buddies for the trip of a lifetime.” Now we can share obvious skills as a writer and a thorough researcher. Her blog post, on Top Rope Media, covers flights, booking, visas, wifi, phones, meals and, yes, cigars and rock climbing. Those of us who thought we had the total beta on Cuba learned something we had only suspected: You can’t bring a drone.

You Can Still Go Cuba Legally, But You Must Act Fast

August 31, 2017  |  Posted by Armando |  Comments Closed

Two months after Trump announced changes to travel to Cuba, the window for going to Cuba legally remains open. That is, you can travel legally under the old rule allowing individual, self-directed people-to-people travel. That opportunity, however, will shut tight as soon as new regulations are issued by the U.S. Treasury Department. And no one knows when that could be. It could be today or tomorrow — or never. Predicting Trump’s action is iffy.
The Treasury Department has twice issued FAQs stating that the “announced changes do not take effect until the new regulations are issued.“ And once new regs issued, you can still travel legally if you have “completed at least one travel-related transaction (such as purchasing a flight or reserving accommodation).” (Treasury FAQs June 16, 2016 and July 25, 2017)
If you want to go to Cuba this winter, book flights immediately. Once bought, you can change always change the dates of travel.
Get on it fast.

Rachel Tenny Climbing in Viñales

August 3, 2017  |  Posted by Armando |  Comments Closed

Check out
Rachel Tenny’s fun video of her climbing adventure in Viñales. Rachel also helped the Cuban climbers by bringing an enormous suitcase of donations from prAna.


January 29, 2017  |  Posted by Armando |  Comments Closed

Bolts 4 Cuba is a new crowdfunding campaign to replace anchors and develop new routes and climbing areas in Cuba. The goal of Bolts 4 Cuba is to raise $5,000 to provide the local climbers with the hardware they need to keep existing routes safe and exploit Cuba’s almost limitless potential for great climbing. At the door step of North American climbers. Donors can create more and safer climbing and receive premiums that include something special for U.S. climbers—a climber’s itinerary that passes legal muster with the U.S. government. Compliance isn’t hard and doesn’t preclude a full slate of climbing – if you know and follow a few simple rules. is renovating!

January 15, 2017  |  Posted by Armando |  Comments Closed

Viñales 2017

Viñales is on a casa particular-paladar-building binge. Over 1,000 rooms are available in private homes. New paladares opening every week. The website info on accommodations has been completely overhauled. Recommended casa particulares has gone from one to 15. Restaurant reviews. Instructions on finding and reserving rooms. And even secluded neighborhoods to escape the hubbub of the most dynamic, entrepreneurial town in Cuba.

Viñales Named One of the World’s Most Beautiful Valleys

June 7, 2016  |  Posted by Armando |  Comments Closed

Vinales Valley-ccc BlogPost

Tourist’s BlogPost puts Viñales among The World’s 25 Most Beautiful Valleys. Includes Yosemite, Khumbu, Barum Valley, Impressive places.

Sasha DiGiulian’s and Alex Huber’s Go Caving – Cuba Style

May 20, 2016  |  Posted by Armando |  Comments Closed

R&I SashaDiGiulian-Cover 235-ThumbNail-72x200
The latest issue of Rock and Ice has published spectacular photos by Cameron Maier and story by Sasha DiGiulian of the exploration of an enormous to the cave called Salon de los Gigantes. Sasha writes, “Besides finding the Salon de los Gigantes, we visited established crags that still have potential for amazing new climbs, and saw untold areas and crags without a single route. In fact, the potential is so vast it could become a major destination. Just add bolts.” The cover photo alone is worth the price of the issue. Read and see article here.