Volcano Boarding and Free Mojitos

Leon Travel Blog

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Rough translation: "Bush genocide. Enemy of humanity. Death to the imperial invasion."
Following the epic/lucky journey from SFO to Managua, I made my way to Leon, eventually. The original plan had been to stop in a northern town to tour some of the infamous cigar factories, but upon arrival we discovered that everything was closed due to a huge holiday fiesta. We decided to cruise to Leon, via a pothole-strewn ¨highway¨ that passes by several of the volcanos. After arriving in Leon and finding a place to stay, I wandered around town, exploring the city and taking in the sights. I also checked out a few local tour companies to get a bit more information about the volcano boarding on Cerro Negro.
Volcano boarding is exactly what it sounds like - hauling ass down an active volcano with your butt on a slick (and seriously unstable) board. There are a few local outfits that organize the trips, using everything from tricked-out snowboards to plywood-and-2x4 planks with slick bottoms.
Apparently the snowboards are only able to get up to about 10mph (so I´m told...), but the current record for the butt-boards is 77kmph. Yeah, that´s pretty fast.
An hour in the back of a pickup brings you to the base of Cerro Negro. The hike up crosses some debris fields, up a sketch trail through the scree, and then along the rim to the top of the ¨run.¨ Before heading down the mountain we walked around the rim and down into one of the craters where the ground is a colorful clusterfuck of calcium deposits, sulfer, and active vents. From the rim we could see the entire line of volcanos in the region, 14 in total, I believe.
The slope for the decent is pretty steep - around 43 degrees on the bottom half - and the marble-sized lava aint exactly fresh powder.
Hiking up Cerro Negro
Eric Barone broke the mountain biking speed record going down the same run we went down (video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Swq9hBdvkKU). However, he crashed really, really hard when his bike exploded near the bottom at 107mph. We suited up in the provided prison-spec orange jumpsuits and googles and got ready.
Steering these things isn´t easy. I floundered on the first third of the run trying to keep the thing straight and finally had to stop, reposition myself, and resume. I got the hang from there down and was clocked doing 50kmph. If I could have had a second run, knowing how to steer, I´m pretty sure I could have hit 65-70kmph. Once you get up to speed it´s damn-near impossible to see anything, even with the goggles. I had rocks in places I didn´t know I could get rocks, including the inside of my sealed drybag (wtf?). I picked pebbles out of my hair for almost two days.
Got back to Leon around 6pm, was greeted with free mojitos, conversed a bit, and then headed to the coast. Also, I realized that I left my USB camera cable at home so I can´t upload pictures until I get back.
Zymosis says:
It's definitely not too dangerous. It's really easy to control how fast you're going, even if steering is a bit difficult. Worst case scenario: you may get some road rash if you wipe out while going fast. None of this should deter you at all - do it!
Posted on: Jul 27, 2009
douluvme49 says:
this sounds like a effing riot!!!!!!! is it pretty dangerous??? my boyfriend and i are going feb 2010 and i would love to try this, but i want to make sure i'll live through it lol. thanks
Posted on: Jul 27, 2009
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Rough translation: Bush genocide.…
Rough translation: "Bush genocide…
Hiking up Cerro Negro
Hiking up Cerro Negro
View from the top
View from the top
Suiting up for volcano boarding
Suiting up for volcano boarding
Its possible to reach speeds of u…
It's possible to reach speeds of …
photo by: Chokk