Pyramid of the Magician
The Yucatan, Mexico
I climbed six pyramids on this trip, and the Pyramid of the
Magician was the most intimidating.  In full profile, the
edifice is quite striking, which you can see on my
highlights page by clicking
Here .  Part of it is the sheer
mass.  Four earlier, smaller temples are covered by this
version, the Mayan form of redevelopment.
Uxmal's Pyramid of the Magician looks extremely
steep when first confronting its stairway.
No other pyramid came with a warning sign, but I could
have easily broken my neck on any of them.  This trip was all
about climbing the pyramids.  Danger is my business here.   
As usual the climb up was no challenge, and I took my
pictures from the top, which appear both in the video and
on the previous page.  Getting down was definitely going
to be tricky.  Hanging closely onto the chain, the safest
method, as demonstrated in this picture, worked for me.
Back on the ground I filmed the descent of other
climbers. It's quite a scary angle, but the chain is a
security blanket, no matter how awkward a position is
necessary for clinging to that low chain.
The first two people move slowly downward crouching with
one hand on the chain.  The trailing man uses both his
hands and feet to avoid falling.
There is literally no room for error making it all
the way down from the Pyramid of the
Magician.  I never saw anyone fall.
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the
Intrepid Berkeley Explorer's free video of this trip to Central
America and Mexico by clicking on: