Summit on Orizaba!

Posted by: | February 20, 2010
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 18,490 ft.

Today the team managed to summit El Pico de Orizaba!

We needed a perfect weather setup and that’s just what we got. Sunshine yesterday combined with wind from just the right direction diminished the avalanche hazard from the previous storm. We awoke before midnight to crystal clear skis and no wind. After suffering through the storm on Ixta, and never even roping up, the team was psyched to go for the summit on Orizaba. The unusually large snowpack this year was a delight as the normally rocky and challenging lower mountain was a snow-climb right out of the hut. However as we ascended onto the Jamapa glacier our tough luck returned in the form of a cold wind that averaged at least 25 miles an hour. This made the final hours of the climb a total battle. It was cold enough that we spent less than 10 minutes on the summit before retreating, but the success after all of our adversity felt great.

Tonight we overnight in Tlachichuca and tomorrow we head to the airport in Mexico City for our flights home.

Well done team!

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