Posts for Mexico

Mexico: Knoff & Team Find Success on Orizaba!

Posted by: Adam Knoff | March 09, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 18,701'

The morning of March 8th began like most others do when climbing a big mountain.  A 1am wake up call, yummy instant oatmeal and coffee and the persistent interpersonal question of, “Why on earth do I do this?”

We lucked out again with the weather.  A strong wind was blowing when we arrived at the hut and blew all through dinner.  Much like it did on Ixta.  By the time we pulled ourselves out of bed, most of us having not slept anyway, the wind was gone.  Mommy nature was indeed in a good mood and happy with us, so both mornings on Ixta and Orizaba, were perfect.  Also perfect was the teams readiness and psych.  We began walking up hill at 2:15 a.m. and everyone was feeling solid and positive.  After we got through the cruxy ice section called the labyrinth and onto the Jamapa Glacier, we knew we could make it.  This Mexican glacier looks simple but once on it the darn thing seems like the twilight zone.  You move but never go anywhere.  After putting one foot in front of the other for three hours we did land somewhere, the summit!  All eight of us, including Fozzi our local guide and myself, had made the tops of both Ixta and Orizaba.  This team battled illnesses, mild AMS, anxiety and the stress of undertaking intimidating mountain climbs like champs.  hey all made me proud!

We then returned to the comforts of our outfitters compound and prepared for the flights home.  We are all thrilled to both have had a successful adventure and to come home today.  Thanks to the entire team for a fantastic trip! 

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

An RMI team climbing at sunrise on Orizaba summit day.  Photo: Greg Buzulencia The shadow cast by Pico de Orizaba at sunrise. Photo: RMI Collection

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1

Congratulations everyone! Way to go Richard Cost. Uh oh - what’s next?

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Posted by: Stacey Cost on 3/9/2014 at 9:27 am


Mexico’s Volcanoes: Knoff and Team at High Camp on Orizaba

Posted by: Adam Knoff | March 07, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 14,000'

Hello to all those following the Mexico Volcanoes trip.  Our team woke up this morning in Puebla feeling rested, happy and possibly a touch hungover.  Of course partaking in two or three celebratory cervesas last night was highly discouraged by the guide on the trip but I caved into massive peer pressure and had my share. 

After breakfast we loaded our van and headed out.  90 minutes later we were pulling into the beautiful compound of our Mexican outfitter and again fed like kings.  The biggest surprise for the group so far isn’t how hard the climbing is, although that is a very close second, but more how delicious the food is.  This isn’t classic texmex but truly authentic comida. 

After the gear perpetration and lunch, we piled into the big 4 x4 truck and grinded our way for an hour and a half up a road so dusty we all looked like bandits covering our faces in the back.  Now camp is made here at the Orizaba hut and the mountain js in full view.  There are other teams here as well so the climb tonight into tomorrow will not be a lonely one.  The more the merrier I guess.  Dinner is in 30 and bedtime in 90.  I feel like quite the father tucking my team in at 630 pm.  It is something adults don’t do too often.

Wish us luck tonight and stay tuned for tomorrow’s climbing dispatch.  Everyone is psyched to be heading up North America’s third highest peak but also to come home. 

To all our friends and family, now we miss you! 

RMI Guide Adam Knoff & Team

4x4 Truck on on road to Orizaba High Camp. RMI Photo Collection High Camp on Orizaba. RMI Photo Collection

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3

Wishing the team a great summit attempt.  Enjoy the bolgs, thank you for the details of Mexico, it is a great adventure with a great guide.

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Posted by: Jane Knoff Nelson on 3/8/2014 at 8:19 am

Looks challenging. Wishing the entire team success.  Way to go Richard Cost - making it happen!

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Posted by: Stacey Cost on 3/8/2014 at 6:35 am


Mexico: Knoff & Team Summit Ixta!

Posted by: Adam Knoff | March 06, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 17,340'

Hola from Puebla, Mexico.  I am writing this from the comforts of Hotel Colonial which sits near the center of one of Mexico’s most beautiful city.  It will still be a few hours or so before we go sight seeing because the team is a bit tired after our long but successful summit of North America’s seventh highest mountain. 

At camp while in our tents waiting for the alarm to rattle us out of our fitful sleeps, the wind was doing that work already.  It was one of the most amazing shut offs I have ever seen.  At 11:30 the wind was blowing 20 mph and by midnight the skies were clear and the night was as calm as our bedrooms.  Taking full advantage of this great gift we rallied out of camp at 3:30 and pushed strongly upward to where the steep rock section of the route meets the long, winding ridge towards the summit. The beautiful lights of Mexico City shown down to our left and the same amazing view of Puebla shown down to our right.  As the sun came up, we could see Orizaba poking through the haze to the south.  All around it was a glorious morning.  When the entire team arrived at the summit, we were all relieved to have the uphill finished.

Two and a half hours later we were at camp packing up and getting ready for the long walk back to the van where beers and snacks were waiting.  We were lucky to have two porters there to help carry down tents and stoves, lightening our loads.  Three hours later we were celebrating with margaritas and world-class Mexican dishes.  A great day all around. 

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

Ixtaccihuatl's High Camp. Photo: Adam Knoff Overlooking glorious blue skies on the ridge leading to Ixta's summit. Photo: Adam Knoff Knoff & team on the Ixta summit! Photo: Adam Knoff

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2

Congrats team! Now I can’t wait til my turn comes.

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Posted by: Robert on 3/23/2014 at 4:07 pm

Gods speed! Be safe.. :)

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Posted by: Robert Putman on 3/7/2014 at 10:58 am


Mexico’s Volcanoes: Knoff and Team at High Camp On Ixta

Posted by: Adam Knoff | March 04, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 15,000'

Hi There,

This is Adam Knoff calling. We the entire team and our local guide Fozzie as in “Fozzie” the Muppet from the great Muppet Show are established here at High Camp just over 15,000’ feet.  Everyone is definitely noticing the altitude, but did great coming up here.  We feel strong, healthy and psyched to be heading towards the top of our first big mountain.  The clouds are closing in at the moment and things are pretty windy and chilly, so we are crawling into our bags for a quick nap. We will have an early dinner and then hopefully at 2 o’clock or 3 o’clock a wakeup call.

Everyone is doing great, we’re happy and will call tomorrow when the summit is under our belt. Alright? We look forward to talking to you tomorrow.

Adios,
RMI Guide Adam Knoff and Team

Lower Slopes of Ixta. Photo: RMI Photo Collection


Adam Knoff Calling in from High Camp on Ixta

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Way to go, Bruce !!  Can’t wait to see all your photos.
barry fletcher

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Posted by: Barry on 3/10/2014 at 10:46 am

Go Richard and team!

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Posted by: Jenny Cooper on 3/7/2014 at 7:31 am


Mexico: Knoff & Team at the Altzomoni Hut

Posted by: Adam Knoff | March 03, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 12,500'

Day two is coming to a close.  Last night we were sleeping at 10,000 feet and tonight is a whopping 2,500 feet above that.  For you math buffs that means the comfy Altzomoni Hut sits at 12,500 feet above the sea.  It is amazing the power of acclimating.  Last night some of us felt a bit tired and short of breath.  Right now after a fantastic homemade dinner by a team of local guides, drivers and porters doubling as gourmet chefs, we all feel strong, relaxed and ready for our big push to Ixta’s high camp sitting higher than any mountain in the lower 48.
 
We also feel prepared.  Today we had a mellow morning which transitioned wonderfully into Mexico’s best breakfast at a hotel 25 minutes down the road from the resort of La Malinche.  Breakfast is the day’s most important meal you know!  Afterwards the soothing 1.5 hour van ride helped digest the massive buffet in our guts and landed us in Amecameca where we finalized our food list and met out local staff.  By 2:30 we were running through our gear and getting squared away packing and tomorrow’s program at the Altzomoni Hut.  A nice hour walk brought us to the trail head and back where our chef crew was waiting.  The locals really know how to treat their guests.  We are very lucky to have them.
 
In closing the team has reminded me to mention that they all miss their loved ones.  I reminded them it is only day two.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  We will touch base from high camp tomorrow. 

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: Knoff and Team Hike La Malinche

Posted by: Adam Knoff | March 03, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 14,636'

Buenos Dias from Team Mexico, 

We are all tucked in safe and sound at La Malintzi resort a few hours down the road from this planet’s second largest metropolis, Mexico City.  Of course half the time getting here is spent literally getting the 20 kilometers out of town but witnessing the traffic of Mexico City is a great adventure in and of itself. 

Our morning started as most mornings do.  Coffee, breakfast and lots of Europeans.  Well the European thing probably more so in Europe but the hotel did feel very international.  After food and packing it was off to our first mountain, La Malinche.  At a height just higher than Mt. Rainier, reaching the summit was not our primary objective.  Starting our at 10,000 feet and cranking out 4500 vertical feet on our first go seemed a touch ambitious.  Although we did crest the 14k height, we left the summit in peace because of tired legs and threatening storm clouds.  The hike was beautiful nonetheless.  Everyone did great and are bonding well as a team.  Now we are ready for bed and the move to bigger mountains tomorrow.

Until Then, this is team Mexico saying good night. 

RMI Guide Adam Knoff & Team

Team on La Malinche. Photo: Adam Knoff

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: Team Reaches Summit of Orizaba

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Zeb Blais | February 22, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 18,701'

Update: 8 pm PT

Summit day on Orizaba- Today our team bagged the 3rd highest peak in North America! This was quite a feat and the whole crew was feeling the effects of a hard and rewarding day on the mountain. We celebrated with dinner at the Reyes family dining room, sharing stories with each other and climbers we had met on the mountain before retiring for some much needed sleep.

Earlier in the day, and I mean a lot earlier in the day, we woke to perfect starry skies, grabbed a quick breakfast and began the climb. After warming up on the first stretch of the climb, the trail deteriorates into a jungle of rock, snow and ice known as the labyrinth. Our team made short work of this challenge and advanced to the Jamapa glacier. The struggle ascending the Jamapa was rewarded with an amazing sunrise, views Ixta and la melinche and the impressive summit crater.  Our team climbed strong back to the Piedra grande hut where we were transported back to town by 4x4.

All in all it’s been a great trip. Everyone is worn out but happy to have succeeded as a team on some impressive peaks.  It’s hard to believe 9 days in Mexico have already come and gone!

RMI Guide Zeb Blais

6:00 am PT
Hey all this is Geoff Schellens and team standing on the summit of Orizaba.  It was a tough climb but everybody is quite happy to be here and enjoyed very good climbing conditions.  It’s a beautiful day with light wind up here and a beautiful sunrise this morning.  That’s all for now.  We will check in when we get back down.

Adios,
RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

A climbing team on El Pico de Orizaba, 18,701 ft. Mexico. Photo Courtesy: Greg Buzulencia The Mexico Volcanoes team on the Orizaba summit! Photo: Geoff Schellens The view from the summit of El Pico de Orizaba, Mexico.  Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide Geoff Schellens calls from the summit of Orizaba.

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2

Congratulations team!  Looks amazing.  Can’t wait to see more pictures DTP.  Hugs.

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Posted by: Elizabeth on 2/22/2014 at 4:35 pm

Congratulations to all of you on your summit!  Michael, I couldn’t tell if that was you in the second photo and I am really hoping that you made it.  See… read more

Posted by: Kristin Stollov on 2/22/2014 at 4:16 pm


Mexico’s Volcanoes: Team Heads for Orizaba

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Zeb Blais | February 21, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 14,000'

Today was a relaxed travel / rest day. After a good breakfast in Puebla we loaded our van and started driving to Tlachichuca. We arrived at Dr Reyes’ historic soap-factory-turned-climbers-hostel around 10:30 and began sorting our gear on the lawn. With our gear packed for Orizaba we went in for lunch. By early afternoon we found ourselves bumping along the dirt road in 4x4 truck towards the Piedra grande hut on Orizaba. When we arrived we were surprised to find the Refugio buzzing with activity. A few other climbing teams and a large group filming a documentary will be our company for the night. We ate an early and fantastic dinner of tacos with chicken, veggies, rice, and beans as clouds swirled around offering short glimpses of the upper mountain. We are all feeling good and heading to bed early before our summit bid tomorrow.
We will check in tomorrow from the summit.
Thanks for following us on our fantastic Mexican adventure.
RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

El Pico de Orizaba (18,701ft) as seen from Tlachichuca, Mexico.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: Schellens & Team Rest in Puebla

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Zeb Blais | February 20, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico

Hi All,

Today was a much deserved rest day in Puebla. The team slept in, did laundry, and enjoyed the sights here in Puebla. Famous for mole sauce, a thick chocolate and pepper salsa, so we had to go to one of the most well known mole restaurants for dinner. Everyone is well rested and excited for the next leg of our journey.

Thanks for following!

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens & Team

Dinner in Puebla. Photo: Geoff Schellens

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: Schellens & Team Recap Summit of Ixta

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Zeb Blais | February 20, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico

Successful summit of Ixta!

The team is resting in Puebla after our successful summit of Ixta today. We started off today just before 2:00AM from our high camp with perfect climbing weather, a clear warm night.  Battling loose scree, rock and hard snow our team made the summit just before the break of day.  Watching the morning light slowly pour over the landscape around us we snapped our last pics and began our descent. Snowy ridges and rocky slopes brought us back to high camp. After a well deserved rest we broke camp and made our way to the trail head where we were greeted with cotton cloths and a celebratory feast of sandwiches, beer, chips, and soda.  Soon we were back in our van bumping along the dirt road and dozing off one by one all the way to Puebla.

Congratulations to our team and thanks everyone for following!

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens & Team

Team in front of Ixta. Photo: Geoff Schellens Team on Summit of Ixta. Photo: Geoff Schellens Sunrise from Summit of Ixta. Photo Geoff Schellens

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Recent Images From Mexico

  • An RMI team climbing at sunrise on Orizaba summit day.  Photo: Greg Buzulencia
  • The shadow cast by Pico de Orizaba at sunrise. Photo: RMI Collection
  • 4x4 Truck on on road to Orizaba High Camp. RMI Photo Collection
  • High Camp on Orizaba. RMI Photo Collection
  • Ixtaccihuatl's High Camp. Photo: Adam Knoff
  • Overlooking glorious blue skies on the ridge leading to Ixta's summit. Photo: Adam Knoff
  • Knoff & team on the Ixta summit! Photo: Adam Knoff
  • Lower Slopes of Ixta. Photo: RMI Photo Collection
  • Team on La Malinche. Photo: Adam Knoff
  • A climbing team on El Pico de Orizaba, 18,701 ft. Mexico. Photo Courtesy: Greg Buzulencia
  • The Mexico Volcanoes team on the Orizaba summit! Photo: Geoff Schellens
  • The view from the summit of El Pico de Orizaba, Mexico.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • El Pico de Orizaba (18,701ft) as seen from Tlachichuca, Mexico.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Dinner in Puebla. Photo: Geoff Schellens
  • Team in front of Ixta. Photo: Geoff Schellens
  • Team on Summit of Ixta. Photo: Geoff Schellens
  • Sunrise from Summit of Ixta. Photo Geoff Schellens
  • View from the Summit of Ixta. RMI Photo Collection
  • Approaching High Camp on Ixta. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Looking up towards the Ayoloco Glacier from High Camp on Ixtaccihuatl. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Ixtaccihuatl, the seventh highest mountain in North America. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Looking towards Pico de Orizaba from the summit of La Malinche.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • The team having dinner at La Opera in Mexico City. Photo: Geoff Schellens
  • The RMI Mexico's Volcanoes Team on the summit of Orizaba, January 25th.  Photo: Seth Waterfall
  • El Pico de Orizaba above Tlachichuca. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Climbers en route to the summit of Pico de Orizaba.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Approaching the foot of Pico de Orizaba. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Orizaba on the drive to Piedra Grande. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Approach on Ixta looking toward Popocatapetl. Photo: Seth Waterfall