Entries From Mexico 2-15-14

Mexico: Geoff Schellens & Team Start Their Adventure

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Zeb Blais | February 15, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico

Well after some long travel days getting to Mexico City the whole team met tonight, thus our adventure is underway!  We are all excited to be here and get going.  After introductions and a trip briefing we all went to La Opera, a beautiful restaurant in historic Mexico City.  Enchiladas con salsa verde were fantastic. 

Now for some packing and prep for tomorrow and a good night sleep.  I can already tell this is a great climbing team.

That’s all for now.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

The team having dinner at La Opera in Mexico City. Photo: Geoff Schellens
3

prayers, tons of love and luck on your adventure dtp!

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Posted by: elizabeth on 2/17/2014 at 10:29 am

May the gods smile on your team.

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Posted by: Geep on 2/17/2014 at 9:55 am


Mexico: Schellens & Team Acclimatize on La Malinche

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Zeb Blais | February 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 14,640'

La Malinche summit!

Today was a busy day.  After a fantastic breakfast at our hotel in Mexico City we met our driver and loaded the van to the brim with all our gear.  By 9:00 we were bumping along the streets working our way out of the city and towards the hills.  After a few hours we found ourselves winding through the forests on the flanks of La Malinche.  We arrived at La Malintzi, an old Olympic training facility at 10,000 feet around noon and stowed our bags in our cabins.  With day packs packed and the noonday sun warming us, we started our acclimatization hike.  After two hours hiking through the forest, we broke out of the trees and began climbing up the scree trail to gain the ridge.  At 4:30 we found ourselves on the summit of La Malinche, 14,640’. Higher than any point in the continental United States. With perfect weather we began our descent scree skiing through the sandy section and back into the forest.  Happy and tired we all enjoyed our delicious dinner back at La Malintzi and headed to bed for some well-deserved rest.

Thanks for following us.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

Looking towards Pico de Orizaba from the summit of La Malinche.  Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map


Mexico: Schellens & Team Settle into the Altzimoni Hut

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Zeb Blais | February 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 12,800'

Today was another busy day for us starting with a duffle shuffle and reloading the van.  After an hour drive we arrived to the best breakfast in Mexico, Mission Tlaxcala, a beautiful stone hotel over looking a stunning waterfall.  With full bellies we hopped back in our van and drove through the warm morning to Amecameca. A quick grocery shop for last minute food items and the conclusion to Mike’s quest for AA batteries put us back on the road. A beautiful two-hour drive winding through a wooded hillside and eventually the high grass covered slopes of Ixtaccihuatl (Ixta).  Our home for the evening is the Altzimoni Hut at around 12,800’. After settling in to our new accommodations, we went for a short stroll up the trail to stretch the legs. Once back at our hut we discussed gear and packing for tomorrow and ate a five-star taco dinner.  Now we are all doing a little packing and organizing our gear for mañana and turning in for a good night’s sleep.

Thanks for following along with us,

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

Ixtaccihuatl, the seventh highest mountain in North America. Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map


Mexico: Schellens & Team at Ixta’s High Camp Ready for Summit Bid

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

This is Zeb Blais checking in from the February Mexico Volcanoes climb. This morning we were greeted by the first rays of sun lighting Popocatepetl. We got a leisurely start to the day with a breakfast of huevos Mexicana. After breakfast we packed our gear and headed to the trailhead for our move to high camp on Ixta. The team did well and made it to high camp feeling good. After setting up tents, we spent the rest of the beautiful day relaxing in the sun. We wrapped up the day with a briefing on the climb ahead and a big dinner. Off to bed for now. We will check in from the summit. Adios.

RMI Guide Zeb Blais

Approaching High Camp on Ixta. Photo: RMI Collection Looking up towards the Ayoloco Glacier from High Camp on Ixtaccihuatl. Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map


Mexico’s Volcanoes: SUMMIT IXTA!

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Zeb Blais | February 19, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 17,340'

Hi All,

This is Geoff Schellens and Team down here in Mexico calling from the summit of Ixta!  We had a wonderful climb a beautiful morning. Everything is absolutely as good as it gets. We are enjoying the sunrise right now.  We are going to pack it up and head down shortly. We will give a call this evening.

Adios!

View from the Summit of Ixta. RMI Photo Collection


Geoff Schellens calling from the Summit of Ixta


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

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

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

On The Map


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.

On The Map

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