Entries By geoff schellens

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Mexico’s Volcanoes:  Team Returns to Mexico City

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Seth Waterfall | January 26, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico

Hi there this is Seth checking in from the Houston airport.  The team awoke in Tlachichuca this morning after lots of slumbering last night.  Everyone was pretty tired after a whirlwind couple of days.

After checking out of the Hotel Colonial in Puebla we drove to Tlachichuca, packed our bags and headed up to high camp.  Once there we had time for an afternoon stroll and then it was off to bed.  Just a few hours later we made a 1am start for the summit.  Although a few of the climbers decided that it was best that they stayed at the hut while the bulk of the group went up.

Orizaba is an ‘in your face’ kind of climb and it’s steep right out of the gate.  After a couple of hours of trail and scree we reached The Labyrinth.  This section can be trickery but for us it was straight forward.  Steep ice and snow was the order of the day.  Geoff, Alejandro and I anticipated this and had carried extra ropes to ‘fix’ the steep section.  This took a little bit of time and we appreciated everyone’s patience as we tried to make the climb as safe as possible.

Once we made our way through that section we began the long march up the Jamapa glacier.  Everyone was pretty tuckered out when we finally topped out 7 hours and 15 minutes after starting.  There wasn’t a puff of wind while we were at the summit and the sun was shining.  It was the nicest day I’ve ever had on that mountain.

Everyone had climbed strong and doubled down on the descent.  We climbed down the glacier and then Geoff and Alejandro guided the climbers down The Labyrinth while I pulled the ropes.  We returned to high camp just over 11 hours after starting out.

Now we’re all disbanded and heading to our respective homes.  It was a great experience and quite the uphill adventure!

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

The RMI Mexico's Volcanoes Team on the summit of Orizaba, January 25th.  Photo: Seth Waterfall

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Mexico: Waterfall & Team Celebrate Their Successful Adventure

Posted by: Seth Waterfall, Geoff Schellens | January 25, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico

Hey this is Seth calling from Tlachichuca. All is well. We’ve made it down off the mountain and all the way back to town with no big surprises. We had our closing celebration dinner and everybody is just basically crashed out. There is some snoring going on upstairs at the Reyes Compound right now. We are sad that the trip is ending tomorrow, but everybody’s excited to be going home to their family and loved ones. It was a great day to finish off an awesome trip here in Mexico.

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

El Pico de Orizaba above Tlachichuca. Photo: RMI Collection


Seth Waterfall calls in from Tlachichuca.

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: Waterfall & Team Reach Summit of Orizaba

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Seth Waterfall | January 25, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 18,701'

Hey this is Seth standing on top of El Pico de Orizaba also known as Citlaltépetl , the tallest point in Mexico, the third highest in North America.  It took us about 7 ½ hours from high camp to reach the summit.  Everybody did great, it’s a beautiful day and the boys are psyched let’s here them (yells in background).  We will check in again when we are back down in Tlachichucha this evening.  And tomorrow we are going home.

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

Climbers en route to the summit of Pico de Orizaba.  Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide Seth Waterfall calls from the summit of Pico de Orizaba.

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Mexico: Waterfall & Team Ready for Orizaba Summit Bid

Posted by: Seth Waterfall, Geoff Schellens | January 24, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 14,000'

Hey there. This is Seth checking in from Piedra Grande, our high camp on el Pico de Orizaba. We had a good day coming over from Pueblo. We checked out of the hotel nice and early and drove over to Tlachichuca at the base of Orizaba. Packed our stuff, had lunch at the Reyes Compound, and then proceeded to drive up to the hut here at high camp. Once we got up here, we took a little hike. It was cloudy and right before the sun went down, the mountain finally showed itself.  It was rearing up nice and high. We just finished with dinner and sorting a little gear and packing for the climb tonight. We’ll be taking off right as it turns tomorrow, a little after midnight, maybe 1:00. We’ll be going for the summit.  Crystal clear skies right now and just a beautiful night, and everybody is tucked in and getting ready to climb. We’ll check in, hopefully from the summit in the morning. Hope all’s well back in the U.S.A.

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

Approaching the foot of Pico de Orizaba. Photo: RMI Collection Orizaba on the drive to Piedra Grande. Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide Seth Waterfall calls in from Piedra Grande.

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Mexico: Waterfall & Team Rest Day in Puebla

Posted by: Seth Waterfall, Geoff Schellens | January 23, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico

We have had a nice relaxing recovery day here in the beautiful city of Puebla. Geoff and I met up with a few of the team members for coffee in the morning while the rest of the team slept in.  The city has an almost European feel with lots of sidewalk cafés near our hotel.  Later in the day some of the guys explored the cathedrals while others visited a local climbing shop.  We all met back up for dinner and now we’re back at the hotel getting ready for the Big day tomorrow.  Here’s a pick from our approach to Ixta a few days ago.

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

Approach on Ixta looking toward Popocatapetl. Photo: Seth Waterfall

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