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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