Entries from Expedition Dispatches
October 14, 2019
It has been another beautiful sunny day here in Mexico! Today the team moved from La Malinche through the town of Amecameca to the base of Ixta at 13,000 feet. Here, we did a final gear check and packed our bags to begin our two day journey up Ixta. The volcano next to Ixta, Popo, has been giving us quite a show today with big plumes of ash and gas coming from its crater.
Tonight our local logistics manager, Rehulio, is cooking us a Mexican feast as clouds begin to roll in on our perch! Rehulio does tons of work behind the scenes to make this trip run smoothly along with his porters and guides who help us along the way. Big shout out to them!
The plan for tomorrow is to ascend to our high camp on Ixta at 15,500 feet. It’s going to be a big day! Wish us luck for good weather for climbing to the summit!
On The Map
October 13, 2019
Sunday, October 13, 2019 - 3:07 pm PT
Hey everyone, our Mexico Volcanoes Expedition is off to a great start! This morning we left the busy streets of Mexico City for the mountains. We arrived to La Malinche, the former training ground for the Mexican Olympic team. Here we went for our first hike to prepare our bodies for higher elevations to come. The team made it to about 13,000 feet! Tonight we will stay in quiet cabins at 10,000 with great views of the Mexican countryside.
Tomorrow we will head to the base of Ixta, our fist big peak! So far the team is having a great time enjoying the food, scenery and culture that Mexico has to offer! Thanks for tuning in and we will check in mañana!
October 13, 2019
This is the Mexico’s Volcanoes Expedition checking in from the beautiful Zona Rosa in Mexico City. All climbers have arrived safely to our hotel, along with all of our baggage. After a delicious meal of authentic Mexican food, we are about to get some sleep to prepare for our early start to La Malinche tomorrow. Stay tuned for more dispatches once we reach the mountains.
We have had a great few days working our way south from Araucania to the Lakes District. We had a nice day of ski touring on the ridges across from Lonquimay before heading south to Pucon. Beautiful views that morning of Sierra Nevada, Llaima, Villarrica, Tolhuaca and Lanin.
We had a nice rest day in Pucon while a wet storm hit the region. That day we were slated for Villarrica, the most active volcano in South America. It’s currently under “Amber alert” after spitting some lava and smoke in the last couple weeks. Our backup plan was another nearby mountain - Quetrapillan. But with a forecast of heavy snow and 80 knot winds, a down day seemed like a better plan.
Yesterday we worked our way further south into the Lakes District, arriving to Refugio Teski on the flanks of Volcan Osorno. This morning we set off in light snow flurries and low visibility, once again with optimism that things would improve. Improve they did as we skinned through the cloud deck into the sunlight. We didn’t quite make it to the top of Osorno. The wind was whipping and the steep summit slopes were icy. But we did get an amazing 4000’+ descent above Lake Llanquihue. Snow conditions were once again uncharacteristically good for this time of year - a smooth, preserved, fast powder surface illuminated in cold sunlight. Quite a run to end the trip on. And one that should make the wait for our Northern Hemisphere winter more tolerable. An added bonus was having our friend and outfitter Sergio join us on Osorno. He doesn’t usually travel this far south with us but this was a special cameo.
Yesterday we raced to set up our tents under the Araucaria trees as a fast moving thunderstorm approached. This morning we awoke in a thick snowy cloud. After an hour of skinning up an ever narrowing ridge, we rose above into glowing morning light and blue skies.
Last time we came to ski Sierra Nevada was five years ago and we got 95% of the way there, but ran out of time. Today, snow conditions were perfect for skinning all the way to the summit. On top we had impressive views of our neighbors, Lonquimay and Llaima. And crystal clear radio communication with Sergio at his lodge way down in the valley. Three hours later, after a highly enjoyable skiing experience, he picked us up in his Land Rover (it’s a gnarly road) with cold cervezas.
Amazing photos! Good going you guys. Enjoy the cervesas, salud, y saludos a Sergio!
Posted by: Wolf Riehle on 10/4/2019 at 9:35 pm
Quick check in from our camp here at 5,600’ on Sierra Nevada. Beautiful approach through the forest and now we’re out chilling some weather. All is going well with our team.
Today we arrived to the base of Lonquimay to a fresh blanket of snow glistening in the morning sun. The nice weather was quite a contrast to what we’ve experienced thus far. And we enjoyed it thoroughly for the first couple hours of skinning. But there was a cloud cap over the summit (“a hat” as Sergio our outfitter calls it). The higher we went, the colder it got, and soon we were in whiteness, getting blasted by a frigid wind. We kept on though, and reaching the top we were blessed. The wind stopped. The skies cleared. The views opened. And we were lined up for some of the best powder skiing I’ve had down here. Our first cumbre of the trip took some perseverance, but man it paid off…
Yesterday we went out for a wild storm ski as our introduction to the Southern Hemisphere spring. We rode what lifts were open at Corralco and couldn’t see much. But the feeling of having skis on our feet accomplished the days mission, despite having no idea how fast we were going.
Today we awoke to continued dumping snow, roofalanches and a winter vibe here in Malalcahuello. We went up for a ski tour on the lower flanks of Lonquimay with open minds, finding some nice blown in gullies in the monkey puzzle forest. In the afternoon the skies started to clear and we toured up the volcano a ways, enjoying our first real views of the place. A fun day of fresh turns was capped off with a visit to the termas down the road to thaw out.
All is great with our team and the weather trend seems to be improving - fingers crossed.
RMI Guide Tyler Reid & the Chile ski team
September 30, 2019
The Four Day Climb, September 27 - 30, enjoyed a beautiful sunrise this morning on Mt. Rainier. Weather conditions and new snow on the route prevented them from reaching the summit today, however, they did ascend to Ingraham Flats to check out the views. The group has descended from Camp Muir and will return to Rainier BaseCamp this afternoon.
This is our final program for the 2019 Mt. Rainier season. Thank you for following along with our climbs!
Hey Steve - sorry to hear you didn’t quite summit! How many did you end up with this year? Looking forward to climbing with you next season!
Posted by: John Murray on 9/30/2019 at 2:28 pm
September 29, 2019
Posted by: Tyler Reid
We just had our first team dinner here in Temuco, Chile. Everyone made it today despite various fight delays and the standard rigamarole of crossing continents, hemispheres and time zones. It’s snowing in the mountains and we might just get to ski some powder tomorrow… but first we sleep.
RMI Guide Tyler Reid and the Chile Ski Team