Entries from Expedition Dispatches
February 22, 2020
Good morning. This is RMI Guide Eric Frank from the summit of Pico de Orizaba. We are enjoying the views looking out over the valley in Mexico. A little cloud cover is creeping Into The Valleys, but we are about 1,000 feet above it up here. It’s been a really nice morning of climbing, a little cold and a little windy, but we were able to get it done nevertheless. We are going to hang out for a few more minutes then get packed up and have a safe descent. Then we will go down and celebrate what's been a great week of climbing.
RMI Guide Eric Frank calls from the summit of Pico de Orizaba.
On The Map
February 21, 2020
Oh what a difference 24 hours makes! Last night the Mexico climbing team was at dinner enjoying mole, drinking tequila and recalling our climb on Ixta. Tonight we find ourselves at the refugio below Orizaba repacking our bags and preparing for an alpine start.
Tomorrow looks promising for us. The weather is good, the team is strong and reports say that the route is in good condition for a late season ascent. With any luck we look forward to reporting in tomorrow morning from the summit!
Thursday, February 20th at 9:07 pm PT
Today the team enjoyed a well deserved rest day in the beautiful city of Puebla. After enjoying breakfast together at the hotel, we all went our separate ways and wandered the city streets, taking in the views and enjoying everything from fresh squeezed juices to fried grasshoppers. At 7pm, we met up at one of our favorite restaurants for a team dinner, where we tasted some of Mexico's finest moles, a sauce unique to this area. We followed this up with a quick trip to the ice cream stand, just down the street, then headed to our hotel's rooftop patio to take in the evening views. We're headed off bright and early tomorrow morning to start our move to basecamp for our Orizaba climb. Everyone is excited and ready for the next leg of the trip.
We concluded our nine day trek through Torres del Paine National Park with an 6 am start to get up to the Towers of Paine before the crowds arrived. The hike was 12 miles round trip with 3,900’ of elevation gain. Once at the towers we had cold wind, mostly clear skies for some good pictures. We saw a condor soaring around the cirque, we saw social media influencers doing acrobatic yoga, we saw someone fall into the glacial lake from trying to pose like an influencer and most of all we capped off a great trip with a nice brisk hike. The trio self named the “base layer boys” lead the charge up with our Chilean guide Fernando and once back at the hostel we packed up and are now back in Puerto Natales for the night. A few hour drive to Punta Arenas tomorrow morning and this fun trip will be done. We laughed a lot, ate great food, took lots of pictures and have some sore legs and feet. Guess that’s the price you pay to be in such an amazing location. We are going to celebrate with one last pizza dinner before the group disperses tomorrow. Thanks for following along.
February 19, 2020
Hi, this is RMI Guides Jenny Konway and Eric Frank calling in from the summit of Ixtaccihuatl with a full team. We reached the summit at 7:45 this morning. We are hanging out, taking some photos and we'll head back down soon. The team is psyched.
RMI Guide Jenny Konway calls from the summit of Ixtaccihuatl.
On The Map
February 18, 2020
Our day started with a 7am wake-up call, followed by hot coffee, eggs and some of the best papaya we'd ever had. While we enjoyed our breakfast, we took in the view, as Popocatepl put on a show for us, spewing large clouds of ash and smoke into the morning sky.
We finalized our packing, loaded our gear into the van and headed to the trailhead to start our hike to high camp. The team did a great job, arriving at high camp in good spirits and in good time. After setting up tents and getting moved in, we all took a well deserved break before coming together for dinner. Once we'd had our fill of soup and quesadillas, we discussed our plan for tomorrow's ascent, said good night and headed to bed.
Wish us luck as we head out tomorrow for our hopeful summit of Ixtaccihuatl!
We finished our last day of hiking with the big packs. Last night was a windy and wet night down near Lago Nordenskjold. The Dones flexed, the tents shook and the trees thrashed about. For an area so infamous for stormy weather our team has lucked out. We hung out at the Refugio until the rain stopped and sunshine appeared. The winds would stay with us all day as we walked 14 km to Refugio Torre Central. The trail was a running creek at times and aside from some rocky bluffs to walk up and descend we cruised in just as the rain started back again. There is a lot of new snow up high and aside from watching some harriers play in the gusting wind the coolest views were the white caps and walls of wind blown spray moving like clouds across the lakes. Tomorrow concludes our 9 day trek of the “O” and “W” circuits. We’ll head out early to see the actual towers that gives this park it’s name and then head for Puerto Natales.
February 17, 2020
After a nice long night of sleep to recover from our acclimatization hike, the Mexican Volcanoes team was up bright and early this morning to move toward our first objective- Ixtaccihualtl.
This climb will be a multi-day process, but we are already in a good position. Tonight the team is staying at the Altzomoni Hut at 12,700ft. We spent the evening packing for tomorrow, enjoying carne asada tacos and watching the sunset on the volcano across the valley.
Everyone is excited for the climb and looking forward to getting higher on the mountain tomorrow.
Wish us luck and thanks for following along.
On The Map
We are all wishing for you excellent weather and a safe and successful journey up the mountain!!
Posted by: Jean LeTellier on 2/18/2020 at 5:08 am
The Team got started from Refugio Paine Grande at 9:30. The weather was cool and windy for the first two hours as we hiked to Campamento Italiano at the base of the French Valley. We ditched packs and grabbed a light lunch and water, then headed up to the British viewpoint. The views of the Horns, Sharks Fin, and surrounding peaks were worth the side hike. A quick descent down to grab packs and a 30-minute walk to the French Domes wrapped up the day. The skies have been grey and the rain has held off until after getting to camp each day so fingers crossed for two more days of hiking.
Hi guys, I had sent a previous message but I don’t think it got through so I will try again. Anyway, this trip sounds like my kind of trip. I’m sure you all are having a great great time. I’m sure you all, by this time, would love a hot meal, A hot shower and a dry bed to sleep in. I’m sure, by this time, Katie will be having withdrawal symptoms from Trader Joe’s and Bloomingdale’s. See you all soon and don’t forget to smell the flowers.
Posted by: Marilyn Freedman on 2/19/2020 at 10:39 am
Hey guys…I’m following you on this blog site. Photos look great. Happy Birthday Michael! Bruce, I hope your foot feels better, and Katie and Matt, hang in there…. Dinner at Arlington Kebob awaits your return!
You’re not missing anything here. Sofar, the US seems to have contained the Coronavirus, Trump is still president, and with the stock market hitting new highs, you have enough money to sign up for another RMI expedition! Have fun.
Posted by: Joyce Freedman on 2/17/2020 at 8:04 pm
February 16, 2020
Today was an event filled day for the RMI Mexico Volcanoes team. We started out bright and early with a delicious breakfast at Hotel Geneve, followed by a quick drive to our base for the night, La Malintzi. Upon arrival, we changed our shoes, put on some sunscreen and readied ourselves for our first acclimatization hike of the trip. Expansive views of the Tlaxcala region were enjoyed by all as we made our way up the mountain. The team did a great job, making quick work of the ascent trail. After four hours of hiking, we took our last break and started our descent back downhill to where an asado awaited us for dinner. In addition to the above, we also welcomed our last teammate who, due to flight complications, had to catch up with us here. With a full team and all of our luggage in hand, we're ready to head out early in the morning. Next stop, Altzimoni hut!
RMI Guides Eric Frank & Jenny Konway
Great picture of the team love your smile Paul! Looks like you are having fun!
Posted by: Judy Neumann on 2/23/2020 at 6:17 am