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RMI Expeditions Blog

Mexico’s Volcanoes: Schmitt and Team Summit Pico de Orizaba

This is the Mexico volcanoes expedition checking in from the summit of Pico de Orizaba! We summited in great time in great conditions! Blue bird skies and 5mph winds greeted us from the top! Stand by for some pictures once we are back in town!

RMI Guides JT Schmitt and Grayson Swingle

On The Map

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Mexico Volcanoes: Schmitt & Team Ready for Orizaba Summit Bid

Checking in from the Piedra Grande Hut on Pico de Orizaba at an elevation of 13,900 feet. We’ve had a busy day driving from Puebla and prepping in Tlachichuca. After a delicious dinner of chicken tacos, we are ready to turn in for an early start to head up Orizaba tomorrow! Wish us luck!!

Mexico volcanoes expedition.

RMI Guide JT Schmitt

On The Map

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Fingers crossed for your climb today (Saturday) 
Cheers from Indiana!!
Lovely photos!

Posted by: Kathy on 10/19/2019 at 6:44 am

Mexico’s Volcanoes: Schmitt and Team Explore Colonial City of Puebla

Greetings from Puebla! The team is enjoying a well deserved rest day in the beautiful city of Puebla. It’s been a rainy day here but we are making the most of it. Each of us have set out on our own to explore the incredible churches built in the 1500’s and the lively markets found around our hotel.

Tomorrow we will head to our final objective of the trip, Pico de Orizaba (18,491’)! The weather is looking quite wintery up there today through tomorrow but we may get a window to summit on Saturday if all goes well.

That’s all for now, we are heading to feast on some authentic Mexican cuisine!

RMI Guide Grayson Swingle

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Mexico Volcanoes: Poor Weather Turns Team on Summit Attempt of Ixta

Today we gave our best shot at the summit of Ixta, but the mountain countered with a stronger blow.

We woke up to mild temperatures and light winds and decided to start climbing around 2am. From past experiences our local guide, Ulisses, and myself were wary of these conditions, such warm temperatures with moisture aloft often indicate heavy precipitation and winds in the near future, so we decided we would climb tentatively upwards until the first sign of bad weather.

We successfully climbed through the most technical portion of the mountain to an elevation of 16,500 feet. At this point the winds started to increase as well as the rate of precipitation, so we decided to head back down. By the time we reached the final saddle before camp, the winds were nearing 40 mph and the snow was blanketing everything in sight. We were happy we turned back as soon as we did and everyone welcomed a dry tent and a hot drink. Now we are off to Puebla for some much earned rest before we go to climb Orizaba!

Enjoy some pictures from the last few days.

RMI Guide JT Schmitt & Team

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Mexico Volcanoes: Schmitt & Team at Ixtaccihuatl’s High Camp

Hello from Ixta high camp!

We woke up this morning at the Altzomoni Hut to a crisp and clear morning. The moon, out in all its glory, was suspended just above Pico de Orizaba, far in the distance, and Popo was periodically producing puffs of smoke, creating an incredible view for us to begin our day with. Although it was a sight to behold, we had little time to sit and watch, because we had a high camp to get to!

Everyone made it up to approximately 15,500 feet in great style! The day proved to have as beautiful weather as the morning provided, and we enjoyed the blue skies the whole way up to high camp. The loads were a bit heavy, and the air a bit thin, but that was no issue for this team.

Now we are all relaxing in our tents and in true Mexican style enjoying a little siesta before dinner. In the morning we plan on waking up and climbing to the summit of Ixta!

Hasta luego!

RMI Guides JT Schmitt & Grayson Swingle

On The Map

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WOW!  What a beautiful sight, especially with someone I know in it!  (:-)

Posted by: E J Fisher on 10/16/2019 at 11:47 am

Mexico Volcanoes: Schmitt & Team Enjoy a Feast at Altzomoni Hut

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!

RMI Guide Grayson Swingle

On The Map

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Great going, guys!  Keep it up, up, up. (:-)

Posted by: E J Fisher on 10/16/2019 at 11:42 am

Have a great couple days on ixta enjoy the beauty within and around.

Posted by: Joe on 10/15/2019 at 2:02 pm

Mexicos Volcanoes: Schmitt and Team Take Acclimatization Hike at La Malinche

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!

RMI Guide JT Schmitt

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Mexicos Volcanoes: Schmitt and Team Arrive in Mexico City

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.

RMI Guide JT Schmitt

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Chile Ski: Reid & Team From Araucania to Osorno

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.

RMI Guide Tyler Reid

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Chile Ski: Reid & Team Find Perfect Conditions and Enjoyable Skiing on Sierra Nevada

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.

Some photos…

RMI Guide Tyler Reid

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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

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