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RMI Expeditions Blog


Mexico’s Volcanoes: Beren & Team on the Pico de Orizaba Summit!

Update: November 11th, 2:00 pm PT
Buenas Tardes!  Our team has safely returned down to Tlachichuca after our climb of Orizaba this morning. It was a beautiful day and a great climb, made even more so by the fact that we were the only people on the entire mountain!  What a treat.
Now back in the valley below, we are doing the old duffle shuffle and getting ready to celebrate with a hard earned dinner. Tomorrow we will part ways, but our time in Mexico has been a fantastic adventure.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

Transcription of call from the Orizaba summit:
Hello. This is Jake on top of Pico de Orizaba with the crew. We are doing great. We had a beautiful, could not ask for a better style day, today. The winds are light, the sun is out, and we’re going to reverse our path and start heading down soon. It was a great climb, everybody did well, and we’ll be in touch from the lowlands. Alright everybody take care.


RMI Guide Jake Beren calls in from the Pico de Orizaba summit.

On The Map

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: Beren & Team Rest Day in Puebla

Our travels so far have been action packed and the team enjoyed a relaxing rest/exploration day yesterday.  The colonial city of Puebla is a beautiful place to see the sights and we did a little sleeping in before taking it to the streets.  Puebla is a city that certainly felt the effects of the recent earthquake and as you walk around town, you can see folks tending to the damage, repairing walls and buildings.  It is remarkable that the damage was not more widespread, but we are all happy to see that the beautiful town of Puebla has survived.
Now we are off to Orizaba!  Tonight we will stay in the Piedra Grande hut and begin our climb early tomorrow morning.  Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Jake Beren

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: Beren & Team Summit Ixta!

Despite a very blustery morning, we had a great time climbing on Ixta today.  We moved through the night under a waning gibbous moon and caught the sunrise from 17,000’ above sea level!  The team climbed well, making wise decisions, on a windy day to the cumbre (summit) of Ixta!  Now we are relaxing in a hotel in Puebla, enjoying significantly less wind, before heading out to celebrate over dinner. Tomorrow we will rest and relax, getting ready for the big one -Pico de Orizaba on Friday.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: Beren & Team Ascend to High Camp on Ixta

Buenas noches from our High Camp on Ixta where we are tucked in for the night.  The team did great moving up today and with any luck we will be calling from the cumbre.  So all is well here. This is Jake and the Mexico crew signing off for the night. Adios

RMI Guide Jake Beren

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: Beren & Team Prepare for Ixta!

This morning we pulled stakes after a great night’s sleep in La Malintzi and made our way toward Ixta. Along the way we explored the little town of Amecameca, registered with the park and double checked our equipment for the climb. Tomorrow we will head uphill, establishing our high camp on Ixta. The team is doing great and after our afternoon walk, we plan to feast and do our best to duplicate last nights slumber in our new home at 13k! 
   
Tomorrow we ride…

RMI Jake Beren and Team

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: Beren & Team Take First Acclimatization Hike

On our drive from Mexico City we were treated to views of La Malinche, Ixta and Pico de Orizaba. Today’s clarity was one for the books and we made the most of it on our first acclimatization hike. One of the advantages of this style of trip is that you can pretty quickly get in position to be at altitude AND get a good night’s rest indoors. After a beautiful hike through the “arboles ponderosicas” we made it to some lounging at our cabana before dinner.
Hope everyone up North is doing great!

RMI Guide Jake Beren

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: Beren & Team Arrive in Mexico Ctiy

Buenos dias everyone. 

Our team has all safely arrived in Mexico City and after a team meeting and dinner last night, we are about to head out for our first scramble at altitude.  Today we will leave the big city for an acclimatization mission to La Malinche, an extinct volcano a few hours from Mexico City.  Thanks of following along and we will check in from down the road!

RMI Guide Jake Beren

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Mountaineering Training | Steady State Workouts

Building an endurance base takes more than just long easy-paced workouts. Long workouts create the muscular efficiency to deal with long miles, but moderate intensity intervals and steady state workouts are important for building a solid endurance circulatory system that, in concert with your long workouts, makes up your endurance base. A great aspect of steady state training is that you can incorporate it in a variety of training mediums: running, mountain biking, road biking, swimming, rowing, or hiking.  
A steady state workout encompasses a sustained period of hard effort, paced just under what you would consider your race pace or the maximum pace that you can sustain for a given distance. Sustained efforts between twenty minutes and an hour and fifteen minutes have been shown to be most effective for this type of training. There is an obvious difference in pace between a twenty-minute effort and an hour plus effort: the goal is to sustain the pace that you start the workout at all the way until the end of the workout. The pace is typically about 10% less than your maximum effort over a similar time period. You can use a variety of methods to measure your pace and success of the workout: heart rate monitors, your minutes per mile, or for those with more experience, basing your pace on perceived effort or feel, are all effective methods. Though the pace is below your maximum effort, this workout is uncomfortable, and one of the biggest challenges is to stay with the workout mentally and maintain the pace throughout without letting the pace drop. This mental component is also great training for climbers, since this is exactly the mental toughness that you need in the midst of a tough stretch of terrain.  
Note: As the intensity of your workouts increase, the importance of a quality warm-up and cool-down cannot be overstated. This is a really important aspect for preventing injuries.
Steady state workouts provide a couple of key training objectives. Accomplished over several months as part of an endurance building block, these workouts increase cardiac output (the amount of blood pumped by the heart), decrease resting heart rate, and increase lactate threshold. To increase cardiac output, your body is stimulated to increase the capillary network that delivers oxygenated blood to your muscles, to increase the capacity of existing capillaries, and to increase your blood volume. These factors help your circulatory system to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and remove waste products. An increase in your lactate threshold indicates that your body is able to remove lactate efficiently at higher levels of effort, so that you can exercise harder and longer before fatiguing. Finally, a drop in resting heart rate indicates that your heart is operating more efficiently, delivering blood to your muscles with less effort.  
The training gains from incorporating steady state training into your routine will help you push longer and harder in the mountains, and the ability to move more blood that contains more oxygen will do nothing but help with the effects of altitude as well! These are difficult workouts, but keep your head in the game and push hard all the way through the end and you’ll be amazed at your endurance gains!
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Questions? Comments? Share your thoughts here on the RMI Blog!

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Gokyo Trek: Elias & Team Complete Trek, Return to Kathmandu

Namaste!

We made it back to Kathmandu. Our descent from Khumjung went well, and we decided to expedite it, as the weather forecast looked not the most favorable, and wanted to have an extra day to secure flying out of the mountains without issues. Upon arrival to Lukla, the only storm of the entire trip developed, but we were lucky to get wet for only the last 30min of an almost 2 week hike… not bad! But we flew out yesterday, and were able to farewell the Himalaya from the air, as the skies were still relatively sunny by mid morning.

Tired but accomplished, we left the Khumbu with incredible images in the memory, miles in the legs and new friends in the hearts. Our Sherpa and porter crew made it possible for a great trip through this fantastic and mystic mountainous area of the world. All is good now in the city as we await for our flights back home tomorrow.

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos

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Gokyo Trek: Elias & Team Visit Khumjung Monastery

Today we continued to descend the Gokyo Valley towards Khumjung, “The Green Village”, which, with its twin city, Kunde, hosts the largest population of Sherpa people in the Khumbu. Sightings of the smaller, yet impresive Ama Dablam, Tamserku and Kantega peaks reminded us we were back to the proximity of the lower lands where we started ten days ago.
Upon arrival to Khumjung, we visited its monastery, which believe it or not, conserves a scalp of the Yeti!!! We saw it ourselves. We continued to circumnavigate the perimeter of the two villages following long mani stone walls (fence like dwellings made with flat slate stones engraved with prayers and mantras) which, along with the mist and the domesticated yet majestic yaks, delivered a great deal of Himalayan mysticism.
We’re now in bed, and bound to Lukla to finish the trek.

RMI Guide Elías de Andres Martos and team

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