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Mexico’s Volcanoes: King, Cifelli & Team Summit Orizaba!

The team was treated to an almost windless summit day on Orizaba to cap off our Mexico Volcanoes trip! We summitted at 9:30 am and got down safely in time to enjoy a delicious home cooked meal in Tlachichuca. The team is showered, full, and ready to see our families when we fly out tomorrow for home. Till next time Mexico!

RMI Guide Dominic Cifelli

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: King and Team Prepare for Climb of Pico de Orizaba

The RMI Mexico's Volcanoes team enjoyed a restful day in Puebla. The historic town square was a little less festive this year but colorful murals, buildings and food didn’t disappoint. The highlight for some was a sunset dinner and drinks at a rooftop restaurant. 

This morning we got an early start for Tlachichuca, at the base of Pico de Orizaba, where we are currently having a meal after packing for our climb. We also got our COVID tests done - a requirement to return to the United States. 

Our drive today to Piedra Grande Refugio, Orizaba's high camp, will be on a bumpy and dusty road. We will take a walk to get some exercise and then turn in the evening. We hope to get good rest for our alpine start and summit attempt on Orizaba tomorrow. We’ll be updating the blog upon returning from Orizaba tomorrow afternoon. Fingers crossed for good weather.



RMI Guide Mike King

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All the Best to You Mike!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 11/13/2021 at 3:40 am

Mexico’s Volcanoes: King Recaps Ixta Summit Day While Team Enjoys Rest Day in Puebla

We are currently in the town of Puebla, taking a rest day after our climb of Ixtaccihuatl and preparing ourselves for our upcoming climb of Orizaba.

Yesterday we left our high camp on a warm but windy night. The route takes us up through a steep scree field and into a short section of chimneys that requires a little scrambling. After gaining the ridge we made our way along the circuitous route, taking breaks to regroup and adding layers as the wind continued to blow. We put on crampons and grabbed our ice axes for the steep descent onto the Ayoloco Glacier. With daylight breaking the horizon we had two remaining false summits before getting to Ixta’s high point of 17,340'. The sun rose just in time for us to take pictures and share some high fives. We descended back to high camp and eventually back to the trailhead. After sorting some equipment and enjoying a few refreshments, we got on the shuttle to head for Puebla.

Climbing Ixta can be deceiving; we don’t cover many miles and the vertical gain seems minimal. However, the rocky and loose terrain makes for slow progress, especially when compared to being on snowfields and glaciers.

The team worked hard yesterday and is planning to take full advantage of today's rest day before we head to Orizaba tomorrow.



RMI Guide Mike King

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: King & Team Summit Ixtaccihuatl on a Clear and Windy Day

RMI Guide Mike King and the Mexico's Volcanoes team reached the summit of Ixtaccihuatl (17,340') early this morning.  Mike reported a clear and windy day with many climbers on the route.  The team left early from their High Camp and their reward was enjoying the sunrise from the summit.  We will get a full report from Mike once the team has descended.

Congratulations team!

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Awesome Mike! Congrats to You and the Team!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 11/11/2021 at 2:47 am

Mexico’s Volcanoes: King & Team Ascend to High Camp on Ixta, Ready for Summit Attempt

We had a casual start to the day. Our hike took us to 15,400’ on Ixta where we have camp set up for the night. Our plan is to rest a little bit after the hard effort of carrying heavy packs and still adjusting to these higher elevations. This evening we will do some gear and skills refreshers. There are some ravens squawking over head and the sun feels good on the tents. Tonight we will ascend the “knees” of Ixta and gain the long and circuitous ridge line and hopefully be on the summit around sunrise. Spirits are high and everyone is healthy and enjoying having the heavy packs off their backs.

RMI Guide Mike King

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All the Best to you and your Team Mike!!
Farmer Dave

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 11/10/2021 at 2:53 am

Mexico’s Volcanoes: King and Team Stretch Legs, Arrive at La Jolla

We got an early start after breakfast today. Eventually we made a short stop in Amecameca for some last minute provisions and a light lunch before riding up to Paso de Cortez where the park entrance for Ixta resides. We opted for a five mile hike instead of riding the bus on the bumpy road. While the hike was mostly on a gated dirt road we enjoyed the rolling grassy hills and scattered pine trees. Afternoon clouds had built up and we were able to see the lower portion of our climbing route. 

We’ll spend the remainder of the afternoon setting up tents and getting our gear sorted for the move up to our high camp tomorrow. The Team is doing well and hoping for Popo to put off some ash plumes for some good photos. We will check in tomorrow from high camp.

RMI Guide Mike King

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Mexico Volcanoes: King & Team Arrive in Mexico City, head to La Malinche

The  Mexico Volcanoes Team arrived yesterday with all their equipment. Today we left Mexico City for a two and a half hour drive through the scenic country side on our way to La Malinche. Along the way we got great views of Orizaba, Ixta and Popo. In my eight trips I’ve not seen the air quality this clear for such long distances. Which makes having our hike cut short around 12,000’ due to the park police turning hikers around all the more disappointing. This area is known for afternoon thunderstorms and apparently the park is instituting a strict turn around time now. 

We decided to listen to the tactically dressed officer with the gun and not end up in a Mexican jail. The group got a chance to stretch their lungs and legs some, we all would have hoped for a longer hike. The remainder of the day will be spent in the former Olympic training center that now hosts tourists and locals. We will look forward to heading to Ixta tomorrow for a hike and gear check. 

Thanks for following along,

RMI Guide Mike King

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Great job dad, keep going. Moms says hi.

Love, Daniel

Posted by: Daniel Kovatich on 11/10/2021 at 6:10 pm

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