January 19, 2013
Shhhh everyone is sleeping… We’re all back in Tlachichuca and everyone has retired after our final team dinner. Today we climbed to the summit of Pico de Orizaba in fantastic weather, the best I’ve ever had on this mountain. Last night when I went to bed it looked like a storm front was moving towards us but when my alarm went off at 12:30am there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and no wind to speak of either.
We made it from the hut at 13,990’ to the 18,701’ summit and back in twelve and a half hours which was a long enough day to ensure that after showers and dinner all the climbers headed for bed.
We all agreed that the last 8 days have gone by extremely quickly and that we’ve had some great climbs. Tomorrow we’ll head back to Mexico City for our flights home.
January 19, 2013
Hey, this is Seth checking in from the summit of Pico de Orizaba, tallest mountain in Mexico, fourth tallest in North America. Got the whole team with me. We’ve got a beautiful day. No wind up here, sunny skies, everybody’s psyched. We’re going to take a bunch of photos. Do some high fivin’ then we’ll check in once we peel back. Here’s the shouts from everybody. [Team shouts!] They are very excited. It’s just hard to breathe up here. We’ll check in from high camp.
RMI Guide Seth Waterfall calls from the Orizaba summit
On The Map
January 18, 2013
Just a quick check in from Piedra Grande. Today was smooth as silk for our move to the hut on Orizaba. We left Puebla just after 8am and arrived at the Servimont compound at 10:15. That gave us plenty of time to pack and have a nice lunch. After that we loaded in the big 4x4 for the steep drive to the hut. We had great views of the mountain all day and everything seems to be coming together for a good climb tonight. We’ll check in tomorrow morning, hopefully from the summit!
On The Map
January 17, 2013
Eat until you get sleepy, sleep until you get hungry… That’s been our program, pretty much, today. Zach took the record for late sleeping (10am) and Dave took the record for most cafe americanos (4 by my count). But Gerry, Brian and I were no slouches in the rest day department either.
We’ve just finished with dinner and while the rest day was great everyone is getting psyched for el Pico de Orizaba. Tomorrow we’ll be headed up to high camp and with a bit if luck it’ll be a summit for us early Saturday.
January 16, 2013
We’re all checked in at the Hotel Colonial in Puebla. If you’re counting, that’s less than 10 hours after standing on the summit of Ixta!
We got up this morning at 2:30AM under clear skies and no moon. The view of the city lights from Amecameca to Mexico City was really cool. The guys made quick work of getting ready and we started just after 3:30. The talus field leading up to the Ayaloco glacier was our first challenge but my guiding partner Alejandro stepped up with local knowledge on the ever-shifting route. He plotted the course to the toe of the glacier without issue. After a quick transition to crampons we dispatched with the climb up the Ayaloco. Once we crested the ridge the wind whipped up and it was parka time for most of us. Our only hold up of the day came after we had put the crampons back in the pack to walk the ‘Arista del Sol’. We hit an unexpected section of ice a few hundred feet below the summit plateau and had to transition back to the spikes. Other than that it was smooth sailing for us right to the summit. The wind calmed to a light breeze for our pictures up top and we found a sheltered spot for a nice long break just below the summit.
The way down to high camp was completed in three stretches and to my surprise there was very little grumbling as we down climbed the talus. Kudos boys. Having made such good time on the climb we were able to enjoy some extra breaks on the walk down from high camp. The icing on the cake was when we were met by our super-driver, Rogelio, with tortas, chips, sodas and cervesas back at the trail head.
He tortas were good but they’re just the tip of the iceberg for we are in Puebla, home of many delicious foods. The team is waiting for me, it’s dinner time!
Looks like a great time was had by all….awesome pics - especially the smiles on the faces post the climb!
Posted by: Caskie on 1/17/2013 at 10:12 am
January 16, 2013
6:21 a.m. from the summit of Ixtaccihuatl:
Hey this is Seth calling from the top of Ixta. I am up here with everybody. There is very little wind and it was a smooth climb. The team is taking a bunch of photos and enjoying the views. You can see all of the volcanoes today: Nevado de Toluca, Pico de Orizaba, La Malinche, Sierra Negra…and Popo is also out. It is a beautiful cloudless day with no wind. [lots of background cheering from the team] We will check in again from high camp later today.
On The Map
Quite a day!! The extended family is following.. every one is psyched for the team!
Posted by: Laura on 1/16/2013 at 4:52 pm
January 15, 2013
Hello from high camp on Ixta! Everyone did great today, the tents are up and I’m about to start cooking dinner.
This morning we got up at 6:30 and had bacon and eggs for breakfast. After packing our gear we got a ride from our driver to La Joya, which is where the trail starts. It took us five hours to reach high camp with the big packs but we have plenty of time to relax before we go to the summit.
Hopefully the next time I check in we’ll be standing on top of Ixta!
On The Map
You’re making me tear up, Seth!
Posted by: Laura on 1/16/2013 at 8:31 am
January 14, 2013
We’re on Ixta! Well we’re actually at the Altzimoni Hut but we did get up to 14,600’ on Ixta today. That means we set new altitude records for the whole team. That’s always cool.
The day started with an 8 am pick up from La Malinche. Our fantastic driver, Rogelio, took us to the best breakfast in Mexico at the Hotel Mission Tlaxcala. Very nice.
Then we hit the market in the town of Amecameca for some last minute food and water before driving to the Altzimoni Hut. After dropping our gear we set out for a hike. We took the same route that we will follow tomorrow and I dropped some water at our high point. We’ll pick that up on the way through on our way to high camp and I’ll check in again from there.
On The Map
Congratulations Team El Futbol!
Dave..the SVA letter came.. all set!
Posted by: Laura on 1/15/2013 at 6:49 am
January 13, 2013
The first full day of the trip has been a blast. We started off with breakfast at the hotel in Mexico City. While we were eating the military honor guard raised the national flag in front of the presidential palace giving us quite the show.
After that we peeled out of town and headed for the mountains. On our way out we stopped to get some water and one of the guys found a soccer ball that he just had to have. So now we have a team soccer ball.
The drive was real smooth and we pulled into the cabanas at La Malinche before noon.
Once we moved in we set off for a hike. We ended up getting to about 13,700 feet on La Malinche and set a new altitude record for Dave!
We have just returned from the hike and we’re all starving. Dinner is in 8 minutes so I’ve got to go!
Great update - and congrats on new altitude records…hope today is another good day for you all!
Posted by: Caskie on 1/14/2013 at 1:26 pm
Thanks Seth for the very fun report! Now Dave is a true High Altitude Mt Climber! Great photo! Viva La Mexico!
Posted by: Laura on 1/14/2013 at 6:00 am
January 12, 2013
Buenos noches from Mexico City. Everyone has arrived without too much incident and we just spent the evening getting to know each other. Our hotel is located right on the zocalo (historic center) in the city so there is tons of activity all around. We had a great dinner overlooking the square and now we’re getting ready for a fairly early start tomorrow. Our next stop is La Malinche where we begin our acclimatization in earnest.
Thinking of you, Amigos!
Posted by: Laura Bryson on 1/13/2013 at 7:08 am