March 7, 2020
Posted by: Dustin Wittmier
RMI Guide Dustin Wittmier and the Mexico Volcanoes team reached the summit of Pico de Orizaba, 18,491', early this morning. The team will return to Tlachichuca to spend the night and celebrate their great week of climbing.
Congratulations to the team!
March 6, 2020
Once again we find ourselves on the road in the hands of the most talented bus driver in Mexico, Augustín. This time we are in route to Pico de Orizaba, the third highest peak in North America and our main climbing objective for the trip.
Our rest day in Puebla yesterday was moderately uneventful. If anything wild happened, I certainly was not made aware. We woke up to a peaceful protest just outside of the hotel for which a couple members of the team decided to take part. Other rest day activities included: cathedral tours, a search for new gaiters, the Pyramid of Cholula, and rooftop bars. For the final event of the day we had a group dinner at the famous El Mural de Los Poblanos. Important topics were discussed and a variety of opinions were shared, however it is still unclear whether knocking on a watermelon can truly determine its quality. Alas, there are just some things we cannot know.
Next on the agenda is our arrival in Tlachichuca. A short pack and repack session will be followed by lunch in the Servimont hostel. From there we board 4x4 trucks headed for the Piedra Grande hut at 14000' on Orizaba. We will finish our preparation for climbing, eat a dinner that includes fellow RMI Guide Mike King's favorite chicken in the world and try to catch a few hours of sleep before our alpine start tonight!
On The Map
March 4, 2020
Just before 6am today the Mexico Volcanoes expedition stood on top of Ixtaccihuatl. Yes, that is an hour before sunrise. You could say we left an hour too early or you can recognize that this group of climbers is strong and motivated. We battled a cold breeze all morning, but people put their heads down and persevered.
This time of year Ixta is dry, which makes climbing more difficult. The footing can be loose and we have all been thoroughly sandblasted. Needless to say it was an exhausting day. Within minutes of boarding the bus, more than half of the crew was asleep... a nap fueled by sandwiches y cervezas.
On The Map
Congratulations on a successful summit! Some challenging looking terrain the team had to pass through but looks like it was well worth it.
Posted by: Dan on 3/5/2020 at 9:18 pm
March 2, 2020
Our attempt on La Malinche yesterday was turned just above treeline, but we still attained our goal of getting some mileage and elevation in. The National Park Police were stopping all groups from continuing, citing recent weather trends (afternoon thundershowers). My assessment of the weather differed from theirs, but their stern faces projected a certain air of authority.
The team is on the road again this morning, this time from the La Malinche resort to Altzomoni. On previous trips with the same bus driver, Augustín, there was a Shania Twain album stuck in the CD player. However, that problem has been rectified and this morning we are getting re-acquainted with 90's and early 2000's hip hop and R&B.
We will make a quick pit stop in Amecameca for snacks and water before heading to the Paso de Cortes. The anticipation is growing for our first big objective, Iztaccíhuatl (Ixta). Given the weather we have observed for the past couple of days, it appears to be shaping up for a great climb!
On The Map
March 1, 2020
Yesterday the remaining members of our team arrived here in Mexico City. I am happy to report that all people and bags are accounted for. If the same can be said at the end of this trip we'll call it a success.
This morning we met for breakfast at 7am in the "Bird Room" of the Hotel Geneve. The food here is classic Mexican fare done right and includes all the papaya you can eat. The only downside is that a person spends half their time at breakfast trying to wave down another cup of coffee, which seems to be the case in all of Mexico.
We are now on the bus headed for La Malinche and so the traverse of the southern portion of the Central Mexican Plateau begins. The group is looking forward to getting up high and truly starting the acclimation process. An attempt on the summit of La Malinche can often be thwarted by local weather patterns (heavy rain and lightning), but with any luck we may be standing on top this afternoon. Stay tuned for updates!
Climb High Dustin! All the best to you and the team! I will be following along.
Posted by: Farmer Dave on 3/2/2020 at 3:10 am