The morning of March 8th began like most others do when climbing a big mountain. A 1am wake up call, yummy instant oatmeal and coffee and the persistent interpersonal question of, “Why on earth do I do this?”
We lucked out again with the weather. A strong wind was blowing when we arrived at the hut and blew all through dinner. Much like it did on Ixta. By the time we pulled ourselves out of bed, most of us having not slept anyway, the wind was gone. Mommy nature was indeed in a good mood and happy with us, so both mornings on Ixta and Orizaba, were perfect. Also perfect was the teams readiness and psych. We began walking up hill at 2:15 a.m. and everyone was feeling solid and positive. After we got through the cruxy ice section called the labyrinth and onto the Jamapa Glacier, we knew we could make it. This Mexican glacier looks simple but once on it the darn thing seems like the twilight zone. You move but never go anywhere. After putting one foot in front of the other for three hours we did land somewhere, the summit! All eight of us, including Fozzi our local guide and myself, had made the tops of both Ixta and Orizaba. This team battled illnesses, mild AMS, anxiety and the stress of undertaking intimidating mountain climbs like champs. hey all made me proud!
We then returned to the comforts of our outfitters compound and prepared for the flights home. We are all thrilled to both have had a successful adventure and to come home today. Thanks to the entire team for a fantastic trip!
On The Map
Congratulations everyone! Way to go Richard Cost. Uh oh - what’s next?
Posted by: Stacey Cost on 3/9/2014 at 10:27 am
Hello to all those following the Mexico Volcanoes trip. Our team woke up this morning in Puebla feeling rested, happy and possibly a touch hungover. Of course partaking in two or three celebratory cervesas last night was highly discouraged by the guide on the trip but I caved into massive peer pressure and had my share.
After breakfast we loaded our van and headed out. 90 minutes later we were pulling into the beautiful compound of our Mexican outfitter and again fed like kings. The biggest surprise for the group so far isn’t how hard the climbing is, although that is a very close second, but more how delicious the food is. This isn’t classic texmex but truly authentic comida.
After the gear perpetration and lunch, we piled into the big 4 x4 truck and grinded our way for an hour and a half up a road so dusty we all looked like bandits covering our faces in the back. Now camp is made here at the Orizaba hut and the mountain js in full view. There are other teams here as well so the climb tonight into tomorrow will not be a lonely one. The more the merrier I guess. Dinner is in 30 and bedtime in 90. I feel like quite the father tucking my team in at 630 pm. It is something adults don’t do too often.
Wish us luck tonight and stay tuned for tomorrow’s climbing dispatch. Everyone is psyched to be heading up North America’s third highest peak but also to come home.
To all our friends and family, now we miss you!
RMI Guide Adam Knoff & Team
Wishing the team a great summit attempt. Enjoy the bolgs, thank you for the details of Mexico, it is a great adventure with a great guide.
Posted by: Jane Knoff Nelson on 3/8/2014 at 8:19 am
Looks challenging. Wishing the entire team success. Way to go Richard Cost - making it happen!
Posted by: Stacey Cost on 3/8/2014 at 6:35 am
Hola from Puebla, Mexico. I am writing this from the comforts of Hotel Colonial which sits near the center of one of Mexico’s most beautiful city. It will still be a few hours or so before we go sight seeing because the team is a bit tired after our long but successful summit of North America’s seventh highest mountain.
At camp while in our tents waiting for the alarm to rattle us out of our fitful sleeps, the wind was doing that work already. It was one of the most amazing shut offs I have ever seen. At 11:30 the wind was blowing 20 mph and by midnight the skies were clear and the night was as calm as our bedrooms. Taking full advantage of this great gift we rallied out of camp at 3:30 and pushed strongly upward to where the steep rock section of the route meets the long, winding ridge towards the summit. The beautiful lights of Mexico City shown down to our left and the same amazing view of Puebla shown down to our right. As the sun came up, we could see Orizaba poking through the haze to the south. All around it was a glorious morning. When the entire team arrived at the summit, we were all relieved to have the uphill finished.
Two and a half hours later we were at camp packing up and getting ready for the long walk back to the van where beers and snacks were waiting. We were lucky to have two porters there to help carry down tents and stoves, lightening our loads. Three hours later we were celebrating with margaritas and world-class Mexican dishes. A great day all around.
Congrats team! Now I can’t wait til my turn comes.
Posted by: Robert on 3/23/2014 at 5:07 pm
Gods speed! Be safe.. :)
Posted by: Robert Putman on 3/7/2014 at 10:58 am
This is Adam Knoff calling. We the entire team and our local guide Fozzie as in “Fozzie” the Muppet from the great Muppet Show are established here at High Camp just over 15,000’ feet. Everyone is definitely noticing the altitude, but did great coming up here. We feel strong, healthy and psyched to be heading towards the top of our first big mountain. The clouds are closing in at the moment and things are pretty windy and chilly, so we are crawling into our bags for a quick nap. We will have an early dinner and then hopefully at 2 o’clock or 3 o’clock a wakeup call.
Everyone is doing great, we’re happy and will call tomorrow when the summit is under our belt. Alright? We look forward to talking to you tomorrow.
RMI Guide Adam Knoff and Team
Adam Knoff Calling in from High Camp on Ixta
Way to go, Bruce !! Can’t wait to see all your photos.
Posted by: Barry on 3/10/2014 at 11:46 am
Go Richard and team!
Posted by: Jenny Cooper on 3/7/2014 at 7:31 am
Day two is coming to a close. Last night we were sleeping at 10,000 feet and tonight is a whopping 2,500 feet above that. For you math buffs that means the comfy Altzomoni Hut sits at 12,500 feet above the sea. It is amazing the power of acclimating. Last night some of us felt a bit tired and short of breath. Right now after a fantastic homemade dinner by a team of local guides, drivers and porters doubling as gourmet chefs, we all feel strong, relaxed and ready for our big push to Ixta’s high camp sitting higher than any mountain in the lower 48.
We also feel prepared. Today we had a mellow morning which transitioned wonderfully into Mexico’s best breakfast at a hotel 25 minutes down the road from the resort of La Malinche. Breakfast is the day’s most important meal you know! Afterwards the soothing 1.5 hour van ride helped digest the massive buffet in our guts and landed us in Amecameca where we finalized our food list and met out local staff. By 2:30 we were running through our gear and getting squared away packing and tomorrow’s program at the Altzomoni Hut. A nice hour walk brought us to the trail head and back where our chef crew was waiting. The locals really know how to treat their guests. We are very lucky to have them.
In closing the team has reminded me to mention that they all miss their loved ones. I reminded them it is only day two. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. We will touch base from high camp tomorrow.
RMI Guide Adam Knoff
On The Map
Buenos Dias from Team Mexico,
We are all tucked in safe and sound at La Malintzi resort a few hours down the road from this planet’s second largest metropolis, Mexico City. Of course half the time getting here is spent literally getting the 20 kilometers out of town but witnessing the traffic of Mexico City is a great adventure in and of itself.
Our morning started as most mornings do. Coffee, breakfast and lots of Europeans. Well the European thing probably more so in Europe but the hotel did feel very international. After food and packing it was off to our first mountain, La Malinche. At a height just higher than Mt. Rainier, reaching the summit was not our primary objective. Starting our at 10,000 feet and cranking out 4500 vertical feet on our first go seemed a touch ambitious. Although we did crest the 14k height, we left the summit in peace because of tired legs and threatening storm clouds. The hike was beautiful nonetheless. Everyone did great and are bonding well as a team. Now we are ready for bed and the move to bigger mountains tomorrow.
Until Then, this is team Mexico saying good night.
RMI Guide Adam Knoff & Team