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Entries By sam hoffman

Mexicos Volcanoes: Hoch & Team Turned Back on Orizaba, Conclude Trip

After two successful summits of La Malinche and Ixta, team Mexico Volcanoes took our show back on the road to the small town of Tlachachuca to prepare for our climb of 18,500' Pico de Orizaba. 

Our perfect sunny weather continued as we gear exploded and sorted on the lawn of our Mexican outfitter Servimont. After a quick lunch we loaded into the 4x4 trucks and 1964 Dodge Powerwagon that take us to our basecamp. A couple bouncy hours later, we unloaded, dusted off and set up the tents for a quick sleep. 

11:30pm dawned calm and star-lit, and we made quick work of the lower part of Orizaba. As we neared 17,000 feet, the sun came up and gave us the spectacular and classic pyramidal mountain shadow that Orizaba is famous for. 

As we climbed higher, it became clear that rumors of a very icy summit section were true. We watched as multiple teams above us on the steep summit headwall found more of the bullet-hard ice we’d found lower on the glacier, and winds strong enough to put them down on that ice multiple times. 

We had a chat as a group and concluded that our 18,000 foot high point (highest for all but the guides!) was certainly the best spot to turn around. It was a hard decision as Orizaba was our biggest goal. But ultimately we all agreed that safety on this huge exotic mountain was number one. 

We descended into a hot sunny afternoon and enjoyed our final evening with a delicious dinner, then made our way to the airport in the morning to some fond farewells. 

Until next time Orizaba!

Thanks to the team for a great trip and way too many memories to list here! 

RMI Guides Joe Hoch & Sam Hoffman

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Mexicos Volcanoes: Hoch & Team Enjoy Rest Day, Ready for Orizaba

A needed rest, headed to Orizaba!

After our success on Ixta, Team Mexico Volcanoes settled into a very well deserved couple of nights and a day of rest in beautiful Puebla, Mexico. 

Everyone got some sleep, washed off the mountain, and checked out the colonial buildings and many cathedrals and artisan markets. 

After a great team dinner and another night of rest we got up early and hit the road to Tlachichuca, and our final and largest mountain, 18,500’ Pico de Orizaba

Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Joe Hoch

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Mexicos Volcanoes: Hoch & Entire Team Reach Ixta Summit

100% Summit on Ixta!

After welcoming us to La Joya basecamp with a lovely warm sunset and delicious dinner from our Mexican host company, 17,160’ Ixtaccihuatl showed us that she is still a huge wild mountain. Out of the calm starry night sky, winds suddenly gusting 40-50mph forced us out of our sleeping bags and we scrambled to move our tents in the dark to the shelter of the old basecamp refugio. But our crew laughed it off as ‘adventure!’ And the next two days on the mountain showed everyone what a Mexican wilderness alpine experience can be. Complete with a spectacular high camp, billowing ash from our volcanic neighbor Popocatéptl, and the best sunset some of us have ever seen. 

On summit morning the crew climbed strong and right before sunrise, 100% of the team stood on Ixta’s summit. A new high point for the majority of the team!

We’re headed now to the colorful colonial city of Puebla, where we’ll enjoy a well earned rest day and prepare for 18,500’ Orizaba. 

RMI Guide Joe Hoch

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

This is so cool! Great job Clay and team, impressed and proud of you!

Posted by: Stephanie Colton on 2/8/2024 at 1:28 pm

So proud of you Christopher! We love you!!

Posted by: Leslie on 2/7/2024 at 6:23 pm

Mexicos Volcanoes: Hoch & Team Reach Summit of La Malinche for Acclimatization

A La Malinche summit!

Yesterday team Mexico Volcanos got up early and left Mexico City, hoping for an early departure from the trailhead for our first volcano, 14500 foot La Malinche. 

Recently, the Policía de Montaña, some of whom carry inappropriately large machine guns(tough to argue with), have been quite strict about turning all climbers around at 2pm, no matter your location or fancy technical outerwear. They mean well, as many folks attempt this very large mountain in jeans and street shoes, and seemingly no water or food. With our drive from Mexico City, it would be a push to make it, but the team was willing.

We left the park entrance with 4,500 feet to cover at around 11:30am. The team understood that it would be a little faster pace than normal to make it happen and evade la Policía, but they were up for it. 

At 3 pm, 3.5 hours and 4,500 feet later, we scrambled to the rocky summit of La Malinche with a beautiful view and not a cloud in the sky. There stood a single Policía de Montaña, who said simply, “Bajo por favor, ahora! (Down please, now!).”

We negotiated quickly for, “Solo una foto?(Just one photo?).” He was grumpy but willing, and as we took one picture of the team on the summit, the views were incredible of Volcan Iztaccihautl and Orizaba, our next two volcanos. 

Once we left the strict gaze of our friendly Policía on the summit, we were able to take some well earned relaxing breaks on our descent and enjoy the company of our new mountain dog friends, who showed us a thing or two about negotiating the loose boulder fields. 

A customary feast of barbecued steak and cactus tacos awaited us at our cabins in the forest below La Malinche, and it was an early bedtime!

The crew is super excited for our successful summit, and ready to hit the road and head to our next adventure, 17,159' Volcan Iztaccihautl!

RMI Guide Joe Hoch

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Way to go Connor and Aleeza! Props to Aleeza for representing for the ladies!!

Posted by: Amy Lewis on 2/5/2024 at 9:53 am

Mexico Volcanoes: Hoch & Team Meet Up in Mexico City

And we're off!

The Mexico Volcanos crew arrived last night to the Hotel Geneve in Mexico City. After some introductions, we made our way to a local taco spot and chatted about our upcoming trip. 

This morning the crew was up early and ready to head to our first volcano, La Malinche. 

Many more tacos and mountains await!

RMI Guide Joe Hoch

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North Cascades: Walter & Team Enjoy Training!

UPDATE: September 6, 2023 10:59am PT Mike Walter and Team summit Mt. Shuksan via the Sulphide glacier in beatuiful weather. Nice work team!


We had a great day if training on the Sulphide glacier today. We covered snow and ice anchors, anchor systems, crevasse rescue, and did some ice climbing out of a crevasse. The weather forecast looks promising and we hope to try for the summit tomorrow morning. I'll check in tomorrow, hopefully from the top of Shuksan!

RMI Guides Mike Walter, Sam Hoffman and the Team on the Sulphide

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Go team go.  So glad you are all doing well.  Big shout out to Jodi and Chad !

Posted by: Tina on 9/8/2023 at 8:21 am

Mt. Rainier: Five Day Climb Summits!

The Five Day Climb led by RMI Guides Dominic Cifelli and Sam Hoffman reached the summit of Mt. Rainier on Friday Morning. The team took advantage of the cooler temperatures which made for good climbing on the route. They spent the night at Camp Muir sharing stories and soaking in their success and all the views. The team will descend to Paradise in the early afternoon today.

Congratulations team! 

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You guys rocked this trip. Side messages.. Cal thanks for the bottle of water. Can I please get an invite to the google pics/vids sharing of the group of 8 I wasn’t in? I know some team members had some cool stuff to share. Thanks!

Posted by: Jimmy on 8/27/2023 at 1:18 am

Mt. Rainier: Teams Turn Due to Lightning

The Four-Day climb of Mt. Rainier led by RMI guides, Dominic Cifelli and Sam Hoffman, were turned around this morning due to thunder and lightning. The team is currently on their descent and will celebrate their hard work at Basecamp in Ashford before team members head their seperate ways.

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Mt. Rainier: Team Stands on Top!

The Four-Day climb led by RMI guides, Steve Gately and Devin Guffey, reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning. The team enjoyed nice weather and a busy route. 

The team will be back at Basecamp this evening to celebrate their success and all their hard work. Nice job team!

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Mt. Rainier: Four Day Team Summits!

The Four Day Climb led by RMI Guides Alan Davis and Jess Wedel reached the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning. The route from Camp Muir to the 14,410' summit took the team 6 1/2 hours to climb. It was a windy morning, but otherwise clear.  

Congratulations Team! 

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Congrats team!  Very fun meeting and hiking with you all.  Big thank you to our awesome guides, Alan, Sam and Sam :)

Posted by: Jeffrey Kirk on 7/24/2023 at 8:45 pm

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