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Entries By taylor bickford


Mexico’s Volcanoes: Wittmier & Team Enjoy Rest Day in Puebla, Ready for Orizaba Climb

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!

RMI Guide Dustin Wittmier

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Mexico Volcanoes: Wittmier & Team Summit Ixta!

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.

RMI Guide Dustin Wittmier

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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


Mexico Volcanoes: Wittmier & Team Move Up to Ixta’s High Camp

Following another fantastic Mexican culinary experience (breakfast tacos) we hit the trail from Altzomoni towards high camp on Ixta.  Everyone arrived in good spirits and are settled in at camp.  An early dinner tonight will set us up nicely to get some rest and have an alpine start tonight.

Conditions on the mountain are dry and the weather is breezy.  We are all feeling optimistic about tonight's climb.  Hopefully we will be calling from the summit early tomorrow morning!

RMI Guide Dustin Wittmier

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Mexico Volcanoes: Wittmier & Team Head to Altzomoni Hut

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!

RMI Guide Dustin Wittmier

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Mexico Volcanoes: Wittmier & Team Arrive in Mexico City

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!

RMI Guide Dustin Wittmier

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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


Mt. Rainier: Teams Summit on Another Beautiful Day!

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer and Taylor Bickford led their Four Day Climb August 30 - 2 September teams to the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning. Pete reported a light breeze and nice climbing conditions as the team was approaching the crater rim around 8:30 AM. After photos and high-fives on the summit the team will return to Camp Muir and continue their descent to Paradise. There program will conclude this afternoon with a celebration at Rainier BaseCamp. Congratulations to today's climbers!
Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congratulations Kerry & Jeff, you did it…..never a doubt!  We miss you, just know, it’s 100 degrees in Colorado today, the snow looks very refreshing.  See you soon. Kisses

Posted by: Grandma on 9/2/2019 at 2:39 pm

Awesome Jeff & Kerry! What a great feeling it must be to train and accomplish such a feat

Posted by: Tom Hutcheson on 9/2/2019 at 11:08 am


Mt. Rainier: Bickford, Hoch, & Team Turn At the Top of the Cleaver

The Four Day Climb Teams led by Taylor Bickford and Joe Hoch radioed down this morning to let us know that they turned at 12,300' due to high winds and deteriorating conditions on the upper mountain. The team was safely back in Camp Muir by 7:45 AM PT. After drying out a little and resting, the team will descend from Camp Muir and be back in town this afternoon.
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Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Continue Wait for better Weather

Sunday, June 30, 2019 - 5:16 PM PT We're enjoying the thick air at Camp 4, at 14,200' in Genet Basin. We got a good night's sleep last night, slept in this morning and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast of bagels, cream cheese, and bacon. An ample coffee. Today we are resting and waiting for colder temps by which to travel. There is a weather front affecting Denali right now, bringing winds up high and clouds and precipitation down low. We're sitting in between in the sun and happy at 14k. Our hope is that we can travel through the night down the Kahiltna Glacier to the Basecamp Airstrip and that cloud and precip will dissipate tomorrow so that we can fly back to Talkeetna. We'll let you know how it goes. RMI Guide Mike Walter

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Talk about dining with a view!! I always love hearing about the food :-P
Have a safe trip down!
Savannah

Posted by: Savannah on 7/1/2019 at 11:02 am

I’m sure they’d rather celebrate with their new friends at Club 14 than rush home.

Posted by: Keith and Regine on 7/1/2019 at 9:08 am


Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Descend Back to 14K Camp

Saturday, June 29, 2019 - 4:46 PM PT After a good night's sleep at high camp we woke up with the sun, had breakfast, and packed up camp. We descended the West Buttress and the fixed ropes on the Headwall and made it back to the 14k Camp by noon to beat the heat of the day. We've decided to spend the night here and rest. Our plan is to spend tomorrow here also and wait until colder weather at night to travel back to the airstrip at Kahiltna Basecamp. With any luck we will be flying back to Talkeetna on Monday. We'll keep you posted with our downhill progress. But for now we're enjoying some well-deserved rest in preparation for a long descent. RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

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Congratulations to Ethan and Mylan. You have lived your dream! We are so glad to hear that you are safe and on your desent. Mom and dad

Posted by: Shoshana Mark on 6/30/2019 at 11:38 am

What a strong emotion you must have experienced ! Congratulations for your wisdom and strength to all of you during this ascent. Have a very safe trip back.
Mylan, that is simply amazing :-) I hope to see you soon to hear about all this adventure !

Posted by: Cécile Boineau on 6/30/2019 at 2:02 am


Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Reach the Top of North America!

Friday, June 28, 2019 - 8:38 PM PT The wind last night was strong, but it tapered in the morning. And it was crystal clear. We left camp and tackled the Autobahn up to Denali Pass where we were finally greeted by sunlight. Then it was up past Zebra Rocks and into the Football Field. One last climb up Pig Hill and we were on the exposed, corniced summit ridge. Everyone from our team summited today. It was a beautiful and warm summit day with only a breath of wind. Ten hours round trip and we're back at camp getting ready to eat dinner. Tomorrow we'll bump down to 14K and play it by ear from there. RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

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Congrats to Eric and the team on a job well done! Can’t wait for everyone to come down safely and warm up :)

Posted by: Savannah on 7/1/2019 at 10:59 am

Congratulations Eric and team!!! An amazing accomplishment!
With aloha,
The Schusters

Posted by: Annie on 6/30/2019 at 9:36 pm

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