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Entries By walter hailes


Mexico’s Volcanoes: Hailes & Team Recap Summit Day

After a 1 am sharp departure, climbers topped out on the Roof of Mexico just after 8:30am, the ascent lit by alpenglow and spiced up by loose rock near the summit. After half an hour admiring the steep summit crater and a quick descent in deep sandy “polvo” (dust/dirt), we all reunited at camp for our long descent back down and reflections over dinner at Dr.Reyes’ in Tlachichuca. What a circuitously adventurous week, and what a phenomenally engaged team of climbers.


RMI Guides Walter Hailes
, Jessie Poquerusse & the fantastic Mexico volcanoes team

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Mexico Volcanoes: Hailes & Team Call from Summit of Orizaba

Hi friends and family this is Walter Hailes from the summit of Orizaba. We had a really, really tough time this morning, but we have beautiful weather. We’re standing on top, enjoying the sunshine, getting pictures, having a great day. We will call or send you an email as soon as you get back down to camp. We will talk to you soon and see everyone we love very soon. From the summit of Orizaba - will talk to you later. Bye.

RMI Guide Walter Hailes


RMI Guide Walter Hailes calls from the summit of Pico de Orizaba.

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Mexico Volcanoes: Hailes & Team Ready for Pico de Orizaba Summit in the Morning

Today we departed from the warm showers and soft beds of our Puebla hotel to rough it one last night up high. After a luxurious breakfast at our host Dr. Reyes’ re-purposed home (from an ancient soap factory) followed by a three-hour stomach-churning ride through local farms and a long windy road up to Pico de Orizaba National Park, we settled straight into our camp site for the night, sitting well above the clouds at 14,900ft. Everybody has been working well, setting up camp and prepping meals, but we’re also very grateful for the efforts and support of our local porters and guide, who have been fantastic resources and friends. Burritos and more laughter on the dinner menu, then an early bedtime for us in order to be fully charged to tackle our final objective tomorrow, the roof of Mexico, the Pico de Orizaba.

RMI Guide Jessie Poquerusse & the crew

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Mexico Volcanoes: Hailes & Team Spend the Day in Puebla

Hola from our well deserved rest day in the historic city, and UNESCO world heritage site, of Puebla. While most folks would spend the day meandering the streets and enjoying the local pleasures, this diligent group was practicing their mountain efficiency skills until the very last minute… effectively pressure breathing and rest stepping their way, single file, the way into our local evening dinner venue (photo attached). What a team.

RMI Guide Jessie Poquerusse & the team

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: Hailes & Team Summit Ixtaccihuatl

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Todos han cumbreado (everybody summited)! The group was a bit apprehensive last night as the clouds were dancing in and around camp, but we woke up at 1am to mostly clear skies and made our bid for the top of Ixtaccihuatl in 6mph, -4C weather - doesn’t get much better than that. The sun rose right as we began our final ascent stretch, shedding dramatic light on the Martian like landscape with Popocateptl puffing volcanic smoke in the background. We all celebrated on top under the sun and above a thick undercast. Upon return to high camp we swiftly packed up and made our way back down in a graupel storm before reaching our van, celebrating (again) over beers and sandwiches, and making the drive to our hot showers and warm food in Puebla.

Tired and happy,
RMI Guides Jessie, Walter & the team

On The Map

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: Hailes & Team Ascend to High Camp on Ixta

Hola, we are checking in from above the marine layer here at about 15,000ft, just below the Refugio de los Cien on the Southern flank of Ixta. We woke up early this morning and after a breakfast of champions slowly but steadily logged the vertical feet from our Altzomoni hut up to here. The day started hot, sunny, and steep, but everyone just kept their nose to the grindstone. Light clouds rolled in around noon though and cooled the air and our efforts, until we reached our final steep ascent to the base of the very aptly named Arista del Sol ridge. We set up camp which now looks like our little village above the clouds, chatted summit day over a spicy alpine dinner, and are back in our sleeping bags ready for our early start tomorrow. Folks are feeling good and excited to get up high!

RMI Guides Walter Hailes, Jessie Poquerusse and the team

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Love reading these updates! This adventure sounds amazing! Keep up the hard work!

Posted by: Mende Potkay on 1/24/2018 at 1:44 pm


Mexico’s Volcanoes: Hailes & Team Check in from Altzimoni Hut

Checking in here from about 12,000ft at the Altzimoni hut. Today we traveled from La Malinche via the windy Paso de Cortez up to our new hut, stopping on the way for a big egg-based brunch with an interesting mix of exotic local ingredients and our home staples. We met our local Mexican guide and porters in Paso de Cortez and are happy to have their local knowledge and support. Tonight we’ll start reviewing camp set up procedures and check gear on the sunny terrace of our hut, then enjoy a large dinner before we head to our high camp tomorrow. The sun has been shining all day, with only sparse clouds starting to form a crown on Popocapetl and Ixta. Our high camp is barely visible among the clouds forming at the start of the Arista del Sol ridge. Everyone is doing very well with the altitude, looking strong, and in very good spirits!

RMI Guide Jessie Poquerusse

On The Map

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Looking great! Good luck tomorrow!!!

Posted by: Mende Potkay on 1/22/2018 at 2:44 pm


Mexico’s Volcanoes: Hailes & Team Enjoy Views on First Hike

Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 7:03 pm PT

Hello from day two on the slopes of our first volcano, La Malinche! Today we made our way to the Malintzi resort at a little over 10,000ft. We wasted no time and immediately headed uphill and hiked up to the ridge heading to the top, at about 13,700ft - not bad for our first day. We were rewarded with a panoramic view of our upcoming objectives, Ixta and Pico de Orizaba, poking up through a layer of clouds. We all returned dusty and ready to shower and eat.

RMI Guides Jessie Poquerusse, Walter Hailes & the team

On The Map

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: Hailes & Team Arrive in Mexico City

Saturday, January 20, 2018 - 8:45 pm PT

Checking in here from day one of our Mexican adventure! The mood was very well set as the group met and shared introductions interluded by frequent laughter under the majestic arches of our hotel in the vibrant Zona Rosa of Mexico City. What an interesting group with lots in common in addition to our passion for mountains. After our fun round of intros and a quick overview of our itinerary, we had our first sample of the country’s cuisine over mostly traditional dinner dishes before hitting the hay early. We hope to be rested in order to be ready for our day of travel and first acclimatization hike tomorrow up on the slopes of the much colder and higher La Malinche.

Buenas noches,
RMI Guides Jessie Poquerusse, Walter Hailes & the Mexico crew

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Have the best time.  Can’t wait to read about your adventures!

Posted by: Dana Coletti on 1/22/2018 at 8:43 am

Be safe! Enjoy!!!!

Posted by: Cindy Lloyd on 1/22/2018 at 7:16 am


Mt. Rainier: August 20th Summit!

The Four Day Summit Climb teams led by RMI Guides Walter Hailes and Hannah McGowan reached the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning. The team reported clear skies all the way to the top!

Congratulations to today’s teams!

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Congratulations to Welles Wiley and Gi Lee on reaching the top!  And to everyone else on the trip!!!

Posted by: Roxanne Wiley on 8/20/2017 at 12:07 pm

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