Entries from Mexico
March 9, 2019
Hello, this is Eric Frank calling from the summit of Orizaba. I’m up here with the team and this completes three of three summits for us this week. It’s been a pretty incredible time of climbing. We summitted La Malinche, then we summited Ixta and now we are standing on top of Orizaba. Everyone is stoked. We are going to spend a few more minutes enjoying the thin air and then we’re going to start heading down. So we’ll call to check-in once we are down. We look forward to seeing everyone soon.
RMI Guide Eric Frank calls from the summit of Orizaba, Mexico.
On The Map
I am beyond thrilled for you Dave, and the team! Sending great vibes for your descent of Orizaba! Enjoy!!
Posted by: Lori Macaluso on 3/9/2019 at 11:24 am
March 8, 2019
RMI Guide Eric Frank checked in from 14,000, High Camp, on Pico de Orizaba. The team arrived at the hut today and will try to get a few hours of sleep tonight before their early alpine start. If weather and conditions allow they will check in tomorrow from the summit of Pico de Orizaba.
We wish them luck and a safe climb!
On The Map
After our summit of Ixta, the team made the journey to the quaint Mexican town of Puebla. We spent today relaxing and soaking up the amenities of the city. The activities ranged from visiting the local artist quarter, seeing the town’s oldest library, buying hand made pottery from local artists and catching an afternoon siesta to dodge the heat. We reconvened for dinner at one of the town’s favorite restaurants and followed up our meal with some of the best ice cream Mexico has to offer. Currently the team is tucked in for the night, ready for another good night of sleep and looking forward to the final climb of the trip.
March 6, 2019
What a jam packed 24 hours it has been! After a fitful night of rest at the Altzomoni Hut, the team packed up and made the climb up to our high camp at 15,300ft. Our packs weighed between 35-40 lbs and that always makes the terrain much more challenging. Regardless, the team climbed well and we were lounging in our tents by mid afternoon. Around 4 pm we roused everyone from their siestas and gathered together in the “Refugio Los Cien” to have some soup and quesadillas.
Not long after we finished eating, the first ping began. It sounded like a child was throwing small handfuls of gravel at the side of the refugio, but then the sound intensified. In a few minutes we were engulfed in a hail storm that lasted an hour. Pellets of ice, ranging from the size of a pencil eraser to a grape, covered the ground. Slowly the hail turned into snow and we all hustled out to our tents. Over the next three hours the storm turned into an epic thunder and lighting event, making us wonder if the climb would even be possible.
At 2 am this morning when the first alarm went off, everything had changed. The skies were clear, the weather warm, the wind was gone and only a few inches of snow on the ground remained to remind us of the previous evening.
The climb was flawless. I would say textbook, but it was better then textbook. We summited at 7:45 am under blue skies with small puffs of smoke from a local volcano to keep us company.
RMI Guide Eric Frank
On The Map
Happy to hear this trip is going great for everyone! Dave Kestel your Rainier gang is proud of this accomplishment! Can’t wait for you to talk our ears off about it!
Posted by: Jodi Kirincich on 3/7/2019 at 1:30 pm
March 4, 2019
The stoves are whistling and the Mexican Volcanoes team is enjoying a well deserved rest in our new home for the night: the Altzomoni Hut. Today was partially a rest day and partially logistics day to get ourselves in position for the next climb.
We woke this morning up slightly sore, but proud of yesterday’s accomplishment. After a few hours on the bus, we made a pit stop in the small city of AmecaMeca to grab lunch and some last minute groceries. From there we drove a winding mountain road back into the clouds.
So great to hear you guys had success and reached the Top!! So Cool! All the best from your Canadian climbing buddy Dave K!
Posted by: Darcy M on 3/7/2019 at 2:39 pm
Round and round he goes, where he stops, nobody knows: thanks for the adventurous spirit, John. Your friends and family!
Posted by: Peg Wilson on 3/7/2019 at 7:03 am
March 3, 2019
Greetings! Yesterday, the March Mexico Volcanoes team arrived in the heart of Mexico City, after catching flights from various parts of the country. It is always a long day of travel, but we all managed to arrive without excessive delay or loss of bags. That is a big first victory that puts us in position to get out in the mountains as soon as possible.
The team met for a short chat last night before going to dinner. There is a lot of experience represented in the group and with a good weather forecast, we expect to have a fun and successful trip.
After an early departure this morning from Mexico City, the team arrived at La Malintzi around 11am. We did a quick gear sort, then headed uphill. The skies were clear and the air warm as we made our way up towards the summit. After about five hours of hiking, the team reached the summit of Malinche and was rewarded with sweeping views of the surrounding areas. A quick descent led us back to hot showers and a delicious dinner of grilled meats, fresh chips, and guacamole. We’re all headed off to bed after a great day, looking forward to tomorrow’s adventures.
We are back at Senior Reyes’ historic soap factory turned climbers hostel. The Mexican music and loud fireworks are going off like we had some remote control. The roosters and dogs are going berserk. But all the local acoustic entertainment is just part of climbing and traveling in Mexico. We are wrapping up a great 10 days with a fun group of guys. We climbed and stood on top of three volcanoes, ate amazing food, sampled many of the local libations and enjoyed some of the clearest views of this area anyone in recent past has ever seen. This trip isn’t so much of an expedition as it’s a fun Mexican vacation where we climb high altitude volcanoes instead of sitting on the beach. If you need to test your mind, body and spirit at altitude this is a good choice. We will be getting an early start towards the airport tomorrow. Thanks for following along.
Thanks for the updates and fantastic pictures. Looks like everyone had a good and safe
Posted by: Karen Knight on 2/24/2019 at 9:14 am
Awesome Mike!! Thank you for your posts. I am super torked up for next week with Eric and Jenny.
Posted by: Dave Kestel on 2/24/2019 at 2:17 am
February 23, 2019
Couldn’t have asked for a nicer day to climb the 3rd highest peak in North America! The entire Team is here, feeling a little worked but with smiles on their faces. Warm, clear night to start and a slight breeze once up in the glacier. We have a lot of smoke obscuring the views to the East and clear skies our to the West with Ixta, Popo and La Malinche. We have a long descent ahead of us and we will check in once back at Sr. Reye’s hostel. Drew, we missed you up here, hope the flight went well!
Wow! Amazing pictures! Glad you all made it safe and sound.
Posted by: Jean Wittmier on 2/24/2019 at 6:49 pm
The last two days have been a whirlwind. We had a long drive to Puebla after climbing Ixta. The team rallied out that night for a much needed meal and then hit the racks for some well deserved sleep. The Hotel Colonial in Puebla was built in 1865 and is located on the historic square among several massive cathedrals.
We spent the day off exploring historic Puebla. Some of the group got massages while others wandered the various markets and narrow streets lined with colorful buildings. We are recharged and ready to head towards Orizaba this morning. The ride to Senior Reye’s climbing hostel takes us hours hours East towards the Gulf of Mexico. From there we will pack our mountain gear and head up in 4x4 trucks through the dry grassy slopes and dense pine forests that cover the lower flanks of Orizaba. Once at the Piedra Grande hut we’ll get a walk in to stretch our legs and get some rest for the main objective, Orizaba’s 18,400’ summit.
The group is doing well and surprised how fast the trip has gone.
On The Map
February 20, 2019
This is Mike, we topped out on Ixtaccihuatl around 7:50 am with a stiff wind for the entire climb. The air temperature was warm and we had a beautiful full moon. The combination of moon light and wind made for a crystal clear climb and amazing sunrise. We are in our descent now and will check in once we are back down at the bus.
RMI Guide Mike King