Entries from Mexico
On Friday, We left the warmth and creature comforts of Puebla at 8am and drove two hours to the little town of Tlachichuca where we met up with the Servimont crew at the climbers hostel, quickly packed, ate, and hoped in the back of 4x4 vehicles to make the long and slow crawl up the primitive trails to Piedre Grande, or Orizaba High Camp just around 14,000'. We were able to set up a good camp despite intermittent sleet and moderate winds with gusts of 25-30mph. Our cook Rudolpho treated us to some warm quesadillas and fajita fixings. Hydrated and bellies full we gott horizontal and to try to rest before our long summit bid early in the morning.
We awoke to a brisk, partially cloudy night with some early morning sleet and fired stoves at 11pm. After a good Alpine mocha made from instant coffee and hot cocoa, we booted up and left our camp at Piedra Grande walking up through a snow covered rocky approach to the aptly named “Labrynth” of large boulders and glacial erratics left behind some millennia prior. As we stepped onto the Jampa Glacier, we were met with a fiercely cold and sustained wind out of the southwest, gusting at 35mph. The light recent snow made for good walking on the otherwise icy steeps that are common to the upper Jampa route. After many long and hard hours, with only intermittent morning sunshine, the entire team reached the summit of Orizaba just before 0900. With their hearts full and bodies tired, the team returned back to our climbers hostel in Tlachichuca and were greeted by the friendly staff of Dr. Reyes with hot showers, a warm meal, and well deserved cold beverages. An early night was in order for our long day of travels home with stories and laughter to share with loved ones and friends.
How exciting for the team. Journeys of a lifetime, infinite memories. Thanks for sharing with us.
Posted by: Terri L. Jennings on 1/24/2022 at 6:45 am
After a much need night of sleep in sheets and a good shower, we woke to the sultry sounds of automobiles, street vendors, university students, and music in the colorful city of Puebla. It always feels like going back in time walking up to buildings and streets built by skilled hands several millennia ago. We grubbed on a good breakfast of mole poblano and cafe con leche, then dispersed to make the most of our day out of synthetic apparel and climbing boots and proudly donned our flip flops with cotton. Some of us toured a world renown ceramic factory while others wandered the bright Zocola after getting a massage to work out the kinks from the previous climb. As usual the colonial hamlet of Puebla did not disappoint, and we found ourselves basking in the glow of a rest day earned.
RMI Guide Alan Davis
Wednesday, January 19, 2022 - 9:09 pm PT
The team reached the summit of Ixta at 0800 this morning with mostly clear and cold conditions and little to no wind. Recent snowfall from the night prior made for good travel and the route in overall good condition. Alas, we were met with more afternoon clouds and made a muddy dash back on the lower melted trails, beating the precip to our bus escape to Puebla. Will check in tomorrow!
Yesterday, we woke at 7am just before our welcomed friend, the sun, hit our trailhead camp. After finishing the last of our packing that was put on hold from the thunder and hail the previous night, we had a warm breakfast and donned our climbing packs for the first time on the trip. Conditions were mostly snowy and cloudy on the trail to Campo Alto, but the team managed to make good time nonetheless. In 4.5 hours we arrived, ready to set up tents before the afternoon hail storm set in. Taking shelter to cook in the Refugio, we had the camp to ourselves and enjoyed warm ramen and quesadillas. The team then got their climbing kits ready and took to the tents early to maximize rest for the upcoming summit push tomorrow.
A good thunder storm and the rain hitting the rooftop of our cold, but dry cabana made for a very restful night of sleep. After breakfast at the IMSS training compound of La Malintzi, we got back on our bus to make our way to the La Joya Trailhead. On the way we stopped in the markets of Amecameca to purchase our water, fresh tortillas, queso, and last minute snacks for our Ixta climb tomorrow. Once we entered the gates of the National park, we were greeted with hail, thunder, and snow for the remainder of our journey to the trailhead camp. Spirits were kept high though, as we were served another warm and delicious meal by the local staff. After our final packing for tomorrow's move up to Campo Alto. We were lucky enough to see both Ixta and the smoke off of Popocatepetl in the clear evening light after the thunderstorm passed. We are excited to begin our first objective bright and early after a good nights sleep at our trailhead basecamp.
Sunday, January 16, 2022
After a quick breakfast in the Hotel Geneve, we said goodbye to the bustling streets of La Zona Rosa at 07:40 to get some much needed time to acclimatize in preparation for the objectives that lie ahead. We were greeted with sunny skies and mild morning weather on our hike of La Malinche which tops out at 14,640. The trail was in good shape and feral dogs were good company at times. After moving into our Cabana and just missing the evening thunder and rain, we are on our way to enjoy an nice family-style meal of carne asada, complimented with hot sizzling veggies and queso to end a great first day.
The pictures are amazing. What an incredible experience. Stay safe!
Posted by: Tracie Bush on 1/17/2022 at 12:41 pm
November 13, 2021
The team was treated to an almost windless summit day on Orizaba to cap off our Mexico Volcanoes trip! We summitted at 9:30 am and got down safely in time to enjoy a delicious home cooked meal in Tlachichuca. The team is showered, full, and ready to see our families when we fly out tomorrow for home. Till next time Mexico!
The RMI Mexico's Volcanoes team enjoyed a restful day in Puebla. The historic town square was a little less festive this year but colorful murals, buildings and food didn’t disappoint. The highlight for some was a sunset dinner and drinks at a rooftop restaurant.
This morning we got an early start for Tlachichuca, at the base of Pico de Orizaba, where we are currently having a meal after packing for our climb. We also got our COVID tests done - a requirement to return to the United States.
Our drive today to Piedra Grande Refugio, Orizaba's high camp, will be on a bumpy and dusty road. We will take a walk to get some exercise and then turn in the evening. We hope to get good rest for our alpine start and summit attempt on Orizaba tomorrow. We’ll be updating the blog upon returning from Orizaba tomorrow afternoon. Fingers crossed for good weather.
All the Best to You Mike!
Posted by: Dave Kestel on 11/13/2021 at 3:40 am
We are currently in the town of Puebla, taking a rest day after our climb of Ixtaccihuatl and preparing ourselves for our upcoming climb of Orizaba.
Yesterday we left our high camp on a warm but windy night. The route takes us up through a steep scree field and into a short section of chimneys that requires a little scrambling. After gaining the ridge we made our way along the circuitous route, taking breaks to regroup and adding layers as the wind continued to blow. We put on crampons and grabbed our ice axes for the steep descent onto the Ayoloco Glacier. With daylight breaking the horizon we had two remaining false summits before getting to Ixta’s high point of 17,340'. The sun rose just in time for us to take pictures and share some high fives. We descended back to high camp and eventually back to the trailhead. After sorting some equipment and enjoying a few refreshments, we got on the shuttle to head for Puebla.
Climbing Ixta can be deceiving; we don’t cover many miles and the vertical gain seems minimal. However, the rocky and loose terrain makes for slow progress, especially when compared to being on snowfields and glaciers.
The team worked hard yesterday and is planning to take full advantage of today's rest day before we head to Orizaba tomorrow.
November 10, 2021
RMI Guide Mike King and the Mexico's Volcanoes team reached the summit of Ixtaccihuatl (17,340') early this morning. Mike reported a clear and windy day with many climbers on the route. The team left early from their High Camp and their reward was enjoying the sunrise from the summit. We will get a full report from Mike once the team has descended.
Awesome Mike! Congrats to You and the Team!
Posted by: Dave Kestel on 11/11/2021 at 2:47 am