Entries from Mexico
November 12, 2022
We had a calm night to begin our climb of Pico de Orizaba. The climb begins with a steep switch backing trail through an old moraine. After a few hours, we entered the labyrinth which was once covered by glacial ice about 25 years ago. Now, a polished slab rock that can be difficult to find your way through, hence its name. Once at the base of the Jamapa glacier, we put on our boots and crampons - 3.5 hours later and we were on top with a beautiful sunrise, summit pyramid shadow, and calm weather.
The whole group stood on top this morning, couldn’t have asked for more. It’s been a great week climbing here with an amazing group. Our local guide Alan and Servimont’s assistance always make these trips special for us.
We are back in town getting cleaned up, listening to rockets explode, drinking cold drinks and sorting gear for flights home tomorrow morning.
It was Awesome following along! Great job!
Posted by: Dave Kestel on 11/13/2022 at 3:54 am
We enjoyed a fun and relaxing day in Puebla’s historic colonial area. We are headed for Piedra Grande hut on Orizaba this afternoon. Our first stop is at Sr. Reyes’ historic soap factory turned climber’s hostel. We will get our gear sorted and have a meal before jumping in the trucks for a bumpy, slow and often dusty ride to the alpine zone where we’ll camp for the night.
Tonight we’ll get started for this trip’s main event, the 18,491’ third tallest peak in North America. The group is rested and eager to get going.
Thanks for following along.
RMI Guides Mike King, Henry Coppolillo, and Team
November 9, 2022
We had a warm and clear night at high camp that would turn into sustained 20 mph wind along the seemingly endless summit ridge that makes up the main route on Ixta. We summited in the dark but with a near full moon the views of the surrounding area were spectacular. We caught the sunrise and Orizaba on our return.
The team is headed to Puebla for the evening and our day off tomorrow.
Thanks for following along.
RMI Guides Mike King, Henry Coppolillo and Team
November 8, 2022
We hiked to 15,400' on Ixtacchuatl to put our camp in for the evening. The team did great and we got some clear skies and a nice view of Orizaba. Our plan is to wake up around midnight and head for the summit of Ixta. We'll check in tomorrow regardless of our high point or weather. Thanks for following along and fingers crossed for clear weather and calm winds.
November 7, 2022
The weather cooperated yesterday and let us get to the top of La Malinche, 14,636’. The thunder rolled in as we got to the cabins.
Today we are in transit to Ixta. A few stops to get provisions and register with park at Paso de Cortez puts us between Popo and Ixta. We’ll have a nice hike to our camp to continue acclimating. Once in camp we’ll get our gear sorted for our move to high camp tomorrow and our summit attempt on Wednesday. The team is doing great, lots of laughs and camaraderie. We have clear skies as we drive and got our first views of Ixta and Popo. We’ll check in tomorrow from our high camp.
November 6, 2022
Our Team arrived in Mexico City over the last two days. We met and enjoyed a quick dinner last night after a nice meet & greet. This morning we’ll head for an acclimatization hike on the extinct volcanic remnants of La Malinche. It’s a long day to the top and electric storms sometimes thwart our efforts. Regardless of our high point it’s a nice hike to stretch the legs after a long flight and wake the lungs up in preparation for the high altitudes on Ixta & Orizaba. We’ll stay in some small cabins to sleep around 10,000’ for the night and check in once we get back into cell coverage tomorrow morning. Until then, we’ll enjoy the rolling corn planted countryside and dense pine trees surrounding our hike and cabins. Thanks for checking in.
The team met for one last breakfast this morning. Recalling our climb of Pico de Orizaba and our other exploits from the trip while laughing and drinking coffee. Only 24 hours ago we were standing at the summit and oh what a difference a day makes. It’s a great way to end a great trip and seems like yesterday that we met up in Mexico City as strangers. I’m impressed and proud of this group on and off the mountain. I look forward to climbing with each and every one of them in the future, but for now, we’re excited to get back to our families and friends. This is the RMI Mexico team signing off for the last time of the trip and season.
March 5, 2022
Posted by: Dominic Cifelli
100% team success on Pico de Orizaba!! We really had to dig deep for this one, but the months of training, hard work, and discipline landed us on top of the third tallest peak in North America today.
From Piedra Grande we head straight up an old aqueduct turned trail with loose rock and scree covering the winding trail. Ixta had us prepared for this though and the team made short work of the trail and up to the base of a feature called the Labyrinth. True to its name it’s a winding maze like feature made of rock that ascending teams must scramble and navigate in order to gain access to the glacier above. Once there, the never ending descending escalator begins. It takes us about three and half hours to climb from base to top. With no good place to take a break, it’s certainly a marathon. The team dug deep, pulled together and summitted the highest point in Mexico.
Congratulations! Awesome job. Looks like it was a beautiful day up there.
Posted by: Patrick Johnson on 3/5/2022 at 10:00 pm
The team enjoyed a well deserved rest day today. We leisurely ate breakfast, sipped coffee, and explored the city. We stay in a hotel close to the main square of the city so everything we could want is within walking distance. Tiny street markets, beautiful churches, old dive bars, and the colors of the buildings make Puebla a true joy to wander in. The team met up for dinner at a local favorite, El Mural de Los Poblanos, where we shared stories of our days and recalled our climb of Ixta. After we walked to my favorite ice cream place in town and enjoyed the sweet treat to end the night. We leave early for Tlachichuca tomorrow, but not before one more good nights rest in our beds.
March 2, 2022
Posted by: Dominic Cifelli
Today was the day, the team successfully reached the summit of the eighth tallest mountains in North America, Ixtaccihuatl. We woke up dark and early at 1230 AM for our alpine start, scarfed our oatmeal, chugged our coffee and we were off.
The route from high camp starts off with most of the elevation gain and a steep scree field to boot. Taking two steps up and one step back, the team trudged up “the knees” of Ixta to gain one of its magnificent ridges. Though the skies were clear, the wind was out with a vengeance. A cutting, constant 30 mph wind greeted us at the top of the ridge and decided to join us for the rest of the climb. With most of our layers on our person and buffs covering all but our eyes, we leaned into the wind and traversed until we dropped down into the ever-receding Ayaloco Glacier. Down and up the half pipe of a glacier, we gained the final ridge and pushed on to the summit. The team moved so well that we beat the sun to the top, but we were able to find a wind break and watch a gorgeous sunrise at the summit. Congrats to the team!
Now we’re off to well-deserved showers and beds in Puebla.
RMI Guide Dominic Cifelli & Team
Congratulations to all! I’m very impressed and enjoy watching the adventure.
Posted by: Bobby Hall on 3/2/2022 at 3:37 pm
Awesome. On to Orizaba! Enjoy Puebla first, though. Watch out for the tacos arabes, Dom :-)
Posted by: Patrick Johnson on 3/2/2022 at 3:15 pm