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Entries from Mexico


Mexico Volcanoes: IXTA SUMMIT!

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

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Mexicos Volcanoes: King & Team Prepare for Climb of Ixtaccihuatl

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.

RMI Guide Mike King

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Mexicos Volcanoes: King & Team take acclimatization hike on La Malinche

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.

Thanks,

RMI Guide Mike King

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: King, Coppolillo & Team Arrive in Mexico City

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. 

RMI Guide Mike King

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Mexico Volcanoes: Cifelli & Team Enjoy Last Team Breakfast, Conclude Trip

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.

RMI Guide Dominic Cifelli

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Mexico Volcanoes: Cifelli & Team Summit El Pico de Orizaba

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.

RMI Guide Dominic Cifelli

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Congratulations! Awesome job. Looks like it was a beautiful day up there.

Posted by: Patrick Johnson on 3/5/2022 at 10:00 pm


Mexico Volcanoes: Cifelli & Team Explore Puebla

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.

RMI Guide Dominic Cifelli

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Mexico Volcanoes: Team Summits Ixtaccihuatl

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

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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


Mexico Volcanoes: Cifelli & Team Ready for Summit Bid

The clear, beautiful skies made for a cool and frosty night down at Ixtaccihuatl Basecamp. The team woke up to flakes of snow hitting our face, courtesy of the moisture from our breath. We ate our breakfast, packed our bags and were on our way.
The sun was strong, but a cool wind kept our temperature regulated quite perfectly as the team worked their way up. Our months of hard work and preparation paid off as the team was strong as ever. Making the move from 13,000ft to 15,400ft is no small feat, especially with the heavy loads of the day. We made short work of it though, getting to our high camp in around four hours flat. Now we need to move into camp, relax for a bit, and talk logistics for the day ahead. I’m proud of the way the team performed today and it makes me as hopeful as ever for our summit day tomorrow.

RMI Guide Dominic Cifelli

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: Cifelli & Team Arrive at Ixta Basecamp

After an early morning and quick breakfast the team was off again. Our first stop, Amecameca, to grab food, water, and of course the street food.

When we get to the entrance of the national park, we generally like to walk the rest of the way. It’s a bumpy, unpleasant road to get to La Joyalita and it’s nice to stretch our legs after a long day of driving. Perfect weather once again with the only clouds being the ones in the valley below us.  The business starts here though as we prepare for our climb of Ixta with a thorough gear check, packing demo, and refresher on tent setup. We’ll eat a hearty dinner and try to sleep as best we can at 13,000 ft. We start our first big climb tomorrow and the team is excited and ready for the challenge.

Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Dominic Cifelli

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