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Now at high camp on Izta, our Ecuador Volcanoes team is preparing for the summit push!

Hello from high camp on Izta! We made good time here this morning and enjoyed a lunch of ramen and carnitas (seasoned pork). Now we’ll rest until dinner.

We’ll do an alpine start tomorrow morning and hopefully be on the summit not long after sunrise. Everyone is feeling good and we’re stoked for the climb.

Elevation: 15,398.69 ft.
Lat: 19.154008 Lon: -98.637506

 

Our Ecuador Volcanoes team is continuing their acclimatizing on Izta and will be moving up to high camp before the coming summit push:

Hi from La Joya camp! We’ll spend a second night here before moving to high camp mañana. Today we took a scenic acclimatization hike to 15,400′. All is well.

Elevation: 12,952.72 ft.
Lat: 19.133538 Lon: -98.652183

 

A quick inReach message from our Ecuador Volcanoes team:

We are in La Joya camp at the base of Iztaccihuatl and all is well. Tomorrow we’ll do our first acclimatization hike.

Elevation: 13,020.67 ft.
Lat: 19.133560 Lon: -98.652226

 

Terray, Josh, and David enjoying the Teotihuacan pyramids. of Mexico

Our second Mexico Volcanoes expedition this month kicked off yesterday in Mexico City.  Here’s expedition leader, Terray Sylvester, with coverage of today’s activities and what’s next:

Hello, it’s October 18th and this is Terray calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Mexico Volcanoes expedition!  Yesterday our trip started with a visit to the Teotihuacan pyramids on the outskirts of Mexico City.  Those pyramids are the most visited ancient pyramids in the Americas and they’re home to the third biggest pyramid in the world, the Pyramid of the Sun.  Actually the biggest pyramid in the world is also in Mexico.  It’s over in the town of Cholula just a little ways to the east.

We had lunch there and then we had a welcome dinner here in Mexico City, as well.  Great food, saw some Mariachis, and dancing.  It’s pretty festive here in Mexico City right now as the country gears up for the Day of the Dead, which is in about a week.

Today we are getting ready to head off to Iztaccihuatl, which is our first objective of the trip.  We’ll drive to Amecameca today where we will have lunch and then we’ll drive up to Paso de Cortés at about 12,500 ft. which is the pass that Hernán Cortés came over on his way to Mexico City when the Spaniards came into Mexico.

Over the next few days, we will climb Izta!  All right, I’ll be in touch!

Living large and eating well in Mexico!

Living large and eating well in Mexico!

Checking out Mexico's Teotihuacan pyramids.

Checking out Mexico’s Teotihuacan pyramids.

Authentic Mexican cuisine. The real deal!

Authentic Mexican cuisine. The real deal!

Pre-climb Mexican pyramid exploration

Pre-climb Mexican pyramid exploration

Welcome dinner in Mexico City!

Welcome dinner in Mexico City!

Josh admiring the Pyramid of the Sun.

Josh admiring the Pyramid of the Sun.

In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my Madison Mountaineering flash briefing.

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map:

100% team summit success on Izataccihuatl in Mexico

Lead guide, Terray Sylvester, provides this detailed recap of our very successful Mexico Volcanoes expedition – the first of two this month!

Hello, this is Terray calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Mexico Volcanoes expedition that is just ending today, October 12th. Over the last 10 days we had a great trip!

It started out with a day in Mexico City. We visited the Teotihuacan pyramids on the outskirts of town – those are the biggest pyramids in Latin America.  And then we drove to Iztaccihuatl, which is the third highest volcano in Mexico and the third highest volcano in North America – it’s 17,160 ft. tall.  We spent three days climbing that and on our summit day, we had absolutely beautiful weather.  Right now the rainy season is starting to taper off, so weather can be a little wet but we had sunny skies all day and we also had fantastic views of Popocatépetl erupting just to the south.  Some of the eruptions were big enough that they made the local news.

From Izta we traveled down to Puebla where we spent two nights and took a rest day.  Puebla is a beautiful, historic city so we had time to visit museums and enjoy some great food.  And then we drove to the little town of San Miguel Zoapan, which is where our lodge is located at the base of el Pico de Orizaba, which is the third highest peak in North America and the highest volcano on the continent.

We piled all of our gear into 4WD vehicles and then we drove up the rough dirt roads to our base camp at about 14,000 ft., spent the next day acclimatizing, and then we climbed to the summit of Orizaba the following day.  Yet again we had just perfect weather – beautiful sunny, cool, fall day.  The mountain had recently recieved some snow, so climbing conditions were about as good as they get on Orizaba – not too icy, excellent path all the way to the top.  At the top, you look down into a circular, deep, dramatic, summit crater.  You can look out toward the Gulf of Mexico to the east.  While you are climbing, you see the lights of Puebla down to the west and lights of Vera Cruz and smaller towns near that city, also down to the east.  There’s also a big telescope array on Sierra Negra, which is a smaller volcano just to the south.

After the climb we were back down in our lodge in Zoapan by about 2 PM.  We had a steak lunch and then we drove back to Mexico City.  And now, today, our guests have time to visit museums – we’re going to the Anthropology Museum in Mexico City and the Frida Kahlo Museum.  We’ll have a farewell dinner this evening and then everyone will head home.

We have another Mexico Volcanoes itinerary starting on October 17th, so check back here – we’ll post regular updates as that trip progresses.

Visiting the Teotihuacan Pyramids in Mexico

Visiting the Teotihuacan Pyramids in Mexico

Our climbers watching Popocatépetl erupt while climbing to the summit of Iztaccihuatl in Mexico

Our climbers watching Popocatépetl erupt while climbing to the summit of Iztaccihuatl in Mexico

Sunrise on Iztaccihuatl in Mexico

Sunrise on Iztaccihuatl in Mexico

Success on Pico de Orizaba! Our Mexico Volcanoes climbers topped out on the third highest peak in North America in great weather

Success on Pico de Orizaba! Our Mexico Volcanoes climbers topped out on the third highest peak in North America in great weather

Success on Pico de Orizaba! Our Mexico Volcanoes climbers topped out on the third highest peak in North America in great weather

Success on Pico de Orizaba! Our Mexico Volcanoes climbers topped out on the third highest peak in North America in great weather

Izta summit

Within the past hour, our Mexico Volcanoes expedition team reached the summit of the third highest peak in Mexico, Iztacihuatl (5230m / 17,160 ft)!  They are on their way down now.  Their track to the summit left the La Joyita trailhead and gained over 1310m (4,300 ft) of elevation gain over 5.67km to reach the summit in just about 8 hours.  Whew!

We will have some pictures to share when they are back down.  Meanwhile, here are a few shots from yesterday to enjoy.

Next up:  Pico de Orizaba (5636m/18,490ft), Mexico’s highest mountain and the third highest in North America.