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Trip Reports - Mexico Feb 2104

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  • James Barlow
    Greetings Prom & CoHP groups, First and foremost, CONGRATULATIONS to Bob Packard for ascending his 1,000th P2k - a truly exceptional feat! It is a rainy,
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 19, 2014
      Greetings Prom & CoHP groups,

      First and foremost, CONGRATULATIONS to Bob Packard for ascending his 1,000th P2k - a truly exceptional feat!

      It is a rainy, crappy day in Seattle, so I finally had time to send out some long overdue trip reports.  I posted these to peakbagger not long after I got back, but Adam reminded me to send them out to the groups, which I had been remiss in doing, so here goes:

      I spent 2 weeks in Mexico in February climbing a mix of state high points and prominence peaks.  I started out with the lower peaks and worked my way up higher for acclimatization.  I was worried because I had spent all of 2013 at sea level, I live at sea level, and it is tough to get very high in the Cascades in January, my highest point reached in the Cascades in 2014 being under 7,000 ft (with assistance from a chairlift).  All my worry was for naught - By the time I set foot on Pico de Orizaba on the next to last day of my trip, I was so acclimatized that I could have jogged up there.  Also of note, the weather was perfect every day I was there, a key to my success on every peak I wanted.

      Instead of re-hashing the trip reports I already wrote, I added a little bit about why I selected each peak and included links to the trip reports and picture sets.

      Feb 9th: First up was Cerro La Peñuela and Cerro La Peña de Tepozán.  These peaks are both contenders for Hidalgo State High Point, though the map I have indicates that Cerro La Peña de Tepozán is higher.  This would be my first Mexican state high point.
      image
      2014.02.09 Cerro La Penuela
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      Feb 10th: Second was Cerro Tláloc.  This peak is a P2k, and not on any other lists.  It was more off the beaten path than many other peaks I hiked this trip.  I had read a report on summitpost that mentioned Aztec ruins on the summit, which intrigued me.  Originally I had wanted to do Cofre el Perote, a 13k ft peak that is a P4k north of Orizaba.  The drive out there was longer than I wanted to tackle for a peak with a road to the top, so I opted for Cerro Tláloc.  This was an outstanding hike and well worth it.  It was over 13k ft, so it was helpful with my acclimatization.
      image
      2014.02.10 Cerro Tlaloc
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      Feb 11th: Next up was a long drive to northern Querétaro for Cerro La Joya, however, I had chosen some peaks to do on the 2 drive days so the entire day would not be wasted.  For my drive north, I chose Cerro El Espolon, a P4k in central Querétaro.  This would be a rest day of sorts following my 2 longer hikes on Peñuela/Peña de Tepozán and Tláloc in preparation for Cerro La Joya.
      image
      2014.02.11 Cerro El Espolon
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      Feb 12th: This was a day that I assumed would be a big day, but it went quicker than I expected.  I was able to find the guys who had hiked up this peak with Bob, Adam, Duane, and Rob 2 years ago.  I had made short work of Cerro El Espolon the day before so that I could be in Lagunita San Diego in the afternoon to talk to them.  Blas had been up with the other group and Juan was new to the peak.  They were both great guys and a lot of fun to hike and chat with.  The brush was pretty bad, all chaparral as I am so used to from my time hiking in southern California.  This would be my first Mexican ultra.  I would venture to guess that not a lot of people do Cerro la Joya as their first ultra in Mexico.
      image
      2014.02.12 Cerro La Joya
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      Feb 13th: Cerro El Zamorano was up next.  I was able to drive to a town not far from it after Cerro La Joya, so I would be able to get an early start.  Cerro El Zamorano was selected as a P4k and a state high point for both Querétaro and Guanajuato.  I chose to "Earlize" the peak as I had the time, since this day I would only need to drive to Nevado de Toluca.
      image
      2014.02.13 Cerro El Zamorano
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       Feb 14th: Happy Valentine's Day from 15,000 ft.  In spite of the bout of "revenge" I had succumb to the evening before, I was able to climb Nevado de Toluca and complete the entire rim traverse.  It was one of the most enjoyable peaks of the trip, easier than I expected.  It was selected for obvious reasons - an ultra, my second in Mexico.
      image
      2014.02.14 Nevado De Toluca
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      Feb 15th: Cerro Ajusco was selected as it is an optimistic prominence P4k (3,993 ft clean prom) as well as the state high point for D.F. (Distrito Federal / Mexico City).  It's a hike on a trail, so not much to report...
      image
      2014.02.15 Cerro Ajusco
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      Cerro Ajusco was my last solo, self-planned peak.  I had put a lot of work into the planning of these peaks and mapping where I would go, making a half circle around Mexico City from the east to the north, then west.  Now, I would be sitting back on my laurels and letting RMI take me around and handle all the logistics.  In hindsight, I could have easily done these peaks by myself, so lesson learned.

      Feb 16th: Volcán La Malinche was the first hike I did with the RMI group.  I had bypassed this peak when I was in the area a week earlier doing Cerro Tláloc and Cerro La Peña de Tepozán/Cerro La Peñuela as RMI had it listed as an acclimatization hike.  I obviously wanted it as it was an ultra and the Tlaxcala state high point.
      image
      2014.02.16 Volcan La Malinche
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      Feb 17th - 19th: We took an acclimatization hike around Iztaccíhuatl on the 17th, no peak objective.  The 18th, we moved up to camp and we attained the summit on the 19th.  This peak can easily be climbed solo (provided that the conditions you encounter are the same as the conditions I encountered).  The only real challenges are the elevation and cold.  If you acclimatize like I did and dress warm, you will be fine.  I did not even notice the elevation by this point in the trip.
      image
      2014.02.17-19 Volcan Iztaccíhuatl
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      Feb 22nd: We spent the 20th resting in Puebla - nice city.  We spent the 21st moving up to Orizaba base camp.  Pico de Orizaba was a fine snow climb, though something that I would have felt comfortable doing it solo if I could follow a guided group through the navigationally challenging portions below the summit snow cone.  Nothing was technically challenging, just a little bit of navigation challenge in the dark above camp.
      image
      2014.02.21-23 Pico de Orizaba
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      Well, that is it.  A 100% successful trip, more than I could have asked for.  I am excited to head to Mexico again.  It is a beautiful country with wonderful people.  I would also say that Querétaro is probably my favorite state and worth more exploration.  I'm sure I could do some map work to scrape together a handful of P2k peaks to work on there.  My stats are as follows:
      7 Mexico state high points (5 peaks, all of which are also prom peaks except Peña de Tepozán/Peñuela)
      1 P2k to P3,999 peaks (Tláloc)
      3 P4k to P4,999 peaks (Espolon, Zamorano, Ajusco)
      5 P5k/ultra peaks (La Joya, Toluca, Malinche, Izta, & Orizaba)

      My hope is that Popocatépetl calms down sometime in my life while I am still fit enough to climb it so I can return to this area of Mexico.  In the interim, I would like to work the state high points and P4k lists when I have the time and money, though neither list can be completed with out Popo.

      James Barlow
      Seattle, WA
    • Adam Helman
      Hello Jim, An excellent review here of your Mexican peaks! I *thought* that Bob Packard and myself were well-traveled there (for USA peakbaggers). However
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 19, 2014
           Hello Jim,
         
                An excellent review here of your Mexican peaks!  
         
                I  *thought* that Bob Packard and myself were well-traveled there (for USA peakbaggers).
        However you've done Tlaloc and Espolon which we have yet to set foot upon.
               
                Climbing Cerro la Joya as your FIRST Mexican ultra is surely unique. Few people EVER get there...
         
        >My hope is that Popocatépetl calms down sometime in my life while I am still fit
        >enough to climb it so I can return to this area of Mexico.
         
                 I maintain the same desire.
         
        >In the interim, I would like to work the state high points and P4k lists when I have the time and money,
        >though neither list can be completed with out Popo.

                 I too have some of these on my long term wishlist - such as the Sonora and Zacatecas state highpoints.
         
                           Sincerely,
                                            Adam H.
         
        PS    I believe there's a climb of Baja's Picacho del Diablo around now as organized by Washington peakbaggers.
                Barring that (it's likely too late for joining them), perhaps you can join a DPS (Desert Peaks Section) group to do it next year? 
                As the Baja Norte state highpoint AND an ultra (P7K feet) it should surely be on your list.
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2014 4:45 PM
        Subject: [prominence] Trip Reports - Mexico Feb 2104

         

        Greetings Prom & CoHP groups,

        First and foremost, CONGRATULATIONS to Bob Packard for ascending his 1,000th P2k - a truly exceptional feat!
         
         
      • Rob Woodall
        Impressive trip, Jim. Thanks for posting. Yes Popocatapetl would be nice some day. I could get interested in the three Baja ultras sometime; maybe some north
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 21, 2014

          Impressive trip, Jim. Thanks for posting.

          Yes Popocatapetl would be nice some day.

          I could get interested in the three Baja ultras sometime; maybe some north Mexico ultras where the security situation permits.

          Rob

          On 20 Apr 2014 02:18, "Adam Helman" <helman@...> wrote:

           

             Hello Jim,
           
                  An excellent review here of your Mexican peaks!  
           
                  I  *thought* that Bob Packard and myself were well-traveled there (for USA peakbaggers).
          However you've done Tlaloc and Espolon which we have yet to set foot upon.
                 
                  Climbing Cerro la Joya as your FIRST Mexican ultra is surely unique. Few people EVER get there...
           


          >My hope is that Popocatépetl calms down sometime in my life while I am still fit
          >enough to climb ...

                   I maintain the same desire.


           
          >In the interim, I would like to work the state high points and P4k lists when I have the time an...

                   I too have some of these on my long term wishlist - such as the Sonora and Zacatecas state highpoints.
           
                             Sincerely,
                                              Adam H.
           
          PS    I believe there's a climb of Baja's Picacho del Diablo around now as organized by Washington peakbaggers.
                  Barring that (it's likely too late for joining them), perhaps you can join a DPS (Desert Peaks Section) group to do it next year? 
                  As the Baja Norte state highpoint AND an ultra (P7K feet) it should surely be on your list.


           
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: James Barlow
          > To: Prom Group ; CoHP Group
          > Cc: Adam He...

        • Adam Helman
          Rob - Jim shares with me his thoughts about a Picacho del Diablo reattempt in a few years (he was turned back because somebody else was injured on the approach
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 22, 2014
            
               Rob -
             
                   Jim shares with me his thoughts about a Picacho del Diablo reattempt in a few years
            (he was turned back because somebody else was injured on the approach to high camp).
             
                   You two should rent a car from San Diego and do all three Baja ultras (including
            Volcan Tres Virgenese and the Sierra la Laguna Range highpoint).
             
                  Contact Jim for details - I'll share his email address by private note.
             
                        Adam
                    
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Monday, April 21, 2014 11:20 PM
            Subject: Re: [prominence] Trip Reports - Mexico Feb 2104

             

            Impressive trip, Jim. Thanks for posting.

            Yes Popocatapetl would be nice some day.

            I could get interested in the three Baja ultras sometime; maybe some north Mexico ultras where the security situation permits.

             

             

          • jokermannn
            Gentlemen, I would be interested in a Picacho del Diablo attempt! Nick Sent from my iPhone ... Gentlemen, I would be interested in a Picacho del Diablo
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 22, 2014
              Gentlemen,

              I would be interested in a Picacho del Diablo attempt!

              Nick


              Sent from my iPhone

              On Apr 22, 2014, at 1:44 AM, "Adam Helman" <helman@...> wrote:

              
                 Rob -
               
                     Jim shares with me his thoughts about a Picacho del Diablo reattempt in a few years
              (he was turned back because somebody else was injured on the approach to high camp).
               
                     You two should rent a car from San Diego and do all three Baja ultras (including
              Volcan Tres Virgenese and the Sierra la Laguna Range highpoint).
               
                    Contact Jim for details - I'll share his email address by private note.
               
                          Adam
                      
              ----- Original Message -----
              Sent: Monday, April 21, 2014 11:20 PM
              Subject: Re: [prominence] Trip Reports - Mexico Feb 2104

               

              Impressive trip, Jim. Thanks for posting.

              Yes Popocatapetl would be nice some day.

              I could get interested in the three Baja ultras sometime; maybe some north Mexico ultras where the security situation permits.

               

               

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