Photo Essay – Climbing Iztaccihuatl

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This August #WoolxinAction team member Justin Knowles from TechnologyHiker.com traveled to Mexico where he climbed to 15,470 ft. on the volcanic peak Iztaccihuatl. He brought back some gorgeous photos from his adventure and shared them with Woolx Life in a wonderful photo essay!

 

 

 

Mexico’s Ixta-Popo National Park protects two peaks over 17,000 feet in elevation.  Iztaccihuatl (Ixta) at 17,159’ is the 7th tallest peak in North America, and Popocatepetl  (Popo) at 17,887 feet is the 4th tallest.  Ixta is frequenty climbed, but Popo has been closed to climbers since 1994 due to volcanic activity.

In August 2016, I climbed Ixta to the Los Cien Hut at over 15,400 feet during a business trip.  The remnants of Hurricane Earl blanketed the area making for a foggy, snowy, and rainy climb.  The marginal conditions highlighted the importance of wearing quality gear.

 

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I took the standard Arista del Sol summit route.  The route starts at the La Hoya trailhead at 13,040 feet near the pass that Cortez passed during his conquest of the Aztecs.

 

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I passed through grasslands to sand, rocks, and snow.  The mountain was relatively empty of climbers due to the weather.

 

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On our way to Los Cien Hut, I passed four landmark portillos (rock formations).  The climbing was mostly class 2, and route finding was a challenging in the fog.

 

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After a few hours, the trail flattened a bit, and the ghostly outline of the hut emerged.  I caught my breath, took some photos, ate a little food, and descended.

 

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A thunderstorm approached encouraging a rapid descent.

 

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The clouds cleared on the way back to Mexico City.  I slept soundly and worked in Mexico City the next day.

 

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I cannot wait to return to Mexico and summit Ixta.  The extinct volcano is beautiful, high, and challenging.  Mexico City provides the best access to high peaks in North America.  The logistics are also relatively simple.  Ixta is a 2 hour drive from Mexico City with many local guide options and good route beta.

 

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On Ixta, WoolX kept me warm, dry, and comfortable.  I wore the WoolX base camp hoodie, outback lightweight t-shirt, basix boxer briefs, summit socks, and the beanie.  My favorites are the base camp hoodie and beanie and look forward to continued testing in the mountains.

– Justin Knowles

 

 

Thanks for this gorgeous account of your adventure Justin! You can follow along with Justin as he and his family explore the west coast and beyond on TechnologyHiker.com and on Twitter: @technologyhiker and Instagram: @technologyhiker.