Olivia called me this evening from the hotel in Amecameca and said that everything was going well and they were enjoying the town. When I first went to Mexico in 1988 you could still climb Popo, and I enjoyed shopping in the simple markets of Amecameca. In teh mid 1990's Popo began to violently erupt in the mid 1990.s and was subsequently closed to climbing. With Popo closed we quit going to Amecameca in favor of an approach to Ixta over a series of dirt roads leading in from the NW. These roads have since washed out and access has become difficult so we are now using the road from Amecameca to the Paseo Cortez. Both approaches are beautiful. Perhaps someday we will be able to climb Popo again.
Today the group hiked on trails leading up to the hut at 13,000. Tomorrow they will drive to this spot via a different route and then hike out to the Ayoloco Hut at over 15,000 and return to sleep in the hut at 13,000. This sets them up for a night the following day at the Ayoloco Hut and then a summit on the last day. All of this hiking up and down serves as acclimatization for the climb of Orizaba, which is similar to a big climb of Mt. Rainier.
Olivia reports that she has run into George Dunn of International Mountain Guides, and Kurt Wedberg of Sierra Mountaineering International, and a variety of other guides as everyone is generally on the same circuit throughout the climbing season. A lot of groups go to Mexico in November because it is too early to ski and ice climb, but getting to cold in most spots for rock climbing. Also rumored to be in the area is Mike Horst, working for Alpine Ascents International
Helping us with logistics is the Reyes Family. On my first trip to Mexico I worked with Francisco Reyes of Tlachichuca, Mexico, but now he is retired and living in Mexico City. Francisco's sons Gerardo and Luis have taken over the family outfitting business. They always do a great job and it is a pleasure to see them each time we go down.
Hopefully Olivia will send us some photos and I will post news as I get it. They plan to summit Ixta on Wednesday and Orizaba on Friday.