Many of the crew here at Patagonia del norte (aka, Reno Distribution Center) scattered to the hills this weekend for some summertime fun, only to be served up a reminder that summer's coming to an end. Sure, there's another month+ of clear skies and warm weather, but two cold storms in the month of August are enough to get some of us 'round here started on thoughts of wintertime fun. And what better way to ease the seasonal transition than with a little adventure that delivers a taste of both. Today's post comes to us courtesy of Cleanest Line reader, Ryan Lynch. Ryan's a climber and skier who lives in Jackson, WY and works on a "hotshot" crew, fighting wildfires. During his time off last year he headed south with fellow skier/climber/hotshot, Matt Castellon, to do a little skiing off of North America's third-highest summit. Here's Ryan:
Not many people go to Mexico for the skiing, but that is exactly what we did on a month long rock-climbing and skiing road trip south of the border. The main objective for the trip was to climb and ski off the top of the 18,490 ft. volcano, Pico de Orizaba. Along the way we were able to stop and check out many of Mexico’s lesser known sport climbing areas. My partner on this adventure was Matt Castellon, who, like me, is a wildland firefighter just off of his first year as a McCall, Idaho, smoke jumper.
Pico de Orizaba is a dormant volcano located southwest of Mexico City and just 68 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. Orizaba, also known as Citlaltépetl by the Mexican people, is part of the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range and reaches a height of 18,490 ft. (5,636 m), making it the third highest peak in North America. The first known ascent of the peak was completed by a group of Europeans during a botanical expedition on August 22, 1838. Members of this expedition included Henri Galeotti, Augusto B. Ghiesbreght, Jean-Jules Linden, and Nicolas Funck. This group ascended the peak by way of the Jamapa Glacier, which is on the north face, and is now known as the “normal route.”
[Pico de Orizaba. Photo: Ryan Lynch]