Saturday, December 24, 2016

Expedition Prep - Pico de Orizaba

This will be my last blog post for 2016, and what a year it has been. I think I have done more in the past year in terms of adventure than in the previous 5 years combined!

We are packing up for our first ever international mountaineering expedition. Myself, Teresa, Troy and Michael are traveling to Mexico to make attempts on the following mountains

1) Pico de Orizaba (18,701') - 3rd highest mountain in North American

2)  Ixtaccihuatl (17,340') - 7th highest mountain in North America.

Both are glaciated volcanoes, and will for all of us be our first time to high altitude (i.e. above 15,000').

Pico de Orizaba - 3rd highest mountain in North America. Photo courtesy - Summitpost (alexsuv)
 For me, organizing a international expedition was a new experience and a interesting exercise in logistics. We did not hire a guide, but to make life easier did hire an outfitter. They are picking us up, and providing food/accommodations in town. We are also staying with them when not on the mountain, but we get to climb the peak ourselves.

This is what 3000$ in Mexican Pesos looks like

Here is my complete gear list for the trip:


·      Merino wool base layer – zip-top (icebreaker, light    weight)
·      Zip top, mid weight – (synthetic, target brand!)
·      Synthetic REI brand T-shirt
·      Patagonia R1 Hoody
·      Icebreaker Merino 250 bottom base layer
·      3 pairs synthetic underwear (ex-officio)
·      Socks – 1 pair mountaineering weight (REI), 1 pair trekking weight (Smart-wool), 1 pair light weight (REI), 1 merino liner sock (REI)
·      Softshell pants (OR cirque)
·      Regular pants (Prana Zion stretch) – worn on plane
·      Shell pants (Marmot Precip)
·      Shell coat (Marmot minimalist)
·      Mid-weight down parka (Rab Neutrino Endurance)
·      Mid-layer coat, synthetic (OR Cathode hoody)
·      Softshell gloves (OR PL400)
·      Midweight gloves (OR arête)
·      Heavy mitts (BD Mercury mitts)
·      Winter buff
·      Glacier glasses (Julbo explorer)
·      Mountaineering boots (La Sportiva Nepal Cube)
·      Hiking shoes (Solomon X-ultra II)
·      Sun hat
·      Fleece toque (REI brand)

Mountaineering Equipment
·      Ice axe (Petzl summit evo)
·      Mountaineering crampons, 12 pts (BD Sabertooth, old      model)
·      Mountaineering harness (BD couloir)
·      Ice screws (3) (22cm Petzl Laser Speed)
·      BD Ice clipper
·      Micro-traction
·      Tiblock
·      Foot-loop (120 cm)
·      Prussiks (2)
·      Pulley
·      4 carabineers (2 locking, 2 non-locking)
·      Cordellette (20’, 6mm)
·      ATC
·      30 meter 8mm rope (Mammut Pheonix dry)
·      Trekking Pole (BD alpine cork)
·      Helmet (BD Half-dome)


·      4 season free standing Tent (MH Direkt II)
·      0F Sleeping bag (MH Phantom 0)
·      Sleeping pad (Therm-a-rest neoair X-therm)
·      Camp stove (MSR Dragonfly)
·      Camp Pot – GSI Bugaboo
·      Plastic fork and spoon
·      Collapsible bowl
·      Insulated coffee mug (GSI)
·      Headlamp with fresh batteries (BD Storm)
·      Knife (swiss army)

·      50L pack (Deuter ACT Lite, 40+10)
·      90L Duffle bag (Patagonia Blackhole)
·      30L Carryon day pack (BD speed 30)

·      toothpaste
·      toothbrush
·      sunscreen SPF 100
·      hand sanitizer
·      shampoo
·      soap
·      conditioner
·      deodorant
·      lip balm – spf15

·      Anti-dierrehals
·      Diamox
·      Aspirin

·      Snickers (2)
·      Goo (2)
·      Instant coffee (8)

Miscellanous items

·      Camera (Sony RX100 MKII)
·      GPS (Garmin 60Cx)
·      Foot warmers (2 each)
·      Hand warmers (2 each)
·      Tenacious tape – repair tape
·      Passports + green cards
·      Copies of immigration documents
·      Water bottles (2 each)

Important items

Everything on the floor

We are psyched to go!

Duffle is packed

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