I feel especially fortunate to be living and working so close to two very impressive mountains/volcanoes in Mexico. El Popo (Popocatépetl = 5,426 meters or 17,802 feet) and Izta (Iztaccíhuatl = 5,230 meters or 17,160 feet) are the 2nd and 3rd tallest peaks in Mexico. Depending on the weather conditions, I can see one or both of them almost daily from my home or INAOE office. I can also understand why early indigenous cultures created legends around this unique pair of geological features (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popocat%C3%A9petl_and_Iztacc%C3%ADhuatl).
El Popo is still an active volcano and closed to climbing, but a group of friends from my INOAE Yoga group recently invited me to climb Izta. One of my Tucson friends had also climbed Izta during his 20’s, but I was a little worried about whether my 70+ year-old knees would hold up during such an arduous climb. It was also a very long day – leaving from my house at 4:30 am and returning at about 9:00 pm.
I’m grateful for this climbing adventure, and I’m especially grateful that I didn’t suffer any bodily injury. My earlier hikes in the Grand Canyon & Yosemite probably helped prepare me for this most difficult and highest elevation climb to date. Our family flew around Denali in Alaska (20,308’) during our 40th Anniversary trip in 2011, but that doesn’t really count as a climb. I decided that this brief summary with the attached pictures would qualify for my next PUEBLOG post (https://pueblog.me/).