I did it ! My Frst 5+K Solo Summit !!!

Parque Nacional Izta-Popo Travel Blog

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The Sleeping woman - Iztaccihuatl

My dear friends!

I am tremendously happy these days! I am still under a powerful emotional impact of my climbing success. On August 8th, 2007 - on the four month "anniversary" of my legendary take-off from Chicago - I solo-ed my first 5+K summit. It was a major luck as in the middle of the rain season there is hardly any climbing opportunity unless someone enjoys summiting in thick clouds with zero visibility.

On August 3 I went to a wonderful little town Amecameca, just an hour away from Mexico city, where I got stuck for 3 days waiting for a good weather. Learning guitar, writing notes and consuming kilos of dirt-cheap mangos finally made me thirsty for some dramatic change in my environment. Next day I went up to the refuge with a very promising name Alzimoni Lodge, that would have a plastic bucket to be used for flashing toilet (indoor toilet is actually an unbelievable luxury for a refuge).

On my way to the summit...
It was raining for two days in a row and I continued my guitar practice at a new level - 4,000m above sea. What a happy coincidence! - the only person I met there was a guide doing some volunteer work in the Park. And Miguel, that was his name, was that same person who published on the Internet the only freely available GPS chart of the key waypoints for the Izta climb.

I was really lucky to get precious advice from Miguel while sitting in the middle of a storm cloud. Soon I felt like I could describe the whole route without even seeing it. It really helped early morning August 8, 2007 when, making an alpine start, I left the refuge at 4am. The thick fog and rain that enveloped us just 2 hours prior was completely gone and I could see stars shining through occasional clouds high above.

Panza glacier. ... and I didn't have crampones!
7 hours later having covered 10km and having gained 1.2km of elevation I summitted under the absolutely cleared skies. During those 7 hours I practiced a lot of my dormant skills such as self-arrest on a 100m hard snowed slope, losing and finding the trail in a snow desert, climing 40% icy slopes without crampones, etc. The simple thing, that I didn't take into consideration but which changed a well planned climb into an adventure full of surprises and unexpected twists, was that the endless rain down there turned into an incredible snowstorm up here. Early morning of my climb I found the upper part of the mountain completely covered with snow. There were a couple of moments when I was considering turning back not reaching the summit. Thank God, the heavenly beautiful views on that sunny morning helped me to pull myself together and filled me with new excitement and hope.

And, forgot to mention, I was the only human on the mountain that day. I am not greedy I just think it was a special gift from the Sleeping Woman...

adoubov says:
Pasha - it has been nore than 3 wks since the last update - how are you holding up?
Posted on: Sep 01, 2007
demind says:
Вау!!! Недаром в отряде ему было присвоено имя Горного ветра!
Posted on: Aug 21, 2007
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The Sleeping woman - Iztaccihuatl
The Sleeping woman - Iztaccihuatl
On my way to the summit...
On my way to the summit...
Panza glacier. ... and I didnt ha…
Panza glacier. ... and I didn't h…
Ahead - the tallest of many Iztas…
Ahead - the tallest of many Izta'…
Iztaccihuatl crossed summit - 5,…
Iztaccihuatl "crossed" summit - 5…
Doing dishes at 4,000m above sea l…
Doing dishes at 4,000m above sea …
Miguel! Thank you for the ice axe!…
Miguel! Thank you for the ice axe…
Parque Nacional Izta-Popo
photo by: SummitBreeze