When in Southern California giving multimedia presentations I usually like to get outside during the daytime. One tradition has been to hike Mt. Baldy. Anybody can come who is in shape for a casual hike to the top of this 10,064′ peak and who can take a day off from work to join us. The groups are always fun and usually have a mix of a few new people along with the usual suspects. I always meet at 6am so there’s plenty of time to get up and down the mountain by early afternoon so I can drive off in the direction of my next slideshow, which in this case was at the Tarzana location of Adventure 16. A great time was had by all. Here are a few pictures. The rest are here: http://kurtwedbergphotography.com/Southern-California/Mt-Baldy/Mt-Baldy-November-20-2009/10398560_z85TW/1/720261895_QfcDG
The group ready to hikeat 6:15 AM.
The Baldy Bowl in morning light from San Antonion Falls Rd.
Ava giving it a go on "No Hands Rock".
Summit photo on a clear day. The thermometer read 40 degrees. With the Wind chill factor it was a few degrees colder than that.
Starting the descent. Visible in the distance on the skyline is San Gorgonio (left) and San Jacinto (right).
Kurt has been in Southern California this week giving multimedia presentations about our always popular trips to Africa where we combine a climb of Kilimanjaro with a game viewing safari. The presentations have been taking place at Adventure 16 stores and are sponsored by Icebreaker. Monday was at the Oceanside location, Tuesday at Solana Beach, and last night was in San Diego. The shows will wrap up with the West LA location tonight and Tarzana on Friday night. Shows begin at 7pm. Turnout has been great with 115 people attending last nights show!
Kilimanjaro, the world's largest free standing mountain. It is the highest mountain in Africa at 19,340' (5895m) and the only place one can pass through five temperate zones in five days starting in a jungle and ending in an alpine environment.
Mature male lion in the Ngorongoro Crater.
Icebreaker rep and long time friend Tim Richards (left) with Kurt and Tim's wife Paula. They provided a happy hour of snacks and refreshments for attendees of the show plus $20 coupons for Icebreaker apparrel.
The crowd at the San Diego Adventure 16 store Wednesday night November 18. 115 people were in attendance.
Kurt introducing his presentation to the audience before the lights went down.
Our calendar is set for upcoming winter programs at SMI! Check our web site for our winter offerings including:
Mountaineering Skills Seminars
Mt. Whitney climbs
We also have trips planned to Aconcagua, Africa, and Mexico’s Volcanoes for next year with more trips in the works. If there’s a trip on your “hit list” be sure to get in touch!
Analysing layers of snow in a specially dug pit during an avalanche cours
On a tour during the last of our 3-day Level 1 Avalanche Course
Learning techniques for climbing vertical ice at Lee Vining Canyo
Learning ice axe self arrest during a Snow Travel Course
Learning proper anchor placements in snow during an SMI Snow Travel Course
A happy group on the summit of Mt. Whitney during one of our winter/spring Mt. Whitney climbs
After a memorable climb on Iztaccihuatl (17,158′) on Tuesday our team traveled south and east to the town of Tlachichuca at the base of Orizaba. We spent some time here reorganizing our gear in preparation for our next climb. We also had time to relax and enjoy some good Mexican meals which is always a treat.
We stayed at our good friends the Reyes family. Four generations ago this family built a large compound for the purpose of manufacturing soap. Back then there were no roads leading to the little village of Tlachichuca. Interest in climbing Orizaba led to manufacturing their own equipment some of which is on display at their compound. This interest in climbing Orizaba eventually led to helping visiting climbers from around the world with logistics and support to climb here. Today Gerardo and Luis Reyes carry on that rich tradition. The soap factory has been converted into a compound for climbers to rest and organize themselves in a comfortable setting with first class hospitality. It is always a treat to visit the Reyes family.
On Thursday we loaded our gear onto a 4-wheel drive vehicle and drove to the Pierdra Grande hut at approximately 14,000′. We took an afternoon hike then returned to the hut to cook dinner and hit the sack in preparation for an early rise for our summit bid.
On Friday we were treated to a clear and windless night. We navigated by headlamp through the lower part of the route eventually gaining a section of the route we call the Labyrinth which leads the the Jamapa Glacier. We arrived at the base of the glacier at sunrise and put on our crampons, changed out trekking poles for ice axes, and clipped into a rope. We ascended the 2000’+ glacier to the impressive crater rim of this extinct volcano which we traversed to its high point. We had the summit to ourselves as we shared in a clear view and took pictures.
Here are a few highlights of the climb. The entire photo gallery from our trip is here: http://kurtwedbergphotography.com/International-Expeditions/Mexicos-Volcanoes-Nov-2009/10215645_qBCrw/1/709897328_D6mwz
Ready to leave the Pierdra Grande hut for our ascent.
Approaching the Jamapa Glacier near sunrise.
The Jamapa Glacier on Orizaba.
Roped up and beginning to ascend the Jamapa Glacier.
Scott McCay enjoying the impressive view while taking a break.
James Duke and Matthew Harris pacing themselves at almost 18,000' near the top of the Jamapa Glacier
Topped out and enjoying the view at the crater rim of Orizaba
Part of Orizaba's impressive crater
James and Matthew sharing in the sheer joy of a great team effort on the summit.
The team on the summit.
Kurt Wedberg poses next to one of several crosses on the summit
Greetings from Puebla, Mexico. Our group reached the summit of Iztaccihuatl yesterday. The weather was clear with a slight breeze. Overall it made for excellent conditions for climbing.
After arriving in Mexico City on November 6 we have spent the last couple of days acclimatizing to the high altitude we will soon be climbing in. Iztaccihuatl is an Aztec name that means “sleeping lady”. When viewed from the town below, Amecameca, it looks like a lady lying on her back. Our route is called “The Knees Route” and basically traverses along the ridge line of the mountain from the knees to its summit which is the chest.
Today we will travel to the town of Tlachichuca at the base of Orizaba. We plan to spend the day in preparation for climbing the third highest mountain in North America at 18,410′.
Here are a few highlights from our climb:
Iztaccihuatl from the trailhead at La Joya. Our route traverses from the right side to the left. The group from left to right: Kurt Wedberg, Scott McCay, James Duke, Matthew Harris, Mike "Tater" Tate, and Miriam Diaz.
The team high on Iztaccihuatl pauses for a photo as the sun begins to reveal the first signs of morning in the distance.
The team high on Iztaccihuatl at 6:45 AM en route to the summit.
Reaching the summit of a big peak is always an emotional experience.
A happy group on the summit of Iztaccihuatl (17,158')
November marks our annual trip to climb Mexico’s Volcanoes. Our objective will be to climb two volcanoes in this beautiful country: Iztaccihuatl (17,158′) and El Pico de Orizaba (18,410′). We will fly to Mexico City tomorrow then on Saturday drive a couple hours outside of Mexico City to Popo/Ixta National Park where we plan to spend a little time acclimatizing before making our summit attempt on “Ixta”. Later next week we will travel south and east to Orizaba.
We will try to send updates when we can. Check back or sign up for our blog to receive news and updates!
Packing for Mexico's Volcanoes