Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Grand Total

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All the money is in and has now been sent off to WildCoast, the charity I was raising money for. The total in the end was $170. Not the grandest total ever, but it all counts. A big thank you to everyone who helped, be it with a donation, a link to this blog, or even bringing me boots from England!

The unsightly adverts, which helped to raise a lot of that money have now all been deleted so I have a tidy on topic blog once again! I will add to the blog more as time goes on, especially if I climb Izta again in February as is currently planned. Thanks again to everyone who helped!


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Friday, December 26, 2008

I had a thoroughly unexpected encounter with Izta and Popo today. I was giving a class in the center of the city, on the fourth floor of an office block, as I have done every week for the last 3 years. I sit at a table in front of the full length windows, as I always do. Except today, when I looked out of the window, there was Izta and Popo, clear as anything.

I've never seen them before from that window. Not because I haven't looked, because I have often, although not for the mountains because I had no idea they were in that direction. I've never seen them before because they are normally hidden by the tons and tons of particles that hang in the air and go by the collective name of 'pollution'.

Why was it so clear today? Normally, December, January and February are the worst months for pollution, with the cold air trapping the polluted air in the geographical bowl that Mexico City sits in. But it's Christmas, and over the last few days most of the city's cars, which contribute something like 75% of the air pollution, have not been roaming the streets. Everyone has either left the city for a holiday or have been sitting at home getting merry with family and friends. The streets have been largely deserted. Giving the atmosphere something of a break too.

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Izta in Art

Popo and Izta are not just there for climbers....Mexican mythology and folklore depends on them. They are a prominent feature of artwork, and paintings of the two, together or individually can be found all over the place. On walls in offices commonly, but there is also a restaurant in the centre of the city with a huge mural of the two. The paintings below hang in the excellent Museo de Franz Mayer, and I thought I'd share them here.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Deportes Rubens

I though I'd lost this address, but seeing as I've found it I'd best put the details up here before I lose them again!It's for a sports shop near the Zocalo where mountaineering gear can be bought or hired.

Deportes Ruben´s
Venustiano Carranza 17
Col. Centro, México D.F.
Tels: 5518-6373, 5518-5636, 5512-7037
Fax: 5512-8312

Post Update!

And funnily enough I happened to walk past the shop yesterday - so photo was duly taken! I can also give directions as well. Walk from the cathedral across the Zocalo (the main square), keeping the cathedral behind you. The jewellry shops should be to your right, and it's best you are on that side of the square. When the Zocalo ends, keep going for one block, then take your first right. Walk up there for about 5 minutes and you'll start seeing loads of sports shops. Rubens is on your left about ten minutes from the Zocalo.

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Popo Pano

I've found a neat bit of software and created a VR panorama from a series of photos I took whilst climbing up Izta. Put your cursor on the image and drag left and right. You can zoom in and out with the scroll wheel, but the photo sadly doesn't have as much detail as I'd like. If the image isn't displaying, or just to see it in a full windowm click here.


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Monday, December 1, 2008

These Boots Were Made For Walking

I was very pleased with my boots. How pleased? Pleased enough to photograph them! Well, one of them anyway. Which brings me to the point of the post - the equipment needed to go up Izta. A simple list of everything -

Thermal pantalones, two lightweight polyester trousers, a T-shirt, a lightweight jumper, a good warm waterproof jacket, a pair of thermal gloves, an acrylic hat, a tent, a sleeping bag, a rucksack, several chocolate bars, several bananas, several packets of nuts, a couple of packed tortas (sandwiches), four one litre bottles of Gatorade, three pairs of socks (all worn at the same time!) a head torch, crampons. Oh, and the boots!

That was it. Was there anything else I should have taken but didn't? Actually a thermal vest would have been good. And had I camped up at the Grupo de los Cien hut, I'd have taken more liquid.

I did notice a fair few people doing it without crampons, wearing jeans and even in trainers. Recommendable? I have to say as it's dry season, you could probably get away with jeans. It's a small risk, but if you have better clothing why take the risk? I'd perfer to be in jeans and boots though than in polyester trousers and trainers. As for the crampons....we didn't need them in the end, but then we didn't make it up to the summit where the snow is!

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