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Daylight did not deter the bitter temperatures, since the sun hid behind eastern clouds and the wind did not dimish as we quickly climbed into a higher, colder place. Beyond Las Rodillas, we stopped briefly to put on our crampons, since the snow was iron hard and showed no signs of softening. Cramming our near-frozen fingers back into our mittens, we crossed a small rise, which we unofficially dubbed Izta’s mons, and marched across La Barriga, Izta’s long, flat belly. When the wind permitted, we joked that Izta had been in good shape when she swooned.

– Gerry Roach - From Transcendent Summits - Izta 1960

North America’s Highest Peaks Photo Gallery

7. Mexico’s 17,342-foot Iztaccíhuatl

Iztaccíhuatl, Mexico Izta’s North Ridge

Gerry took this shot from the summit of Izta’s Cabeza or head in Nov 1983. The view is of the north ridge or La Arista de Luz, which leads to Izta’s Peccho, or breast. The next day, we carried our packs up this ridge and camped near Izta’s summit. It was from near that camp that Gerry took the photo of Popo that is in this collection.
Izta is in central Mexico 30 miles east of Mexico City and 10 miles north of neighboring Popo. Izta is the third highest peak in Mexico and the seventh highest peak in North America. Seen in profile, Izta resembles a sleeping woman, and Aztec legend has it that Popo stands eternal guard over Izta who died of grief after Popo’s rivals told Izta that Popo had been killed in battle. I have climbed Izta five times over the years by three different routes, and have enjoyed this great peak every time.
– Gerry Roach
Copyright © 2001-2017 by Gerry Roach. All Rights Reserved.
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