With hours to spend on top, we pondered Popo’s 1,500-foot-deep crater, which emitted
his belching funeral torch, now a little too close. Indeed, billows of sulfurous smoke brought
tears to my eyes. Perhaps, I was just crying with Popo, since neither Popo nor I were one with Izta.
I gazed north to Ista’s sleeping shape, trying to understand.
I had just been there on Izta, and now I wondered why I had dashed over here to be with the man
when the girl was over there. No wonder I couldn’t get a decent date.
– Gerry Roach - From
Transcendent Summits - Popo 1960
|North America’s Highest Peaks
5. Mexico’s 17,887-foot Popocatépetl
|Popo’s North face
Gerry took this shot in Nov 1983 while camped near neighboring
Izta’s summit, on a traverse of that peak. The evening was fine and Gerry
hiked from the tents to a nearby ridge to capture the moment on film.
|Located in central Mexico only 30 miles southeast of Mexico City,
Popo is Mexico’s most famous mountain. It is the second highest
peak in Mexico and the fifth highest peak in North America.
Popo has been in the news in recent years because it is erupting and
the mountain is currently closed to climbing. Most of Popo’s ice cap
is now gone and this photo is a memory of a younger, more beautiful
Popo. I have climbed Popo six times over the years, and lament the fact that I
will not be able to enjoy this summit again unless the eruptions calm down.
|– Gerry Roach