#TBT Nevado de Toluca

It strikes me that not too many foreign visitors ever think of exploring Mexico’s many mountains. Other than the handful who come here specifically to do so. I must confess, it didn’t really occur to me to try and climb one for the first few years. Probably due to the assumption that this is very much a specialist endeavor. I can pinpoint the moment I thought to look into it. We were driving to Oaxaca, and out of the window was Iztaccihuatl, looking large above the horizon. I stared at Izta a long while and wondered, ‘How hard can it be?’

It transpired that while it was clearly going to be more arduous that strolling around Chapultepec Park, climbing Izta wasn’t that difficult. My hunt around the web for information showed that plenty of people just stroll up wearing jeans and trainers. But that for a proper go at reaching the summit, it’s best to have a pair of hiking boots and a headlamp. You’ll need to camp overnight as well. But hire a guide and he’ll bring all that stuff for you.

I managed to get a few students interested, and we went for a practice run up the more manageable Nevado de Toluca first. That most definitely can be done in jeans and trainers. And it’s just a day trip. We went on to have a crack at Izta a few months later. We reached one of the summits, but not the true summit, across the glacier at the top. We were held back a bit by a late start, compounded by a couple of our group getting altitude sickness. My mountaineering compadres tried again the next year (without me, due to a dodgy knee) and succeeded.

It turned out that I liked climbing mountains. I went on to summit Ajusco on a couple of occasions and then did the Nevado again with a different group of friends. This photo is from that final venture. This is also the most profitable photo I’ve ever taken. It was bought by a company that produce inflight magazines for a few hundred dollars. Which made the climb doubly worthwhile.




6 thoughts on “#TBT Nevado de Toluca

  1. Many years ago, I made it to the top of Nevado de Toluca and down into the crater. It was very easy! The father of a Mexican exchange student who had been in my class drove me up in his jeep. 🙂 There is a road to the summit, and back then you could even drive into the crater, although that is no longer allowed.

    Great picture. The day I went was gray and dreary.


    • It is a very easier starter mountain. Although, to get to the true peak of the Nevado, there is a small but dodgy climb to finish it off!

      The first time was grey and miserable for us too. Which is why I went back a second time, in hope of some nice weather. It was worth it!


  2. “L” and I climbed el Nevado de Toluca in the summer of 2016. It was quite an adventure, and I’ve even written most of a blog post about it. We took the bus from DF, then hitched a ride up to the base came from some guys who worked in the park. So we didn’t even have to pay admission. The hike itself wasn’t bad at all, but the lack of oxygen made it very slow going. Even though I was in very good shape, running 3 KM 5 days a week in DF, I still had to huff and puff as we climbed to the summit. On the way down, we picked up trash, and left the mountain cleaner than we found it.

    Now I’d like to try Itza or Citlatepetl. If only I could get back to Mexico.


    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Which is quite close to both Shasta and Lassen. I really ought to try climbing one of those.


    • I never suffered from the altitude, and I don’t remember being overly affected by the lack of oxygen. Although it would have made it a little harder work. But then I lived at high altitude long term and was a lot fitter than I am now! Izta is definitely worth the effort, when you get the time.

      Shasta and Lassen definitely look like rewarding experiences! Gorgeous scenery. I know a lot of people have a bit of a dig at Americans for not travelling outside of the US. I’ve often wondered whether those peeps doing the digging have had much of a look at what’s available within the country’s borders…


      • Hola Gary!
        Lassen you can basically just walk up. There’s a long and winding path. My mother and I did it when I was about 8, though that’s many years ago now. And yes, there’s a lot to see in the USA and elsewhere (Mexico and Canada aside) is pretty far away. Plus, as you know, Americans aren’t known for speaking any language besides English.


        • Plus, as you know, Americans aren’t known for speaking any language besides English.

          We Brits are no better. Sadly, I’m a good example. But not that I ever let my inability to communicate stop me. A lack of communication just adds to the adventure!

          Liked by 1 person

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