In Mexican mythology, Iztaccíhuatl was a beautiful princess in love with Popocatepetl, the most handsome and brave of warriors. The princess’s father sent the warrior to a battle with the promise of giving his daughter on his return, if he gave her the head of his enemy.
After swearing eternal love, the princess and the warrior separated. She was totally disconsolate and he left with his forehead held high and his heart swollen with love.
A Tlaxcalteca, suitor of Iztaccíhuatl told her that her beloved had died in battle and managed to convince her to marry him. Some time later, the warrior returned victorious; but Iztaccíhuatl, who had already surrendered to the Tlaxcalteca, committed suicide before the impossibility of offering his great love his purity. As a result, the warrior died of sadness.
That night, the Aztecs saw that in their valley two magnificent mountains had emerged: one in the shape of a reclining woman and the other, tall, impressive, like a warrior standing at the foot of his wife. They were the two lovers whom the gods had turned into immense mountains so that the people would forever remember the history of this unfortunate love
Popocatepetl still throws smoke from time to time to confirm that he watches over Iztaccíhuatl who sleeps next to him.
It is said that, from afar, the Tlaxcalteca, converted into the Citlatépetl mountain (Pico de Orizaba), monitors the dream of lovers who can never be separated.
I love this legend of the Volcanoes, how true I don’t know, the truth is that we can enjoy these three beautiful volcanoes framed with this story, I have returned to Iztaccíhuatl, a week ago I tried to reach the summit with a group of hikers led by Axel of the company Axtrim Mountain and Photography, @axlaxtrim an extraordinary mountain guide with an excellent material and human team.
It was not a good ascent for me and I could not reach the summit, we started at midnight from the base camp installed in La Joya at 4000 meters, from there to reach the summit that is 5220 meters must pass some hours , the ascents from La Joya begin at this time to be able to arrive at dawn and watch the sunrise.
On this occasion the thoughts did not help much and it seems that I develop a bit of mountain sickness, and although I am a defender of the power of thought on the body, the truth is that while it was rising, the cold to a few degrees below zero, the darkness in which I am not very good at walking and the lack of adequate rest in recent days did not allow me to continue, so about 3 am I arrived at the well-known and called refuge of the “Group of the hundred” at 4715m and Once there, my head and body do not know in what order they first refused to continue ascending. So I had to separate myself from my promotion partners and my good friend Kiki whom I met on my trip to Nepal to run the Everest base camp marathon and who had the thrill of crowning the summit, they all looked in perfect condition or so I saw them, hours later they could enjoy a great show from the summit of Iztaccíhuatl
I spent a few hours trying to sleep and protect myself from the cold along with 30 other mountaineers who took refuge there. A couple of hours later when it was dawn and the sun was shining and warming with its rays, I opened my eyes and I could see how different the world looked.
As I descended the mountain trails, with Dominic one of the mountain guides and mountain rescue volunteer, doubts about my abilities attacked me thinking if indeed this issue of age and my belief that it is only a number and that It doesn’t determine what you can do or not, have I invented it or really, if there is a limit marked by the years?
So a week later I returned to visit the sleeping woman, not thinking of summiting but changing the strategy, to change those thoughts that went around in my head, I decided to go up to the shelter the one where I arrived exhausted, I wanted to know what had happened and correct what he had done wrong.
It was a good experience, I felt very confident I started the ascent at 9 in the morning and at noon I had reached the shelter, a few minutes later I undertook the descent, I had a spectacular view of the Popocatepetl that accompanies you along the path, and Sometimes it makes you look back when you can observe its exhalations reminding you of how tiny we are in this universe.
It was only half the ascent, but the confidence came back, it is true maybe I can’t keep up with the 30-year-olds, but I can go at my own pace and do many other things.
And then this was what I learned from the mountain.
You can’t keep up with anyone, you have to find your way, as in life for all things.
Sometimes the road gets rough and you can suffer it, you can get the worst out of you, but there is always a time when that difficult road ends.
When you feel that the place you have to reach is very far away, turning to the path you have traveled helps to move forward.
If you thought a climb was difficult, the descents are worse, but you can find fun and learning in both.
In the most difficult moments it is important to control your thoughts because your mind can both sink and save you.
There is no greater satisfaction than knowing that you achieved what seemed impossible. Sometimes your body, your mind and your spirit have their ways of teaching you what you are capable of and pleasantly surprising you.
So in a couple of weeks I will return, the mountain is always there, imposing and majestic waiting for the mountaineers who humbly dare to challenge their paths.