This October, I had the opportunity to adventure down to Mexico to climb the third highest peak in North America – Pico De Orizaba. 

Over the following week we would travel from Austin, Texas (489 ft.) to Pico’s summit at 18,491 ft.

This would be my first time mountaineering. Being the product junkie I am, it was fun to grow my gear locker for the new experience! We had to prepare for 13-hour hikes, drastic elevation change and a glacier that awaited us 2,000 ft from the summit.

It would prove to be the adventure of a lifetime. However, the elevation change halted my excursion and was too much for my body to handle – I became a victim to altitude sickness at 16,000 ft. Of course, I was disappointed in myself… 

but I had pushed my body further than I ever had before and I truly felt at peace with my decision not to continue. I knew that by continuing on I would not only jeopardize my safety, but also the others that I was with.

New goals have been set and another trip down to Pico De Orizaba is already in the plans.

We had a few outdoor brands such as Kammok, Hydro Flask, and Kelty offer sponsorship for our trip and the gear they provided proved to be crucial to our time spent on the trail. Huge thanks goes out to them!

Check out this visual diary from the trip, with photos by Joshua Garza, Travis Perkins (who works at Kammok!) and Luke Webster:

Prepping food for the trail. (Photo by Joshua Garza)


Back road adventures. (Photo by Joshua Garza)


Acclimation hike up La Malinche. 14,000 ft (Photo by Joshua Garza)


Featured Product: Kelty Redwing 44 (Photo by Luke Webster)


Arriving at La Piedra Grande base camp. (Photo by Joshua Garza)


Mapping out our plan of attack. (Photo by Joshua Garza)


Kammok came in handy during the downtime. Featured Product: Kammok Hammock (Photo by Joshua Garza)


Featured Product: Hydro Flask 18oz Food Flask (Photo by Joshua Garza)


Acclimation hike up to 16,000 ft on Pico De Orizaba, one day before our summit attempt. (Photo by Luke Webster)


Hey, that’s me! It’s not often I am on the other side of the camera. (Photo by Travis Perkins)


Sunrise from the base of the glacier. Only 2,000 more feet to go. (Photo by Travis Perkins)


Only a couple hundred of feet from the summit. (Photo by Travis Perkins)


Looking back up at Pico de Orizaba on our way home. (Photo by Joshua Garza)



  1. Climbed Orizaba, Popo, and Ixty in 1972 and again in 1973 (3rd, 5th, & 7th highest mountains in North America. The key to avoiding cerebral and pulmonary edema (“altitude sickness”) is gradual aclimatization.
    Cheers! Stu.