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Mount La Malinche and Cantona Archeological Site (New Route)

Hosted by the Consul of the Mexico City Hiking & Outdoors Group
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Took place 1 month ago
Sat 22 Sep 06:00 - Sun 23 Sep 20:00

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Two levels available: Medium level Hike (Reach the Arenal above the Timberline at 3,600 MASL /11,800 feet) or Advanced level Hike (Summit at 4,462 MASL /14,640 feet)

The places:

MOUNT LA MALINCHE

Is an inactive stratovolcano (conical volcano built up by many layers of hardened lava) which began to form 30–35 million years ago. Since that time it has grown through eruptions, the last of which is believed to have occurred ca. 3,100 years ago. It is not a typical volcanic cone, but instead has a number of side peaks like Tlachichihuatzi or La Chichita (4,100 m /13,500 ft), Xaltonalli (3,890 m (12,760 ft) and Chicomecanoa (3,650 m (11,980 ft); as well as two of the most dramatically steep slopes in all of Mexico: Barranca Axaltzintle to the northeast (which is believed to be the former crater) and Barranca Axal to the south-southeast. It is located in the state of Tlaxcala east of Mexico City and north of Puebla. It's elevation is 4,462 MASL (14,640 feet) making it the Sixth-highest in Mexico. It is frequently used as a training/acclimatization climb by mountaineers whose main goal is to climb one or more of the "high" volcanoes. When dry, this route requires no special equipment, but trekking poles and helmet are recommended.

The Tlaxcaltecs named it Matlalcueye, which translates to "[Lady of the] Blue Skirt ", a goddess of rain and song. The current name Malinche or Malintzin, after the woman who helped Hernán Cortés as an interpreter during the conquest of the Aztec Empire, became popular during the 17th century.

CANTONA ( Archaeological Site)

It was a fortified city with a high urbanization level at prehispanic times, probably founded by Olmec-Xicalanca groups towards the late Classical Period.

Cantona sat astride an old trading route between the Gulf Coast and the Central Highlands and was a prominent, if isolated, Mesoamerican city between Protected content Protected content . It was abandoned after AD Protected content .

Its maximum apogee is placed at the epiclassical Mesoamerican period, that is, the period during which Teotihuacan ceased to be the main power center in the region and small regional states sought to gain control of the various trade routes. Cantona was one of these regional centers, and controlled Sierra Madre Oriental resources.

THE HIKE

The hike to the Arenal ( just above the timberline) is classified as a medium level, reaching the summit is an advanced hike. We'll need to divide in 2 groups.

The route starts in "Centro Vacacional IMSS La Malintzi. There is a paved road that goes all the way up to Protected content where we'll park. Both groups, Medium and Advanced will start together and at the appropriate time we'll be able to decide who may continue towards the summit, considering they will keep the pace of the advanced group. The other group will continue at the pace of the slowest one with a second guide to the Arenal at 3,600 MASL. As we start hiking we'll have at the left (east) the Barranca Zoquiape, but won't be able to see it as we'll be in heavy forest of alders and several types of oak pines. Not far above the timberline, the trail will split into several trails. You will see now a large and beautiful peak on your right (west) called Tlachichihuatzi or La “Chichita” (4,100 masl (13,500 ft), but this is not the summit. The Medium level group will have lunch while enjoying this view from the Arenal.

To reach the summit the advanced group needs to be in top physical condition and also be able to acclimate to high altitude. It's important you keep hydrated, sleep well and don't drink alcohol the night before, eat well.

Once on the ridge, we'll find a false rocky summit, which requires some scrambling right before reaching the summit.

At the end of the day we will enjoy a tasty dinner in the Rancho's dining room. Then we'll drive towards Municipio de Guadalupe Victoria, Puebla (it´s a 1.5 hours drive) to Rancho La Union, where our host, Ing. Rosendo Cortés will lodge us in rooms with bunk beds for Protected content and baths with hot water showers.

On Sunday we'll enjoy breakfast at the Rancho and head to visit Cantona archeological site, we´ll be provided with a lunch bag for the day ( if you are a big eater, please bring additional snacks for the day). Considering the place is on the way back to Mexico, we'll drive back to Mexico after enjoying the visit.


ITINERARY

SATURDAY 22

6:00 Head towards La Malinche
9:30 Start hike
13:00 Summit
18:00 Return to Rancho La Unión / Dinner (included).

SUNDAY 23

9:00 Breakfast (included)
10:00 Visit Cantona Archeological Site (Box lunch included).
14:00 Return to Mexico City.

Only 26 spots available.

EQUIPMENT:
Hiking boots, Jacket & gloves, headlamp, whistle, hat, sunblock, insect repellent, sunglasses, trekking poles.

Bring drinking water, snacks and lunch.

COSTS:
Includes: Accommodation and meals: 1 lunch, 1 breakfast, and 1 dinner. Great traditional Mexican food, very tasty and healthy. If anyone requires a special menu, please let me know. Guided hike.

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IMPORTANT: We are carpooling! If you can bring your own car, please post this in the activity wall and indicate how many people you could take with you. If you need a ride please post a message too so that others can offer a lift. If you are getting a ride, please collaborate with gas, tolls and car-wash.