Nevado de Toluca: walking up to 4000 metres

The Nevado de Toluca from the approach road, leaving Metepec
Just after Christmas a group of us decided to go and do a 4.5 hour walk round the lake in the dormant crater of what was the volcano called Xinantécatl but which is now known as the Nevado de Toluca. We had planned to drive up to the highest point and then walk, imagining in our innocence lovely countryside, empty of people. Well, since it rained where I am then it was inevitable that the Nevado de Toluca would be covered in snow. Hence its name, Nevado means snowfield. What we had also not taken into consideration was the predilection for Mexicans to touch snow, since most have never seen it or touched it or even made a snowman. 

We left home at 7.30 am and got to Metepec about 10 where we met the others for breakfast. We then carried on for another hour or so and to our horror, had to join a barely moving queue of cars up the access road to the Nevado. It took us ages and ages... Eventually we got there and then we discovered that we couldn't drive up to the highest point and so had to stay in the car park with everyone else. We started walking (it was 2 pm by this time) and at first it was truly awful, so many people scrambling about, the taco stands, and the rubbish, etc. We had to walk and walk to get above all the mess and it was slow progress since we were already at about 3,700 metros and the oxygen a bit thin. We got up into the snow and followed the trails and then we began to enjoy ourselves. We got up to 4000 metros  at 4 pm, lovely synchronization, and discovered a truck was stuck in the snow and mud and a ditch so we tried to help. But we couldn't get it out, they had to radio down for help. Then we decided it was time to go back, since it would be dark soon. The kids carried on for another half hour and got beyond the tree line. It would have been so good to do the walk we intended to do but we will have to go back another day. As it was, we walked for about 3 hours and so felt we had done the trip some justice. 

We got home at about 11 pm, the driving was pretty intense, it's quite a long trip. We came one way but had to go back another way as driving by night it's always better to stick to busy roads and motorways...

Here are some photos of our day.

Inching up the approach road I amused myself taking photos 

Another shot before we got there

Walking along a trail with snow all around us, felt like being in Europe

We made it up to 4,000 metros and here's the proof!

This was the best snowman. What people do is carry the snow back down to the car park, build a snowman on the bonnet of the car, and hope it won't melt before they get back home again. This was definitely the best one I saw. 


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