Bottom Up Mexico

Hello everyone!

We have been quiet, too quiet, but for good reasons.

Our latest project is Bottom Up Mexico, from Veracruz, on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, to the Pico de Orizaba, 5,636 m, the highest volcano in North America.

This time, we don’t have friends who can offer local support and we are on our own.  The planning was thus a little harder than what we were so far used to.

Moreover, the top season to climb the volcano is late autumn and winter, which poses a lot of problems when it comes down to fit the trip into our very tight working schedules. So, we had to squeeze our climb into 5 days, which is a bit shorter than usual and it will be physically and psychologically very tough.

At the moment, Alessio and I are on the train to Munich, where hopefully we will board on our airplane directed to Mexico City, Anne boarded in Frankfurt, a couple of hours ago. Why such an articulated logistics? Well, it’s complicated but it can (almost) all be traced back to: a pilots’ strike, a train strike, floods in northern Italy, a funeral, a smoking car engine, a car accident on the highway (in which luckily we were not involved), a non functioning credit card, a stolen phone, a broken ski… and I may have forgotten something…

Once we land in Mexico City, our plan goes more ore less like this, omitting some inessential steps

11/26 – Drive to Veracruz, with a stop in Tlachichuca to drop our mountain equipment and continue with just our bikes

11/27 – Cycle to Cordoba, 850 m a.s.l. (130 km, about 1000 m climb)

11/28 – Cycle to Tlachichuca, 2600 m a.s.l. (100 km, about 2200 m climb)

11/29 – Cycle to Refugio Piedra Grande, 4200 m a.s.l. (24 km, 1600 m climb)

11/30 – Rest day

12/1 – Summit day, Pico de Orizaba, 5610 m

12/2 – Backup summit day

3/12 – Drive to Mexico City and fly back to Europe

If you want to read something about the genesis of our project, read Anne’s post!


Getting ready for our next volcano: Pico de Orizaba in Mexico

It is always exciting to start a new project when you have an idea about doing something. The thoughts in your mind are chaotic and they are hopping around like flipper balls. And then you press the start button and it rolls. Its still chaotic but it becomes clearer and clearer.

Our new project will start in the middle of November 2016. We want to climb the third volcano in our series “Volcanic Seven Summits Bottom Up Climbs” and we decided to rock the highest volcano of North America. It is the Pico de Orizaba in Mexico (5636 meters)! Of course we want to do it in the Bottom Up Climbs Style what means to start at the lowest point of the country which will be on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico.

The first thing we do is to make a research about the country and its special landscape. Due to the fact that we have no library of maps we use google maps or open street maps to get a first impression about the conditions. We find out where the highest point is and then we decide where we need to start. On google maps you can see only the road and some smaller streets but no hiking or biking trails. It is always a surprise when we get to the country to see how the roads are! For our new project we decided to start in Veracruz at the shore of the ocean. Veracruz is a big city what makes it normally easier with all the logistical things. Apropos logistical things: I dont know why but on this trip everyone has a special idea: Beppe wants to be independent what means that he doesn’t want to have a support car who carries all our bags. That means that we have to organize everything for ourself. Alessios ideas makes it not easier because he wants to ski up and down the last section of the volcano (approximately 750 meters). That means we have to carry the skis and boots and poles as well. Due to the fact that we have no support car it will be a challenge to cycle and hike with all that equipment. Compared to Beppes and Alessios ideas is my wish very simple: I don`t want to sleep higher than 4000 meters what means that the boys have to be fit to climb the summit from that hight in one go. Fortunately the last hut is on 4200 meters what means that we can stay there for 2 days and acclimatize. The summit day will be at least 1400 vertical meters. Absolutely makeable 🙂

Due to these “extra”-wishes the trip needs a proper logistic planning. Although we only have 8 days for everything!!

At the moment we try to plan the “external factors” like: to organize a rental car from Mexico city to Veracruz; Try to organize rental mountainbikes; Organize the hotels (easy); organize the stay at the Pedra Grande Hut on 4200 meters because there is no water source. Therefore we need a guide with jeep who drives up the water for us because it would be impossible to hike up with all the equipment AND water for 3 days (12 liter?!). Then we need to organize the transport back to Mexico city. The internal factors are about food, mechanical equipment for the bikes, how to pack everything (when we don’t find rental bikes we have to travel with our own bikes what means to travel with: bike, ski, ski boots, ski poles, ice axt, rope, bike shoes, hiking shoes, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, helmet, bikes clothes, glacier clothes, food,…. I don`t see myself with all that equipment traveling from St. Moritz village to the airport by train !!)…

Luckily I asked a friend I met during my “4 Deserts Race” and she is Mexican. She gave me a contact of a friend who lives in Veracruz and is also a keen outdoor enthusiast. At the moment we try to organize everything with the help of Mario and hopefully everything will be fine!


Stay connected with us and learn in the next blog post who we are and what makes our three different characters so special!


Finally, a video of the Bottom Up Africa

After almost a year, we have the final version of our Bottom Up Climbs Africa video.

Thanks to our amazing video crew

Due su Due

Their Facebook page

All our backers and supporters will receive their rewards within a couple of weeks. We are very sorry for the huge delay!

Pay a visit to the charity we support:

Paulchen Esperanza

Yeshe Norbu

You can also have a look at Anne-Marie’s blog


And… in the meanwhile, we have been working on the next stage of our Bottom Up Volcanic Seven Summits and we are almost ready to announce it.  Stay tuned.

Bottom Up Africa (Kilimanjaro): WE DID IT!!!!

We are finally back home, all safe and sound after having successfully completed the second stage of our Bottom Up Volcanic Seven Summits project: Bottom Up Tanzania.

In 9 days we went from Tanga, on the Indian Ocean, to the top of Africa (Mount Kilimanjaro, 5895 m).
We cycled through Tanzania for five days, discovering the vastity and the wonder of its nature and the kindness of its people.
Then 4 days to climb Kilimanjaro on the steep and hard Umbwe route. The air was thin especially during the last night at almost 4900 m, just before reaching the summit. We descended then almost 4200 m on the same day to reach the Mweka Gate.

Only two days later our team member Anne-Marie climbed again the mountain on the same route in an astonishing 8h32m time and was back at the Mweka Gate 12h58m after departure. Her time sets a new fundamental record in the history of speed climbing on Mount Kilimanjaro. Read her report on this amazing adventure (in German).

Now we need some rest to let the feelings and the emotions of this amazing journey settle.

In the meanwhile, you can check here a preview of the pictures that our fantastic Duesudue team took during our journey.

And now, you can finally watch a video of our journey!

Thank you to all our supporters and to the contributors of the crowdfunding campaign who made our dream possible. We won’t stop here, we have already started planning our next stage and you’ll here about it soon.
Special thanks to our sponsors Bettina, Tracker, V-Attitude, Trek’n Eat, UVU, to the guys at Trekili for the logistics and organisation on Kilimanjaro and to Duesudue, our fantastic photographers Alino – aka Walter – and Francesca who struggled with us to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro. Thank you also to our friend David in Tanzania.

Our friends at Paulchen Esperanza and the Yeshe Norbu NGO are celebrating with us.

If you wish to know more or become a partner of Bottom Up Climbs, please feel free to contact us via email or on our Facebook page.

Bottom Up Africa

In Summer 2015, our Volcanic Seven Summits project continues. We are going to Africa and climb Mount Kilimajaro, 5895 m, from the lowest point of Tanzania, the shore of the Indian Ocean in Tanga.

Due to the cost of the climbing permits and the fact that we will be accompanied by a filming crew, we need to raise some funds, and you can support us on the best crowdfunding paltform, Indiegogo.

You can get amazing rewards, check out our campaign!

Departure is set for July 13, and summiting around July 20 to 24, stay tuned!

Get inspired by the emotions of our 2014 Bottom Up Iran

Watch our team member Anne-Marie, telling you, very honestly, why we chose the Volcanic Seven Summits.


To our new friends, and to everybody else

Dear Iranian friends,
I am sure I can write also on behalf of Anne-Marie and Alessio, saying that this trip has probably been the most surprising and one of the most amazing experiences of our life.
The way you treated us gave a new meaning to the word hospitality, shifting it towards something that would better be described by the word brotherhood. Seeing how close we can be, despite our differences, drove into our hearts new hope for the future of all of us.
We don’t need to be equal to live together, to help each other, to love each other.

You taught us so many lessons in these days, you gave us so many gifts, material and immaterial, that we don’t know whether we will ever be able to pay you back, but precisely this one is one of the most important lessons you taught us: it is possible to give that much to a stranger and give it without expecting anything in return but a smile, a hug, a handshake.
We felt welcomed, protected, cared by all of you to an extent which is hard to describe, but luckily those feelings will always remain in our hearts and hopefully we will be able to spread them around us.

There have been of course some difficult moments, when it has been maybe hard to understand each other, because of the uncertain use we all make of the English language or because of our obvious differences but we have always been able to go beyond those moments and succeed as a team, because there are many more things keeping us together than those tearing us apart.
And here comes the second most important lesson this trip taught us. A few months ago I went to Nepal, to get in touch with a small part of those amazing mountains and with the people and the culture I have been admiring and drawing inspiration from for a long time. When I came back I had a fairly bitter feeling: it had been very different from what I expected, I had seen many beautiful but just as many less beautiful things, I had felt the differences between me and them as much, much larger than I thought.
After these 10 days with you in Iran I have the almost exactly opposite feeling: I was expecting to meet a different culture and I did, but I felt similar among similar. It seems to me that we have the same dreams and the same desires: enjoying the peace of the mountains escaping the chaos of the city and the troubles of everyday life, feeling the stretch that our body is able to withstand sometimes to our surprise, fighting for our small and big rights everyday at home and at work, sharing food and stories with our friends, having around us people we like and with whom we like doing what we like doing, laughing sometimes out of nonsense, feeling a team, a unique body formed by different people.

It would be too easy to say that the best and most emotional moment of this trip has been reaching the summit, where we all felt overwhelmed in a big, long, warm hug and tears flew and not only because of the sulphur gases, but there have been a few other moments when I felt as overwhelmed as on the top of Mount Damavand and I will here list a few of them.
When we left the Caspian Sea in Mahmud Abad and we started cycling through the city: after months of preparation and dozens of emails, we were actually there, cycling with 5 people we barely knew, aiming almost 6000 m higher, how crazy and wonderful was that?
At around 5200 m on the Damavand route: I don’t know whether it was because of the lack of oxygen, which was maybe driving my brain into an unprecedented state, but I felt completely overwhelmed by the beauty and the greatness of what we were doing, climbing altogether the volcano, in the faint light of the morning, in view of the yellow sulphur rocks and the white pinnacle on the top of the mountain. I had to step back for a few minutes, slow down and try to hold my tears and sighs, I felt so little and so great at the same time.
When we were driving to Ahmad’s house for our last dinner together. “Here we are” I thought “driving through this huge city to meet with all our new friends and Ahmad’s family” and that evening is certainly something we will never forget in our life.

I would like to thank you for these wonderful days and all the time we spent together, we kind of know that there won’t be anything similar again, so beautiful, true and surprising and it may feel sad but at the same time it feels great that we were actually there and lived those days.


Mount Damavand: report and pictures.

On Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 8:45 AM we reached the summit of Mount Damavand (5671 m) after cycling for three days, from Mahmudabad (-28 m) on the Caspian Sea and hiking the final 1470 vertical meters from the refuge Bargah Sevom (4200 m).

We spent very intense days mainly thanks to the warm hospitality of our Iranian friends of the Damavand Club without whose support this project would not have been possible.

Watch our emotional video on Youtube!

Anne-Marie, Beppe & Alessio

More news!

Like us on Facebook to see some pictures.


Click here to read Anne-Marie’s report in German.

Here you can read a heartfelt open letter to our new friends, and to everybody else.