Nevado de Toluca, Mexico. 15,354 feet elevation. 40 years old. WHO KNEW?
You should do this. The Pope was in town (Mexico City), so there were nuns and priests at the mountain. They were sliding down that day’s snowfall on car mats. They were wearing huaraches (the rope sandals) and hiking up and down into the dormant volcano like they were 18 years old (though they were not). Something to be said for spiritual beauty.
I stayed with a family in an ejido at 10,000 feet elevation that were harvesting potatoes and long beans. The woman did not speak one word of English, and my Spanish was rough. But, what an amazing adventure. I went with the women every morning and afternoon to see how much water was coming from the spring out of the mountain. We hiked about 2 miles each time at 10,000 feet to do this twice each day.
The men were using horses and rudimentary plows to plow the fields at the same altitude. We would take them lunch; home-made corn tortillas (on a wood-burning stove) and pork green chile with rice.