Pico de Orizaba

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Pico de Orizaba Trip Report (#1023)

A group of five wandering soles left San Francisco to explore the states of Mexico D.F., Puebla, and Veracruz. Our ultimate goal was to climb to the summit of Volcan Citlaltepetl, also known as El Pico de Orizaba. After reading all other summit logs of this mountain, it becomes clear that most people drive up to Piedra Grande and aim for the summit from there. A slower and more interesting approach starts east of the mountain in the town of Coscomatepec which is situated at about 5,000 feet. From this small and pleasant city a dirt road will lead past even smaller towns like Ixtayuca, Teteltzingo, and Cuiyachapa. The ascend on foot starts in the village of Portrero Nuevo at 10,700 feet. This small community contains a few simple wooden structures made out of planks harvested in the woods nearby. There is no electricity, no supplies, and no running water (at least not from a faucet). We made our trek to the summit from Portrero Nuevo with 3 overnight camps at 11,500 feet, 13,000 feet, and 16,000 feet to allow plenty of time to enjoy the natural beauty of "Parque National Pico de Orizaba" and to acclimatize to elevation. We reached the summit on Thanksgiving Day and returned to Coscomatepec in the early evening. Eventhough the hike is much longer than from Piedra Grande, it is a more gradual and varied experience. We saw nobody else on this route, except two other climbers from Colorado as they were leaving the summit on their way back to Piedra Grande. If you're interested in a more rugged, off-the-beaten-path experience, check out http://www.wandering-soles.com/mexico.html

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