Pico de Orizaba Trip Report (#1081)
- Signed By: Greg Campbell
- Date submitted: March 23, 2001
Travelling solo. Los Angeles to Mexico City by plane. Taxi to Tapo (paid $20 for a $3 ride, don't get scammed). Took Estrella Roja bus line to Puebla. Valles bus line to Tlachichuca (found no evidence of any bus services direct from Mexico City or Tapo as I had read). Upon arrival I made my way to Hotel Gerar (modest, clean, cheap, VERY friendly). Day 2, Gerardo (hotel owner) drove me to Piedra Grande for 450 pesos round trip. At base camp I stayed in my own tent which I was very pleased with. The huts were very active and the privacy adn relative quietness of my tent made for easy sleeping. Day 3, hiked 9am-11:30am (to 15,500ft) and spent the rest of the day resting and talking with fellow climbers. Day 4, left for summit at 2:30am with a guide named Roberto Rodriguez (did a great job and was an excellent companion). Summited at around 10am feeling tired but good. Wind was approx. 40mph at crater and less at summit. The hose from my hydration pack was frozen. The summit was dry with no snow and the skies were mostly clear depite the dust storm raging on Tlachichuca down below.
Helpful info: If staying at Hotel Gerar, the telephone you will use is a 5 min walk down to a corner across from Pemex.
I bought most my water from the indoor market across from the park in the center of town.
Cash in all large bills before getting to Tlachichuca (even the 50peso bill is considered large by some).
ATM for money in Puebla bus terminal (SERFINA) at opposite end from where you get channeled in.
On the summit hike I carried 4qts of water and only drank 2 1/2. My +25 degree down bag was plenty warm enough.
I hiked to the glacier in light trail shoes saving my feet from carrying 5lbs of boot (besides they are so much more comfortable).
The trekking poles saved me on the trip down since I was stumbling all the way.
Hotel Gerar had Gasoilna Blanca. Roberto Rodriguez can be reached through Senor Reyes at his establishment. His fees were $220US.
My luggage consisted of (1) 4000cu pack and (1) 8000cu+ gear duffle and a folding set of wheels (indispensible). This combo worked perfect.
I drank the water from the black hosed spout downhill from the huts UNFILTERED as did everyone else, I was OK. Go figure. It's a risk.
Don't forget your Advil and your earplugs.
Dust in the vehicles on the way up to the huts is HEAVY. I used a bandana.
At the tongue of the glacier, my guide directed m on a left traverse about 25 meters then up a narrow chute (60-70 meters,35-45 degree mixed) to the glacier. He said conditions there were better.
On the route we took up the glacier (gentle left traverse towards ice needle) the surface conditions were crusty with jagged relief due to the melting and freezing. It was far from smooth.