Pico de Orizaba Trip Report (#1086)
- Signed By: Aaron Holowiak
- Date submitted: March 23, 2001
Mexico City - Puebla - Tlachichuca - Refugio - El Cumbre: Bus service from Mexico City: Estrella Roja leaves from the airport every hour on the hour. Much nicer than Greyhound. From Puebla bus station: Estrella Roja to Tlachichuca Tlachichuca: Joaquin Canchola Limon (Ave 3 Poniente 3) has extremely adequate lodging within his gated compound. He's adding a second story of four units to the existing 4 ground level units and expects construction to be complete April '99. His wife will feed you until you are full for $5US. Lodging at Joaquin's is $15US White gas is available at the hardware store down the street for about $2US (1 liter). Joaquin offers transportation to the huts at 14,000' for $35US (each way). Watch out for sick climbers in the Ocatvio Alverez hut (stone hut). A couple of climbers from the states sleeping on the upper platform tipped over their bucket of sick in the middle of the night, contaminating the climbers sleeping below. Joaquin can set you up with guides and personal property watchers. I hired a guide named Israel Breton from Mexico City for $80US. It paid off even if only for the fact that he started cracking the whip at me during the last 300 feet of the glacial ascent. We left the huts at 2:00AM arrived at the edge of the glacier at sunrise and the summit (el cumbre) at 11:30AM There was little wind, the temperature at the crater was 25 degrees. Seeing the crater is worth the walk. The return was 12:00PM - 3:30PM. At the huts (14,000), the wind rolls in around mid-moring and can be gusty at times - that's gusty on top of sustained wind speeds in the 40mph range. It seems to die down mid-afternoon. Joaquin sends up about 8 gallons of agua purificada with you for your stay on the mountain free of charge. Drinkable water can be found on the mountain about 150yds from the huts - everybody knows where it is. I say drinkable as several climbers drank the water without purifying it and did not get sick - at least not for the 2 or 3 days they were up there. Items I could not have done without (or could have but would have suffered): Ear Plugs; chickens, cows, dogs, snoring. Tent. Sunblock. I was able to use US currency almost everywhere in Mexico. The bus tickets were the one exception. I would recommend $70-80US in stricly 1's and 5's. The only large bills I passed were to Joaquin as we settled up on the bill, and to my guide. If you have all your equipment, this is an extremely economical trip.
Airfare from St. Louis (TWA) $250
Bus Tickets $40
Transportation, Lodging, Meals $120
Mexico City Hotel - Aeropuerto Plaza $89 (x2)