Pico de Orizaba

Pico de Orizaba Trip Report (#1121)

  • Signed By: Francisco J, Garza
  • Date submitted: March 23, 2001
  • Number of People Encountered:

I joined my friends in Monterrey Mexico and then we drove to Tlachichuca, Puebla; we slept at Mr. Joaquan Canchola`s place. The next morning he took us to Piedra Grande in his truck and from there we climbed to 15500` and camped there. Since we were working on a time limited shedule, I knew that our chances of summiting were slim, but we had to try. We talked to all of the groups that came down from the summit that day and we met the famous mexican climber Hector Ponce (who has been to the Everest) and all of them told us about the very good snow conditions on the glacier and since the weather was cooperating, we started to picture ourselves on the summit. It was the first high altitude mountain for four out of our group of six . But we were hit very hard by the altitude that evening and as a result Mario and Rolando had to go back to the hut. We spent the night at the camp with a temperature of 14 degrees. At 2:30 we woke up (?!)(I dindn`t sleep at all) and got ready for the summit attempt, my head was pounding and I was feeling weak even after taking several Tylenols during the night (reality was setting in), so we took more Tylenols and some Dramamine and got on the dusty trail under the moonlight and clear skies, an american group had gone in front of us. An hour later Rubin had to stop and went back to the camp. Thirty minutes later as we were approaching the infamous lengueta de hielo I was feeling too sick, so I quited too. I went to camp and threw up the little food I had eaten; after finally getting a little sleep I was awaken by the wind and something else that didn`t sound good, sleet and freezing rain; just three hours later the weather was at it`s worst. Later the americans passed by on their way down (they had gotten sick before the storm hit), and two hours later our two friends Beto and Nestor finally appeared trough the fog completely covered in ice, they had to come down after climbing one third of the glaciar de Jamapa. We packed all our stuff and went back to the hut enduring more sleet and a little snow and listening to the roar of the water starting to rush down the gulley. Mr. Canchola picked us up and took us back to town. The only other group (from Poland) remaining on the mountain came down an hour later. No summit for any one today, unlike the day before. After this hard lesson, we found out that you can`t do much aggainst mother nature, but if you want to make it to the summit the key is to ACCLIMATIZE WELL!!!. Thanks so much to Mr. Canchola and his family, we had a lot of fun with them. We`ll come back next year.

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