Pico de Orizaba

Pico de Orizaba Trip Report (#1122)

Well, after three years of dreaming of this peak, the summit was finally attained. I wanted to thank all of the climbers whom I contacted before my climb and provided greatly appreciated and invaluable advice with regards to logistics, terrain, and experiences. The most important part of the climb is the acclimatization schedule. I arrived in Mexico City and immediately traveled to IMSS Resort and stayed the first night at 10k. The next day I climbed La Malinche (14,600) and suffered a lot as a result of the altitude; headache and overall weakness. That night I stayed at IMSS again. The third day I traveled to Puebla and then on to Thlachicucca and stayed at the Reyes. The fourth day we headed up to Piedre Grande in the afternoon and drank a lot of fluids and ate well. I then went to sleep (if you could call it that with all the mice and anticipation of summit day) at 7:00 pm and awoke at 1:00 am the following morning and reached the summit at 8:30am with absolutely NO AMS. I have to confess I was on DIAMOX the whole time and it probably helped out a lot. The glacier was in pretty bad shape--broken shingle ice and snow on the lower slopes and ok snow on the upper parts of the glacier. There was hardly any new snow and the exposure below the headwall (gulleys), with all the icy conditions, was very significant. I felt much better when we actually made it to the glacier. Roberto was my guide and made the whole experience more enjoyable and I learned a lot more from him just by being there. Thanks, Roberto. The buses in Mexico are awesome and are frequently on time. If anyone needs help or further advice, I welcome the opportunity to help anyone as many people helped me and definately saved me some time with various pieces of information. Cool mountain and a cool trip!! Reyes' family is also very cool!!

Jeff Gunderson

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