Pico de Orizaba

Pico de Orizaba Trip Report (#1125)

I rode down to Orizaba from Tequis on Saturday, stayed in the Piedra Grande hut Saturday night and set off at about 3 am for the summit. Although there had been lots of talk about midnight, 1am, 2am and 3am starts, I was the only person on the way up. I caught a party of four who had camped further up and followed them up to the glacier after a nasty fall on some hard ice in one of the gullies. The night was very clear, with a big moon and I climbed without the headtorch after about 4.30. The snow on the glacier was hard and the going goood and I reached the top just before 9 am. The morning was brilliant the sun cane up at about 5.30 and the sky was clear on the summit with tremendous views. I was quite surprised at how steep the glacier was when it became light and, in hindsight, it would have been adviseable to climb with others, roped up. The glacier is very big and I felt quite exposed and a bit stupid when the others in the party of four asked why I was alone. I live at about 2,000 metres and felt no effects of the altitude except for shortness of breath. The glacier was a good descent, but some of the frozen gullies were tricky and the ground quite soft and loose. There were lots of climbers on the way up by that time, but the sun was already quite high and, to my mind, too hot to be going up. It is a big mountain, even after from the hut and I was very tired when I got back. The ride back down the dirt road to town for a good feed, a hot shower and a soft bed with Gerado Reyes was perhaps the scariest part. Good luck. PS the RJ Secor guide is good for Malinche, Nevado, Popo, Ittza and Pico

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