Pico de Orizaba

Pico de Orizaba Trip Report (#20497)

  • Signed By: Barry Bradley of Houston, TX, USA
  • Date submitted: November 21, 2006
  • Number of People Encountered:0-10 people
  • Recommend to a Friend: Highly

What an adventure! My father(who's 62) and I had a successful summit climb with "Oso". We trucked all our gear, food, and water to the hut and rested that day to acclimatize. The next day we climbed up to the base of the Labyrinith to stash our gear(helmets, crampons, and ice axes) under some rocks and then we headed back down to the hut. Later that night we left at 2am and hiked back up and retreived our gear and put it in our packs. This greatly helped us acclimatize. Going through the Labrinith was tricky but lots of fun. Oso's knowledge of the way helped a lot. We reached the bas of the glacier before dawn and put on our gear. I should have put on sunblock at this time because later I had no time to and got bad sunburn on my face. The weather was great but the snow on the glacier was very powdery which sucked on our steps. The last 300 meters to the rim was the exhausting. We finally made it to the rim and hiked over to the summit for pics. The clouds started coming in and by the time we were halfway down the glacier we were covered in a solid white fog. Everything was white with a 30 foot visibility. We heard lighting and then we heard an avalanche on some part of the glacier high up! We kept calm and continued moving looking for other tracks. At one point the ends of our ice axes starting making crackling staticy sounds. Lighting was homing in on them! We immediately thrust them into the snow and left them as we went as fast as we could down even though seeing nothing but white. After about 20 minutes, and another sound of an avalance somewhere on the glacier, we made it to the far side of the Labyrinith. We took off our harnesses and crampons, and any other metal on us and put them in our packs for fear of lighning strikes. The fog lifted by this time and Oso guided us back to the hut. Overall, the danger element made the trip even more awesome and I'd love to go back someday and try another route from the other side of the mountain.

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