Pico de Orizaba

Pico de Orizaba Trip Report (#929)

Training Hike on La Malinche was excellent. Camping at the IMSS resort was very loud as this is party central for Mexicans on the weekend. Bus service to/from La Malinche from/to Puebla was difficult. Email me for the details as Secor's book is way out of date!. El Pico de Orizaba - Bus to/from Puebla to Tlachichuca was straight forward. Mr. Geraldo Reyes provided services to and from Piedra Grande and 1 nights accommodation including dinner and breakfast fo US$100 per person. Far less expensive alternatives exist but we were do lazy to search them out. After one night at Piedra Grande my wife and I completed an acclimatizatioin hike to 16,600'. We stashed crampons, axes, harnesses and a rope on the way. It was too much exersion for the day as we decided to sleep in the next day, forego the summit and not leave at the scheduled 1 A.M. departure time. After a leisurely breakfast, at 8 A.M. on March 19, 2003, I decided to head back up to 15,600' where I stashed some gear. The intent was to retrive the gear and return to base. However, the journey went so well and so quickly thatI continued to climb. The weather was clear. However a very strong wind, that had been present for the entire time, continued to blow furiously. I reached the glacier at 11 A.M. and summitted at about 1:30 P.M. Extreme dust and wind!! The solo climb was half over! I made the serious (almost fatal) mistake of heading down the scree on the NE side of the glacier. Head strisght down the middle of the glacier!!! After this error in judgement, an arduous journey back took almost 4 hours. Fortunately, a mix up on pickup times asisted in getting us back to Tlachichuca for a very late dinner. Conditions were extremely windy and very dry. The glacier was in very good shape due to a recent snowfall and very few crevasses. Acclaimitoization svhedule looked like this: Night 1 7000' Night 2 10000' Night 3 7000' Climbed La Malinche Night 3 14000' Night 4 14000' (hike to 16600' during the day) Day 5 Summit Attempt

Pico de Orizaba Trip Report Index