Pico de Orizaba Trip Report (#936)
- Signed By: Robert Heller
- Date submitted: February 19, 2003
Our summit trip was my father's third attempt on the mountain and my first. He had twice attempted it before only to turn around half way up due to poor ice conditions.
We summited over the New Year break when previously he had tried between the times of Thanksgiving and Christmas. The ice was unforgivingly hard the two previous times, not allowing their crampons to bite well. On his first attempt, after struggling for proper footing for several hours someone is his party dropped a water bottle and they watched as it slid down the mountain until it fell from sight. At that point they decided to turn back.
His second attempt was even less successful, finding the hard ice at even lower elevations. Rumor has is that ice is better in the weeks after Christmas, or so we've found.
One thing I will say, don't get caught late in the day in the low glacial chutes just above Piedra Grande. When rocks begin breaking off, they slide down the ice and will crush anything in their path. Neat to watch, if you're out of the way.