Pico de Orizaba

Pico de Orizaba Trip Report (#979)

  • Signed By: bob weber
  • Date submitted: March 05, 2002
  • Date(s) climbed: 2/26/02

this was my second trip to orizaba....1ast in 98 was cut short by hurricaine in gulf..

this time the weather was really clear but really cold for some climbers...i climbed alone after setting up a high camp at 15.3k. was very well acclimatized..izta and malinche earlier in week...tried the espinosa route...most direct to the summit ...going strong...already counting this summit in my mental log as i could see no obstacles..until a party of roped climbers retreated above me...they were freezing and felt the wind to be unsafe on the hard smooth ice near summit...i went ahead and climbed into the same wind..70-80 mph w/gusts about 100....crystal clear otherwise....wind chill was bad if not prepared[i was warm]...but...

at about 18,000, sidestepping up with back to wind, my "bombproof KONG crampoons" failed!! left crampon[downhill foot] slipped off twice! my only rational decision was to abort the climb and go down...climbing w/ a good partner roped last 500 to700 ft would have helped reduce the risk...

people die each year on that ice slope...once you slip you stand a chance of skidding 3000 ft into the rocks below!

this is a good training hill, but don't understimate it...climb safe!

bob weber

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