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Newbie climing Orizaba at the end of December

Regional discussion and conditions reports for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the Mexico Climbing Partners section.
 

Postby Mountainjeff » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:51 pm

I feel, judging from your experience, that you may be pushing it a little too much. Any climb at 18000 ft is a serious climb. I would recommend taking at least one experienced person along. Reading summitpost pages, or even Freedom of the Hills (a very excellent resource) will not suffice for actual experience. Part of being experienced is knowing when to turn back, which is crucial in such an extreme climate. I learned this lesson the hard way by being involved in a serious climbing accident that put a close friend in a coma for 5 weeks. That is not how you want to learn. Taking a mountaineering class is much less emotional traumatizing. Start small and work up.

You should consider trying a less extreme climb. Mt Adams in Washington state would be a great alternative. i have introduced several people to mountaineering on its slopes.

Best of luck whether you continue the climb or reconsider,

Jeff
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Re: Noob Question About Water for Climbing Pico de Orizaba

Postby Haliku » Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:38 am

bird wrote:You should get a 5 gallon jug of water in Tlach and bring it with you in the jeep. If you can't do that then you must have filter/iodine. There is water about 100yds from the hut.
3 liters should be good (Drink a liter before you leave the hut too). Camelback tubes can freeze, so I'm not a fan for cold weather climbing.
You should spend at least a 3 nights at 8K (Mex City/Tlachichuca), and then 2 nights in the hut. That's pushing it. If you can climb an acclimating peak like La Malinche before you'll be better off.
Just buy Secor's book on Amazon and do what he says. Make sure you can walk in crampons, self arrest and you should be fine. Or not, but that's mountain climbing...


I agree with Bird. Having just returned from there a few days ago I'd say skip the camelback. They froze. 2-3L of water for the climb should work if you already know how much you drink on a climbing day. Take a partner or just go get experience on lower peaks would be best for your climbing career. Cheers!
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Postby deep6 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:58 pm

bird/hailku:

thanks for the info.! i agree w/ you guys about the camelback tube freezing up on ya...i was able to dethaw my tube on toubkal last winter so i've been experimenting w/ just carrying water bottles up and possibly one of those gatorade plastic bottles which seems to be the lightest weight but, guess you can't put boiled water in them though.

i think i'm going to carry a water filter/iodine tablets with me just in case if i have to dip into that watersource since there is no water available at the hut up on orizaba. yes, i need to check out that book and brush up on my crampon/ice axe skillz so would those acclimatization peaks that you guys mentioned allow me to practice those skills on snow,etc...? also do you guys think 6 - 8 days is sufficient for the total trip (acclimatization/rest day(s)/actual climb of orizaba)??

also, still trying to decide on using a guide service such as serviot? or tag along w/ some peeps from SP since i'd be going solo...the US based guided climbs run any where from 2 - 3 grand so how much do the local companies charge? oh one more thing to add to my long list of ?'s...how much would one expect to pay for airfare from cali into mexico city these days?

anyways, thanks everyone for the help and the 411 on pico de orizaba...
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Postby Athos791 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:06 pm

Orizaba Mountain Guides is a guiding company headed by Roberto Flores Rodriguez (Oso). Oso has climbed Orizaba nearly 200 times. I am using his services in January, and he has come HIGHLY recommended by many of my climbing friends.
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Postby parky » Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:29 am

yes, i need to check out that book and brush up on my crampon/ice axe skillz so would those acclimatization peaks that you guys mentioned allow me to practice those skills on snow,etc...? also do you guys think 6 - 8 days is sufficient for the total trip (acclimatization/rest day(s)/actual climb of orizaba)??

also, still trying to decide on using a guide service such as serviot? or tag along w/ some peeps from SP since i'd be going solo...the US based guided climbs run any where from 2 - 3 grand so how much do the local companies charge? oh one more thing to add to my long list of ?'s...how much would one expect to pay for airfare from cali into mexico city these days?


If you need a quick reminder, you can see much of the text of Secor's book online at Google Books.

I've just got back to the UK from our own Mexico trip, but we decided not to make it a rush job like many North Americans can so easily do. We travelled around by public bus, acclimatizing first on Nevado de Toluca, then Ixta before going on to Tlachichuca. I guess the climbing part of our trip took us 2 weeks, all told - but, hey, it was a 50th birthday present to myself, so why rush it? If you start with Ixta, you could acclimatise first at Altzomoni Hut, then head for the Grupo de los Cien Hut. Once up on the summit ridge you could very safely brush up your crampon/ice axe technique on the gentle icy slopes as you drop down to reach the level top of the Ayoloco Glacier. (You can't do this on NdeT or Malinche)

If you're confident of your winter skills plus performance at altitude, you should probably have no trouble on Orizaba under reasonable conditions. My 60+ climbing partner and I chose to avoid the mice and the starkness of the PG hut by taking stove and tent up to the high camp at 4,900m, so avoiding the need to rush in the morning. We felt this was a good decision, but even up there the odd mouse was still around, so mind your food wherever you go.

We used Snr Limon's 4WD service and accommodation, which I can't fault, although we were grateful that his daughter, Maribel, spoke such good English. Without any guiding services, this cost us US$ 130 each for 2 nights dinner, lodgings, breakfasts and, of course, his 4WD transport up the rugged dirt road to Piedra Grande. I get the impression that Servimont has an excellent reputation, but charges quite highly for it. We carried iodine out from the UK, but it never left our base hotels!

(PS: Our thanks to the chef in Haliku's group at the Piedra Grande Hut; the lemon tea given to us at the end of our own long summit day was just divine!)
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Postby Haliku » Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:15 am

parky wrote:(PS: Our thanks to the chef in Haliku's group at the Piedra Grande Hut; the lemon tea given to us at the end of our own long summit day was just divine!)


I can't take the credit...the tea was provided by the other group (Eric Remza's team) in the hut. My team was already in their bags hoping to get some sleep before their first high altitude climb (they didn't sleep). Nice to meet you; I'm glad you had a great climb and visit to Mexico. Cheers!
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Tlachichuca Accomodations and logistics

Postby lefty » Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:50 pm

Does anyone know how much Senor Gerrado charges to stay at Hotel Gerar and 4WD to the Piedra Grande hut? Are reservations recommend for around New Years? If so does anyone have an email address as I can't seem to find one. I've read equally good reports for the services of Senor Gerrado, Senor Reyes, and Jouquin Chohola Limon. I am trying to determine if there is a price difference or any reason to pick one over the other.
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Re: Tlachichuca Accomodations and logistics

Postby Haliku » Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:23 am

lefty wrote:Does anyone know how much Senor Gerrado charges to stay at Hotel Gerar and 4WD to the Piedra Grande hut? Are reservations recommend for around New Years? If so does anyone have an email address as I can't seem to find one. I've read equally good reports for the services of Senor Gerrado, Senor Reyes, and Jouquin Chohola Limon. I am trying to determine if there is a price difference or any reason to pick one over the other.


From the Orizaba page: www.servimont.com.mx; or by email (info@servimont.com.mx). J.Ortego #1-A Tlachichuca, Puebla C.P. 75050; Mexico 245-451-5082

Limons charge $12 per person per night for a room. $6 for breakfast and $7 for dinner. Transport to hut is $45 per person. All in USD. I just used them 2 weeks ago for the third time. New Years is busy so reservations would be a good idea. Cheers!
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