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Iztaccihualt how difficult?

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Iztaccihualt how difficult?

Postby traveljunkie78 » Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:41 am

Hi,
I am planning to climb Itza next week. I never climbed before, but i will be going with a guide. I am in great phisical shape, and just wondering how difficult will it be for me?

Thanks
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Postby splattski » Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:07 pm

Although we had absolutely perfect conditions, our day three weeks ago on Ixta was pretty tough: http://www.splattski.com/2008/mexico/day_3.html

That said, there are a lot of variables in answering the question for yourself:
You're fit... but for what? Are you comfortable walking up steep hills in loose terrain?
If you are doing it in a day, are you trained to be on your feet for say, 12 hours?

What elevation are you acclimated to? Staying at Amecameca is a good first step, but it's only at 8k. If you are spending the night at the hut, you'll be sleeping at 15k, higher than any peak in the lower 48. If you read through summitpost articles, you'll find plenty of people who had altitude headaches at much lower elevations.... and it's about 3-4 hours (or more) from the hut to the summit.

ON the other hand, Ixta is not technical. So if you are willing to put forth some effort, it is doable for someone without any other peak experience. Your guide should help you take care of yourself to deal with the altitude as best possible: pacing, hydrating, eating, etc.
YMMV
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Postby Dmitry Pruss » Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:33 pm

I was there during Thanksgiving too, right on the heels of splatski crew (very nice TR you've got BTW, I wish I read it before going!). The thing to remember is that there is no direct correlation between your physical shape and your altitude preparedness. Of course if you are in shape you won't get bad cardio distress, but everything else, from nausea and headaches to potentially-fatal brain swelling, remains a possibility at these altitudes. Maybe even a greater possibility if you won't simply run out of breath before ascending to worse problems... So take your "acclimatizaccion" seriously :)

Arista del Sol isn't technical, at even served as a route for "sky marathon" runs from Paso de Cortez to the northern woods (until several fatalities on icy descent on Arista del Luna forced cancellation of the future runs). But in icy conditions it may be extremely uncomfortable w/o crampons (even when I was there, a number of climbers turned back for that reason). It took us 5 hours to reach the top from La Joya, could have been a tad faster if we didn't spend time waiting for La Panza gales to calm down, so I was back in Mexico City with still plenty of time to stroll the museums of Chapultepec. But out of dozens and dozens people jamming the trail on a weekend morning, only 3 reached the summit. Wind, cold, and hypoxia have done in the rest.
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Postby Haliku » Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:57 pm

In case you didn't see it I posted a reply in General. Cheers!
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Postby traveljunkie78 » Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:46 pm

i've been living in mexico city for the past 6 months. so im alsways at a higher altitude. i will defenetly take the aclimatisation seriously. by the way what kind of backback and clothing should i bring. i have to packs one is a northface prophet 45 which is about 3000ci and the other one is a dana design terraplane which is 5,800. Also should i take diamox? HEre they only sell acetazolamida which i guess its the same as acetazolamide in the U.S.

What dosage should i take and when should i start taking it?

Thanks alot for your replies guys! You've been very helpful!
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Postby Dmitry Pruss » Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:12 pm

traveljunkie78 wrote:i've been living in mexico city for the past 6 months. so im alsways at a higher altitude.


uh oh if that's your definition of high altitude then you may be also wildly off target with your definition of great shape, too ;) I'm not trying to tease you or anything, just to bring home the fact that you must not not be lulled by the "fact" that it is "only a dozen kilometers". Ain't that easy!

Toluca for reality check may be a great suggestion, yes. As to the pack, it depends on your guide's plans, where to camp, how many nights to plan for. On the summit push you'd need a good deal of warm clothing (it may be worse than a Chicago winter!) and several liters of water to stave off some altitude problems.
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Postby traveljunkie78 » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:21 pm

i know that mexico city is not that hight up, but its better then when i used to live in chicago that's where im originally form. anyway thanks for the advice i will try to do my best in order to reach the summit
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