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How difficult is Iztaccihuatl?

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How difficult is Iztaccihuatl?

Postby traveljunkie78 » Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:44 am

Hi,

Im planning to climb Iztaccihuatl next week, but i was wondering how difficult is the climb. I am totally new to climbing and never climbed before. I will be going with a well experianced guide. Any help will be great.

Thanks
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Postby mstender » Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:09 am

You might want to post your question in the Mexico section of the Regional Boards and you'll get more answers.
Read R.J. Secor's book "Climbing Mexico's Volcanos".

Matt
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Postby MountainHikerCO » Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:45 am

Never climbed anything before? Does your guide know that? I suggest an acclimation climb of one of the lower volcanoes first, like Toluca or La Malinche. Aside from acclimation, these peaks will give you an idea what it’s like to walk uphill at elevation. The other choice would be to take the time to acclimate on Izta.

Izta is not an easy mountain. All of the up and down along with the loose rock really wears on you, especially on the return. My wife, who has climbed all of Colorado’s fourteeners, many thirteeners, Orizaba, Rainier, Grand Teton, Toluca, La Malinche and has been above 20,000’ in the Andes, feels it’s the hardest mountain she has done.

I’m not trying to discourage you, but I trust you have been doing some endurance training. Being able to dig deep, along with being acclimated is what will get you up and down Izta.
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Postby traveljunkie78 » Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:00 am

the guide knows that i haven't climbed before. i am in great physical condition. i wont have time to climb any other volcanoe, but i will be in the town the night before the climb.
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Postby Haliku » Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:52 pm

traveljunkie78 wrote:the guide knows that i haven't climbed before. i am in great physical condition. i wont have time to climb any other volcanoe, but i will be in the town the night before the climb.


Even in great shape you don't have the conditioning for altitude and hill climbing. That said if you have the mental toughness you can pull it off in a long and somewhat painful day. Don't be so focused that you can't think of calling it off when you realize you are out of steam. Remember you have to get back down also.

MountainHikerCO wrote:Izta is not an easy mountain. All of the up and down along with the loose rock really wears on you, especially on the return. My wife, who has climbed all of Colorado’s fourteeners, many thirteeners, Orizaba, Rainier, Grand Teton, Toluca, La Malinche and has been above 20,000’ in the Andes, feels it’s the hardest mountain she has done.


I agree that it is lots of loose rock and scree but the hardest? Was she off her game that day or not in the shape/acclimated as she should be? As for the physical demand required I'd say its harder than most CO 14ers but easier than Rainier or Orizaba.

Traveljunkie: Since you are new to SP I'm adding these links instead of assuming you've seen them.
Izta Mountain Page
Izta Route Page

Good luck!
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Postby supermarmot » Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:35 pm

itsakadoozie
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Postby MountainHikerCO » Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:46 am

I think the main thing you can do now is make sure you stay well hydrated, including before the climb (important). Have a water bottle as your companion while driving up, and any time you are at the trailhead before starting the hike. Also keep up with eating, since you will need fuel. If you can spend some extra time at the trailhead elevation before going higher that would be a huge plus. I just read on the other thread you live in Mexico City. That is good since you won’t be coming from sea level.

As for harder than Orizaba & Rainier, I agree how you feel that day is huge. For me getting to the summit wasn’t bad. All the up and down on the way back can wear on you though. I found Rainier harder, but the strong wind we had that day, and the restriction of traveling on a rope, instead of my own pace wore on me. I would say that Orizaba is mentally harder than Izta because of how long you have to stay focused on the glacier. With Izta, it’s the return from the summit that is a bigger deal than typical.
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Postby traveljunkie78 » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:08 am

Hey guys,

First of all i would like to thank the ones that helped me out about the Itza trip. I left for the hut at 11am on Mon and made it to the hut in 3 hours. Relaxed all the rest of the day in the hut and i had no altittude sickness what's so ever. I was very surprised because it was my first time climbing. We left for the summit at 3am and peaked it just as the sun was rising about 6: 20am. It was breathless for me. After that we sat at the summit for about 15 minutes because it was cold and windy all day, then straight from the summit we headed down to la joya and made it back in 9 hours. I was tired, but not as much as i thought i would be. Anyway just thought i would share my experience with you!

Thanks guys!!
Last edited by traveljunkie78 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Dmitry Pruss » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:29 am

"No altitude sickness" you mean. Great pace BTW. This settles the doubts for me, your altitude adjustment "in the city" really worked after all, and the physical shape was 100% up to it too. What do you do to keep in shape, if that's not a secret ;) ?

When I was there I jogged around Bosque Chapultepec but I was having some second thoughts, cuz people keep talking about pollution and how an exercise in such a smoggy area might hurt you shape rather than help it :roll:
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