I summited some days ago solo. So I have now climbed Pico de Orizaba twice solo, first time three years ago, each time at the end of November. I still don't consider myself an experienced climber, so I also did have my worries, but I never experienced any problems, nor with route finding nor with the weather/ice conditions. I believe it also depends on the weather conditions a bit...
That said here are some ideas that conforted me on the way up:
- I went during a weekend each time, so you'll then always have other climbers in the refugio Piedra Grande discussing the route, conditions etc. Also, I climb pretty fast.
- So I am the last to leave the refugio, with all the light of the headlamps winding across the labyrinth. However I never really trailed any of them, the trail is pretty clear, from climbers going up days before.
- Also previous guides had marked the trail with little red flags, mainly in the labyrinth, and then again on the upper part of the glacier.
- Never experienced any rockfall on this route, not in the labyrinth, not higher up.
- Indeed, if you start at sunrise, the trail will be even clearer. That was my plan this time, but everyone in the refugio left before 2 am! so I was well awake by then, and then couldn't hold myself anymore and left at 3 am, reached the summit at 7.30.
- I took a shared taxi (10 pesos) from Tlachichuca to San Miguel Zoapan. From there I walked in 1 hour to Miguel Hidalgo, from there 3 hours - through the forest - to refugio Piedra Grande. On the way down I got a free ride all the way down to Tlachichuca from a local police officer, was I lucky!