to resurrect this thread... i was regarding the cascades peaks as prep for orizaba because of the advice on guiding sites i visited. e.g. http://www.rmiguides.com/international/ ... ifications
. I'm pretty sure I even saw mont blanc cited as a prep climb for orizaba on another site.
anyway, since my original post, i have climbed adams and hood, which have given me a better idea of my fitness level. neither was easy for me and I was the slowest or one of the slowest climbers in both groups. i also had a headache on adams, though i think that was related to poor hydration the day before. anyway, i'm thinking seriously about orizaba this winter, which should give me time to train quite a bit. also considering mont blanc in september, though not sure if i'm able to go from hurting on hood to summiting on mont blanc in one month
i've also been considering just doing ixta, but i think i'll probably regret not going for orizaba if i organize a trip around ixta and find that i can climb it without any problems. of course, if i can't even summit ixta, i'd probably be glad i didn't pay for a guided trip on orizaba... fortunately have several months to chew on these questions.