Hi, A friend of mine atempted the hike from La Joya to the Refugio de los Cien on the Iztaccihuatl Volcano in Mexico on January 30, 2010. They did not make it to the Refugio, I think he went by only a few of the porrtillos before the cold, wind and snow made them turn back.
It was snowing already at the La Joya trail head with a few inches of snow on the ground already when they started the hike. On the way up snow was a few inches to a foot deep in spots with the trail being difficult to see at times due to the snow covering it. Visibility was rather low at times and wind got stronger and stronger the higher they went driving the snow sideways.
Snow level was around 3800m or even less.
I can Imagine that Orizaba should have a lot of snow right now starting right from the Hut.
I had heard from a guide friend of mine that several groups could not make it to the hut by truck recently. They had to hike in due to snow. His group did not summit, somewhere short of 15,000' they turned back due to snow.
Yea, Its quite uncommon to have so much snow and so low on the mountain. Its probable that the current El Nino is causing this since usually its quite dry during this time of year. I saw my friend's pohots and snow was wet and heavy and quite a lot of it so I can imagine avalanche is a serious concern right now on a normally snowless route with little if any avalanche risk almost year round.