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Pico de Orizaba Climber's Log

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OregonNativeRoute Climbed: East Glacier, right couloir Date Climbed: Fall 2000  Sucess!
Climbed with V.S. hut to hut with empty packs. It was a nice time, but I've worked harder for routes 50 miles from my house and 10,000 feet lower. Secor states that techincally, the route is the most difficult on the mountain, but I wish I would have done more research. Some guy we met the night before hiked up to 16 with water and to carry our rope and jackets down as a kind gesture. I love that sort of thing.
Posted Nov 14, 2002 6:25 pm

edouetRoute Climbed: Jamapa Glacier Date Climbed: 17 December 2001  Sucess!
Summit reached with Peter Anderson, from Missoula .

First day, started from Piedra Grande to find a place to sleep, at about 4800 m .

No tent, only sleeping bags . Sun is hidden by the mountain at 3.00 P.M.

The night was clear, and no wind : we were lucky !

Woke up 3.30. A.M.

Quiet walk to the Glacier, then hard and strenuous climb . No noise, only our breathes and the sound of the crampons on the ice .

After a 4 hour climb, we could dominate all MEXICO .

Great time of happiness !

48 minutes to go back to the foot of the glacier, whereas it took us 3 hours 30 from that point to the summit .
Posted Oct 26, 2002 2:03 am

climberkjpRoute Climbed: Jamapa Glacier Date Climbed: January 1, 2002  Sucess!


Thought we were the first summit team of the year, until we saw a solo climber coming down five minutes from the top. Beautiful day, beautiful mountain.
Posted Oct 22, 2002 1:49 am

Craig PeerRoute Climbed: Standard route Date Climbed: 1976  Sucess!

Craig Peer

All I remember is a painfully early start, a long slog and a big altitude headache at the rim. But what a grand view!
Posted Sep 23, 2002 12:11 pm

tloganRoute Climbed: Ruta Sur Date Climbed: july14 2002  Sucess!


What a beast of a mountain! It takes more than a few whacks at you to determine whether you are worthy or not... Found a small window of decent weather (which for Mexico in the last few weeks is miraculous) and went with it.

Went to the refugio from Sierra Negra (what a beautiful mountain) and then woke up at 1:15 after a cracking hours sleep, and was on the mountain by 2:30. The darkness seemed interminable... but at about 6:00 we donned crampons and changed things up... the snow was extremely firm and stayed that way until we reached the pulpit and then on to the summit.

Summited at about 7:45 after five and a quarter hours. Spent about 40 minutes up there.. was a little blustery for July (at least for me...)

The lights from Esperanza, Serdan and many other ciites was beautiful...

This climb was considerably more difficult than Izta... but was nonetheless an enjoyable climb despite the hyperdynamic weather that was changing by the minute.

At around 5500m started to feel the affects of altitude a little but that only slowed my guide Juan Hernandez and I a liitle.

A huge, challenging mountain... furthering my love affair with the mountains of Mexico!!!
Posted Jul 14, 2002 7:23 pm

El Tigre ValderramaRoute Climbed: Jamapa Glacier Date Climbed: January 10 2002  Sucess!

El Tigre Valderrama

MY partner Tom Fralich and I arrived at the hut near piedra grande and started the climb the next day at about 2:30AM. We reached the summit about 6.5 hours later. The glacier was solid and hard neve in general, and since we were very well aclimatized and we were traveling light (no rope was needed given our ability on ice and snow and the angle of the climb, about 55 degrees) we traveled fast and we were back to Tachichuca by the end of the day.
Posted Jun 15, 2002 9:34 pm

patowRoute Climbed: East Couloir Date Climbed: Dec 2001  Sucess!


Solo ascent of the east couloir
Posted May 24, 2002 3:47 pm

Tom FralichRoute Climbed: Jamapa Glacier Date Climbed: January 10, 2002  Sucess!

Tom Fralich

Arrived at Piedra Grande on January 9 and left for the summit that night at 2:30 AM. My partner Juan Valderrama and I climbed unroped to the summit in about 6 hours and returned to Piedra Grande before noon. Because of our prior acclimatization and alpine style approach, we were able to travel to the hut, climb to the summit, and return to Tlachichuca in less than 24 hours. For more details of my climb on Orizaba, check out my Trip Report.
Posted Mar 7, 2002 9:43 pm

beautifulday2bealiveRoute Climbed: Normal Date Climbed: March 1996  Sucess!
Beautiful day...clear, cool, slightly windy. Left warming hut at 2:00am. Beautiful sunrise on the glacier. Summited around 11:30, back at the hut about 3:30. No complications. I was a little disappointed with the summit...seemed a little trashy...and a little light on snow that year...but what a view down into the core of the volcano!

Went with guided group lead by Robert Link. Fabulous guide...great time.
Posted Mar 4, 2002 10:40 pm

Bernhard SauerRoute Climbed: Standard Date Climbed: January 1987  Sucess!

Bernhard Sauer


intended to fly with my paraglider...unfortunately it was far to windy and I carried it back to the hut
Posted Jan 25, 2002 2:43 am

GuiltyRoute Climbed: Normal/Jamapa Glacier Date Climbed: February 22, 2000  Sucess!


After stashing my gear, I left from the small hut at Piedra Grande at 3:45am. I saw no other climbers that day as I ascend up. The early morning was windy which made it for a clear summit day. About half way on the glacier, I was jolted by a very loud crackling of the ice. Of course, this made me climb faster the rest of the day . I summit at 7:40am and was back at camp at 9:43am. Hut to Hut, less then 6 hours.
Posted Dec 1, 2001 3:27 pm

ZekeRoute Climbed: Standard Route/Jamapa Glacier Date Climbed: Feb 2000  Sucess!


Great climb, long 12 hour day. but the summit was sunny and warm. we had a great day.

See: www.theronewelch.com for a detailed description.

but try to get the beer can hut.. we were rudely kept awake by other climbers on our first night there in the big hut. So sleep was difficult.

also, pay respect to those passed away on the moutain at the side of the beer can hut in a memorial area.
Posted Nov 28, 2001 1:02 pm

ElwoodRoute Climbed: normal route Date Climbed: 2/98  Sucess!


After learning a little altitude lesson on Izta. All of us who attempted Orizaba were successful (3 out of 3). This was a much more enjoyable mountain for myself, because it allowed you to use some mountaineering skills. The route was straight forward, although long, not to steep, & had no real crevasse danger. Good fun! Just remember to bring some dry clothes along for the ride back to Tlachichuca. We used Sr. Reyes back then, & thought he was quite expensive for his services rendered. Maybe now he has some competition, & we'll have an alternative to high prices! Let me know?
Posted Oct 23, 2001 8:18 pm

LudovicRoute Climbed: Normal route Date Climbed: July, 13th, 2001  Sucess!
With 3 friends, we summited with perfect weather conditions. During our stay, we notice the weather is clear until 12, often cloudy during the afternoon, stormy on the evening. We don't see anybody during the 2 days on Orizaba, that's really wonderful to have such mountain alone.

We leave the hut (normal route by Piedra Grande) at 2, reach the summit at 8. The route from the hut is clearly indicated by cairns and signs on the left bank of the lava flow.

About the track for Piedra Grande, all prices I've seen to go from Tlachichuca are really huge (35 to 50 USD per person ?), we go with our rental car (Chevrolet Chevy or Opel Corsa in Europe) to the hut, loaded with 4 persons and 6 rucksack. The track was dry, ok, but it was not very difficult. Enjoy the trip !
Posted Jul 25, 2001 5:10 am

UliRoute Climbed: Zic-Zac-Variation of Jamapa-Route, lost my way! Date Climbed: Mar. 5, 2000  Sucess!


Started as a party of three. Reached the summit on my own. On the lower portion of the glacier (at about 4.900m) I turned right and headed for fhe saddle south of the Sarcofago. It was still dark so I missed the existing track. When the slope became steeper and steeper I started to feel unsafe. After a short break I turned left still climbing up. In the early morning light I fortunately crossed the track. At 8 o'clock am I was on the summit. On my way up I enjoyed an impressing sunrise. My highest peak at that time.
Posted Mar 27, 2001 5:29 am

mdostbyRoute Climbed: Direct Variation of the Jamapa Glacier route Date Climbed: January 1999  Sucess!


After summiting Ixta two days eariler I was anxious to attempt Orizaba. After reaching the glacier we turned to the right and ascended a very direct line to just below the summit. Mostly a 30 to 35 degree slope with the upper section getting fairly steep. Maybe a 50 to 55 degree climb. Set protection on the upper part. Descended the normal route.
Posted Mar 24, 2001 8:18 pm

JoshRoute Climbed: Jamapa Glacier (Route Normal) Date Climbed: December 18, 1998  Sucess!


I started my bid for the summit at 3:32am on December 13. There were a dozen or so other people heading for the summit that day. They all left earlier that morning -- some as early as 1am.

The first couple thousand feet of the climb is on a rough trail. The trail is well-marked, and it would be pretty tough to get lost. At around 15,600 ft, I reached the "Tongue." I've read that this part of the climb is often hard ice and is the technical crux of the entire route. However, when I was there, the snow conditions were perfect and the tongue was just a simple 40 degree snowfield. At the top of the tongue is the Jamapa glacier. I didn't see any crevasses, and the route was very straight-forward. When I reached the glacier at a little after 5am, I turned off my headlamp. The sun hadn't started to come up yet, but there was a bright quarter-moon to light the way. I steadily made my way up the glacier to about 17,500 ft where the glacier steepened to about 40 degrees. Before I knew it, I was at the crater. An easy snow covered ridge led to the summit (18,405 ft). The whole ascent took me 3 hours and 26 minutes. As I reached the top, the sun came up, and the mountain cast a huge triangular shadow on the ground and clouds to the west. After about 15 minutes on the summit, I headed down. The descent took about an hour and forty-five minutes, and I was back at Piedra Grande by 9am.
Posted Mar 16, 2001 12:42 pm

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