My first hike over 10,400 feet. I researched this hike, and I found it slightly more challenging (which meant much more fun) than I expected. The volcano is steep. Once we cleared the treeline the path is not so clear. The scramble to the top was awesome fun, but it is not simply a walk up to the summit. Once the clouds rolled in the winds were extremely strong -- almost scary. Couldn´t see much from the summit because of cloud cover, which means I will have to do this hike again on a clear day for better pictures. Took us 5 hours 52 minutes with about 1 hour of rest and my cohiker had never been on a long hike before, so we could go faster the next time. It is awesome to see Popo, Izta, and Orizaba from the top, and see the crater. Majestic! We also met up with another hiker which made the hike that much more enjoyable.
First of 3 volcanoes tagged in 5 days. I thought the altitude was gonna "get" me, but I felt fine considering I hadn't been over 13,000' in 2 months. Decent amount of snow on ridge to the summit. Clouds obscured some of the view, but I was more interested in WHY there were 2 dogs up there. Good acclimating hike for Izta and Orizaba.
Also reached the top the 15 August 2009, but via de alternate route, which, I agree, was easier. I took all the shortcut trails through the forest I could this time, no need to follow the paved road, untill you see a sign for the second time saying '-> La Cima'.