It was always on my mind to climb Pico Orizaba, since I have arrived Mexico in September. So finally I went to the small village Tlachichuca, because I had red on a guide book, that you can start from there.
Señor Gerardo the owner of the hotel Gerar organized me a very nice and good guide, his name was Roberto Flores Ryz (“Oso”). He also provided me with ice axe and crampons.
On October, 30thSeñor Gerardo drove us up with his four wheel drive to the hut called “Piedra Grande” (4200m). We could see the top, but clouds, they usually come up in the afternoon, were around. We met some other groups at the hut, but they all went down that day, so we were the only ones at the hut, which is very basic. You have to bring up everything even water. It was quite windy and cold that day. Roberto fed me very well; he forced me to eat a lot. At around 7 pm we tried to sleep, the wind got stronger at night and we could not start at 1 am because of rain. At 2.30 am the clouds went further down and it cleared up. Roberto hiked very slowly from the beginning on, which suited me perfectly. It was still quite cold and windy.
First we walked for about 2 ½ hours over rocks and sand. We made some five minutes breaks. After that the snow part begun and we put on crampons. 1 ½ hours later we arrived the glacier (5100m), which was also covered in snow, just sometimes you could see the ice shining through. Sunrise was around 6 am. We had some clouds in between, but finally the sun broke through. We mad a longer break at the beginning of the glacier and Roberto secured me with a rope from then on.
We hiked up the glacier with ace axe and walking stick, it was quite steep, but because of the condition of the snow, which was something in between soft and firm we had a good grip. We just once passed a crevasse. After 3 ½ hours and two small breaks (Roberto forced me to eat) we arrived the crater rim. It is a beautiful crater.
While hiking up the glacier my hands and feet got very cold, therefore I tried to move them all the time. Fortunately the sun was out, which helped a lot. About 5500m I got a light headache.
After we had reached the rim it took us 15 minutes more to get to the top. We were there at around 10.30 am.
The view was great and I could see Popocatepetl and Itztaccihuatl and the earth down there looked like another planet.
We needed four hours to hike down to the hut and in the end it started to rain, but I did not really care. We arrived just on time for our ride down with Señor Gerardo.
It was a great experience.
Many thanks to Roberto and Gerardo.