Just got back from Ixta today. We only made it to the summit on the Knees, but still an enjoyable time. A friend on the trip (who is one of the best rock climber's i've seen) got some altitude sickness, but i think he still enjoyed the trip.
This was the driest i've ever seen it on ixta. We need snow! I was interested to get to the glaciers to see how much they've changed, if at all, but we didn't get that far this trip.
Left Tlachichuca on the 9:45am bus to Puebla's CAPU (31 pesos). Then took the 2nd class "Intermedio" (Estrella Roja bus) to Mexico City and got off at Puente de Chalco. Walked over the bridge to the south side and then took the regular bus to Amecameca (7 pesos). Arrived in Amecameca's main plaza, the "zocalo," around 2:30pm. Here I hired a taxi to take me up to the Altzomoni climber's lodge/hostel. But first we secured permits (they cost 10 pesos as of Feb 2003; they just started charging this year). I also had to pay 60 pesos to stay at the Altzomoni lodge (also a new change). We passed the 1st military post before Paso de Cortes and then at Paso de Cortes we passed the 2nd post. My taxi driver and I agree that he would pick me up the next day around 4:00pm. I arrived at Altzomoni around 4:30pm on Friday, Feb 7th. Altzomoni has bunk beds, power (electrical lighting) and two restrooms with no running water. Bring your own drinking water from Amecameca. I went to bed around 8pm. Got up at 2am and started walking from Altzomoni at 3:07am towards La Joya and onto the peak by headlamp. Routefinding in the dark is somewhat of a challenge. Nevertheless, I managed to make it to the Grupo de Los Cien hut twenty minutes after sunrise. Took a small break here and then headed up via some class 3 rocks towards the Knees. Even though I carried ice axe & crampons, I never used them. Summited Ixta at 10:37am. Took some pictures and began to head down at 10:50am. I finally arrived back at Altzomoni at 2:27pm. My taxi driver got there at 3:40pm and by 5:00pm I was back in Amecameca trying to get a hotel. I wanted to stay at Hotel San Carlos but was all booked. I ended up at Hotel San Marques, which is like 10 minutes north of the main plaza/zocalo. I found Hotel San Marques to be adequate (150 pesos a single bed, 300 pesos for 2 beds). Took a shower and then walked to Fredys Pizzeria and pigged out on a medium pizza. After that, I slept like a baby that night.
Ass kicker! The false summits were brutal (both physically and mentally) What a great way to start my time in Mexico. Drank over 3 liters of water and could have used way more. I was running low on food and had only one Gu (because of the cows). Started from La Joya at 2:30am with 2 others and hit the summit at about 9. Take the time to acclimate and enjoy the view. The lights from mexico city and then later the fog set a different tone that most climbs. See my trip report from Mexico and feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions. Mexico is awesome.
We did it all the way from the Altzomoni lodge (at the base of the TV towers) in one day, though we were spared the hike back up to the hill where the TV towers are located (our ride came down for us). This added only about 45 minutes to the climb, but I think a start from La Joya, or higher up, would have been more enjoyable. But at least we didn't have to lug a bunch of gear and water to the high camp. I really enjoyed the climb, but I think it would have been more enjoyable with more snow cover, as the scree slogging became tedious at times. Also, unlike most mountains, once you are at the summit, it is not all down hill. One must climb back up a few times, including the long climb back up to the knees. Pace yourself accordingly. Watch out for the f@#$%ing bulls at La Joya. One big black one came after me (I was wearing red) after I descended, making this the most dangerous part of the climb!
First 5000 !
Started on 13 Dec. Easy walk from Paso de Cortez to the hut - 4800 - .
Great sunset, can see and ear POPO's heartbeats .
Meeting Peter Anderson, guide on Mount Rainier .
On 14 Dec, out from the hut at 6.00 A.M.; after screes, glaciers .
Second hut has been destroyed by wind .
We reached the summit easily, feeling really good .
Amazing view, perfect clear sky !
First 5,000 meter peak. Great warmup for Orizaba. What a day!
First 5000m+ mountain, the feeling of walking on the glacier is indelible. Watch out for the altitude. Next time I´ll go for a more technical route.
Great route, we were one of three parties on the mountain the day we summitted. Unfortunately, the glacier was in retreat from photos that I have seen of earlier years; no snow on the glacier at all and lots of large penitentes and suncups formed in the ice.
Stayed at the bivy boulder and went up and down in one push, I would recommend a longer acclimitization period.
Hummm, what a lazy glacier, if any. it took us 9 hurs to reach the Ayoloco hut, but only 3 to reach the summit. Keep going up, higher after you pass la joya.
Nice climb done with Tom Fralich and my wife Annica Carlsson
The weather on the hike up was the pits... plenty of wind and rain... and the night at the refugio was pretty cool with a spectacular snow/thunder storm which dropped about 12-15cm in four hours and made the second day that much more fascinating.
My guide and I elected not to rope up or don crampons... unlike the others who tagged along... so at 4:45 in the morning we stumbled out of the hut under a half moon and for the next hour and 45 minutes methodically worked our way up to the rodilla... we were blessed with clear skies... so the views of Popo were magnificent with the newly risen sun glinting off the snow giving the mountain a beautiful soft orange glow... it was wicked!
After the rodilla I loved the number of rigdeline traverses... however the number of sub summits continually had my hopes going up and down... working my way up and down was frustrating at times too, however it was excellent practice for navigating mountainous terrain and trekking through a solid amount of freshly fallen snow.
This was my first true alpine experience so the snow fields the ridgeline traverses with egregious drops on either side were all awesome experiences.
The view from the Pecho was fantastic with excellent views of Malinche, Tlaloc Telepon and of course Popo...
The descent was alot of fun... half skiing half sliding down a 45-50 degree snowfield... something very common for a Canadian to do.
Overall I loved the mountain its size and its honesty... the freshly fallen snow the 75-85km winds with precipitous drops on exposed ridges made this an awesome trip. I would recommend it to anyone.
The altitude proved only a little challenging especially at night with a refreshing 40 minute sleep serving as my preparation for the next day. GREAT TRIP!
Summit after foul weather, did a high camp for 6 days.
Had a great climb with beautiful weather. Set a personal high camping record of 14800' at the first portillo. Attempted the Los Pies auxillary summit but ran out of daylight on our initial acclimitization climb. Wasn't exactly sure which of the two high points on the breast was the true summit so we tagged them both and the altimeter only read 10 feet difference. Spectacular views of the neighboring Popo's continuous eruption.
I loved the trip on the Izta. I head problems sleeping in the hut due to the height. But finally (with the help of an Aspirin :-) i managed to sleep a few hours and get up to the top the next day. I can really recommend this trip.
did the first paraglider flight from the summit by myself
I started from the microwave station/tower, traverse west on one of the lower trails below the false summits until Ayoloco hut. From the hut, ascend straight up to the summit. Roundtrip from microwave station: 9 hours.
As with most people, this was our first experience with altitude above 15,000ft. What I would do if I was to do it again would be this: Spend the night at either Paso de Cortes, or La Joya. We stayed in Amecameca, & then early in the morning got a ride to the trailhead (La Joya), then hiked to the Esperanza Lopez Mateos hut. The next day only 2 out of 5 of us were able to reach the summit. This was nothing more than a high altitude hike, but respect the altitude, especially if it's your first time. Once you reach the knees, the angle lessens, but there are many false summits. It was a good experience.
My first "big" mountain was Ixta. Fairly straight forward climbing. A few areas required scrambling. No crampons or ice axe needed. To my surprise and delight I had absolutely no problems with altitude.