Quick Summit of Orizaba

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buckie06

 
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Quick Summit of Orizaba

by buckie06 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:42 pm

Hello,
I'm wondering if it is possible to do an Orizaba trip in only a few days. Most of the guided trips take 7-10+ days total. I just don't have that much vacation time to spare and I'm not too interested in doing the "culture" thing.

Is it possible to do something like fly in, drive to the trailhead, sleep at high camp, summit the next day, then fly out the third day?

I live at 6,500' and have regular access to 14,00' peaks here in colorado. Is this reasonable, or do I need more time to acclimatize? I assume the guide companies take so long since many clients come from sea level?

Thank you!

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Re: Quick Summit of Orizaba

by mtnjim » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:19 pm

If you're in decent shape it could work in maybe 4 days. You don't say what your altitude experience is, so I'll guess that it's Colorado 14ers and nothing higher.

The road to the hut on the normal route is rough and will require a 4x4. It would be much easier to use one of the services in Tlachichuca to get to the hut. Another problem could be routefinding. on such a tight schedule there's no extra time to familiarize yourself with the trail through the maze. Probably better to use a guide. If you're one of those people who don't want to use a guide, just let him show you the way up to the glacier, then take over the lead yourself.

If using Senor Reyes or the Cancholas or another Tlachichuca outfit, make arrangements beforehand. While it might be possible to fly into Mexico City or Puebla, get through customs, pick up a rental and drive to Tlachichuca, then leave for the hut and start at 2am, it would be rough. You'd need an early airport arrival. Might be better to arrange for a pickup with whatever outfitter you use. This is starting to look like an expensive week-end to me.

So Airport to Tlachichuca, and on to the hut, early morning start, summit and back to Tlachichuca, and back to the airport that evening or the next day. With absolutely no problems or delays it could be done.

It just occurred to me that I haven't really answered your question, "Is this reasonable.." The answer to that question is no. Possible, but not reasonable. There is absolutely no way to tell if you'll handle the altitude or not. I was down that way in 2012 and intended to acclimatize on Izta before going to Orizaba, but Popo's eruptions changed that plan and my schedule, so I headed over to Orizaba, made arrangements with Senor Reyes and headed up the next day. I used a guide since I'd lost the extra time to learn the route to the glacier. No real problem with the altitude, just a little slow. I think we were 6 or 6 1/2 hours up. I think of this sort of climbing as "South American style,' get up and get down before you get sick. If you can get acclimatized to 14k (good old Pikes Peak Highway!) you'll be ok at the hut and probably manage the next 4k+. No way to tell from here, though.

I really think the crux of this climb would be the tight scheduling rather than the stroll up the glacier. Also, keep in mind that you can usually hit good weather until May so if you'll have more time later you could add Izta and La Malinche in a week and a week-end, 9 days.

Whatever you decide. have fun!

JimS









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Scott
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Re: Quick Summit of Orizaba

by Scott » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:24 am

It sounds like a wasted trip to do it that fast. I'd recommend going somewhere closer.

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Norris

 
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Re: Quick Summit of Orizaba

by Norris » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:40 am

What experience do you have climbing higher than the "fourteeners" in Colorado and California? Orizaba is almost 18,500 ft. If you try to climb it that fast without adequate acclimatization, at best you will fail to get to the summit. At worst, you could die, or get very sick. Even if you have climbed as high as Orizaba on enough previous occasions to be confident you can handle the altitude, you still have to acclimatize first. In my opinion, other than fitness, you need to establish a sleeping elevation roughly equivalent to that of the Piedra Grande hut (trailhead) to be reasonably sure of success. In other words, be well enough acclimatized that you can sleep reasonably soundly at 14,500, and not experience periodic breathing, headache, nausea, or shortness of breath with minor physical exertion such as moving a heavy duffel bag around. To achieve that before you fly to Mexico you would not only need to do a lot of hikes of fourteeners in the preceeding weeks but actually sleep high as well. I mean actually sleep on the summit of Evans or Pikes Peak for two nights or so. An alternative way to pre-acclimatize would be to use an altitude tent. Those actually do work, although lots of people have negative opinions about them. Adrian Ballinger of AlpenGlow Expeditions recently used one to prepare for a lightning ascent of Cho Oyu. Good luck. Don't kill yourself.

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Re: Quick Summit of Orizaba

by buckie06 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:40 pm

Thanks everyone for the comments. Lots of great advice!

I have not been higher than 14,000 so this would be my first time, and the reason for going to Mexico. Sleeping at 14k on Pikes Peak would be easy logistics wise for me since I live in Colorado Springs.

Sounds like more of a 4-5 day trip from everyone's comments?

thanks!

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Re: Quick Summit of Orizaba

by Scott » Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:12 pm

It could be done in 4-5 days (including flight time), but chances are it won't be enjoyable. It also takes much of a day each way to get to Orizaba from the Mexico City Airport.

Climbing Iztaccihuatl makes more sense if you are that short on time. It is easier to get to in a short time period.

Still, more time is better.

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Norris

 
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Re: Quick Summit of Orizaba

by Norris » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:51 am

The absolute minimum time frame would be something like this:
Day 1: Fly to Mexico City from the states, rent car at airport, sleep in hotel
Day 2: Drive to Tlachichuca, check in with Canchola or other outfitter, get driven via 4x4 to hut
Day 3: One day ascent and descend to hut. Get picked up at the hut and driven back down to Tlachichuca.
Day 4: Drive back to Mexico City airport, return car, fly home on an evening flight
This assumes you are fully acclimatized before leaving home, no travel problems or delays such as lost / delayed duffel bags, no problems with weather. You would have to arrange for someone to watch your gear (sleeping bag, etc) left at the hut while you climb.
Frankly, I think this plan is unlikely to work and likely to result in AMS. I would add a few days, so that you have some extra time in case of bad weather as well as to acclimatize. If you were to allow yourself 2 extra days, then your Day 3 could be to hike up to the "labyrinth", perhaps cache gear, and return to the hut, your Day 4 could be to move up to a high camp below the glacier, possibly with the aid of a local porter, so your Day 5 would be your summit day, and Day 6 would be the day you drive back and fly home.
Keep in mind that with weekend days, a 6 day trip is only 4 vacation days.

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Re: Quick Summit of Orizaba

by McCannster » Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:16 am


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herdbull

 
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Re: Quick Summit of Orizaba

by herdbull » Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:32 pm

Yes it is possible. I live at 780' and did it in 5 days round trip door to door. Actually the 4th day was spent back at the Canchola's relaxing and hitching a ride back up to the hut to hang out for an afternoon.

With that said my only regret was not spending a few extra days there enjoying Mexico, the food, people and culture.

http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/triprepor ... ki=Include

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buckie06

 
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Re: Quick Summit of Orizaba

by buckie06 » Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:01 am

Thanks! very helpful!


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