|Page Type:||Trip Report|
|Date Climbed/Hiked:||Jan 21, 2019|
François and I are in our mid-30s from Switzerland, live in San Francisco Bay Area, amateur hikers with a good level of fitness. We climbed Pico de Orizaba on January 21, 2019. It was our very first glacier walk, and first experience with crampons and ice axe. We did not have a guide.
We flew to Mexico City on Jan 19, took a bus to Puebla and stayed there for a night. On Jan 20, we took another bus to the small town of Tlachichuca. We hadn't booked any accomodation. Most hikers stay at Canchola Hostel, but we walked to and stayed at Hotel Gerar, it was much much cheaper!! The owner helped us book a ride to the base camp for the next day. The next morning, we left in an old 4x4 vehicle... The engine broke down 3 times on the way up, but thanksfully the driver and his co-pilot managed to fix the vehicle and we arrived at the base camp hut at around 1:30pm.
We went for a short hike along the trail to the summit, came back to the hut, ate food we had brought before going to bed early.
François and I woke up at 1am, and started walking at around 1:50am. The first part to the Labyrinth was easy, but François felt the lack of sleep, and the altitude, and he quickly got tired. We still made it to the Labyrinth. Crossing the Labyrinth in the dark was not easy. We put on our crampons and tried to find our way out. There is no trail and we quickly lost the markings. We still made it through and reached the glacier. Once on the glacier, it's a long strenous walk to the summit. You don't really need ropes, or a guide because the tracks from previous hikers are well marked. I couldn't feel any danger. François had to give up half way through unfortunately. I was ahead and didn't see him returning. I continued on my own to the summit. I saw the amazing pyramid shadow of the mountain made by the sun rising. I reached the summit at 8:00am.
On the way down, I reached François in the Labyrinth, trying to find his way through. We walked together back to the hut where our driver was waiting for us to bring us back to Tlachichuca.