Climbed with Andre after being weathered out by high winds at 17K the previous year. Had our gear trucked to the hut but we got out at 10K and walked up to acclimatize. Spent the night in the hut and moved to high camp at the base of the glacier the next day. Some ice on the rte gaining the base of the glacier. Alpine start the next morning (the crux is always getting out of a warm sleeping bag to confront the cold reality). Climbed to the summit under clear but windy skies. Crater is stunning especially when compared to familiar Cascade volcanoes. A moment of silence in memory of Andre's uncle who always wanted to but never climbed Orizaba. Mexican people were warm, friendly and delightful
Great day climb from Piedra Grande. Couldn't believe the pile of metal debris at the top.
Started with Bill after sunrise from high camp at 15,600'. During the preceding days, the winds seemed worse just before sunrise, and then it would die down a bit during mid day. Since all of the other teams that week were unsuccessful starting early morning, we thought we would try it later in the morning hoping that the winds would be less severe, especially since we camped so high and didn't have far to go. (Ice/rock fall danger is minimal on the Jamapa Glacier.) Unfortunately Mother Nature did not cooperate. The wind was gusting 60-70 MPH up high, enough to blow you over. We struggled through it for several hours, but progress was too slow. We turned back at 5pm and made it back to camp just after sunset. We didn't make the summit, but I did break my personal altitude record and had a great overall experence.
There was more scrambling to get the glacier than I thought there would be, but it wasn't hard. Altitude wasn't an issue because we had done Nevado de Toluca and Iztaccihuatl. We got lodging and the ride from Gerardo of Hotel Gerar. We got a nice room with a TV and he charged us less for the ride than the others would have. Also, we were inside the car rather than in the back eating dust.
Started climbing from Piedra Grande at 0200. It was bitter cold at the start of th ice field, -12 C. And God knows what it was with the wind-chill factor. We summited at 1000. Eight solid hours, with very few, and short, breaks.The Canales de Hielo (channels of ice), what is known to some climbers as the labyrinth, were dry. Well, dry enough not to allow the use of crampons, but with enough ice to make the climb very slippery. The ice at Jamapa's was very brittle, it broke like crystal. There were very few patches of good snow. At the crater's rim, there were some isolated patches of fossil ice, gray in color and with the consistency of concrete. Just as the rest of the ground, made out of white sand and small rocks, frozen together. The three of us descended roped and belaying each other. As a surprise to our guide, was the amount of water on the waterfall coming from the glacier, roaring down the rocky crag that parallels the trail leaving from Piedra Grande. Apparently the ice line is been receding at an alarmingly rate.
A cracking day for the summit. Baltic cold on the glacier. Yep - I too was in the same group of 7 SP strangers. All good fun.
climbed with the 6 others from summitpost - Arrived at the base hut around 3:00 PM on Jan 22nd, hiked up and setup campt at ~ 16,200 feet on Jan 23rd, and left high camp at 6:15PM on Jan 24th for summit bid. At 6:45PM arrived at glacier and at 9:13PM summitted the hill. I thought my 2:27 from base of glacier to summit was pretty respectable but gobriango2's 3:56 from hut to summit "New Jersey style" will likely forever go unmatched
Embarked on a 3-day acclimitization trek to Piedre Grande from Tlachichuca. Spent 3 days there going on day hikes. Stashed our climbing gear (which we never used) at 16,000". Summit push took nine hours from Piedre Grande (stopped for a few hours to watch the sunrise!). Glacier conditions were great and there were no crevasses. All in all- very beautiful..... The trip consisted of myself and Marc Shwartz- on behalf of The University of Virginia Outdoors Club.
Reached the crater rim, but decided not to continue to the summit. The reason was, that it seemed a bit exposed and would have probably warranted roping up, and at that point we wanted to save our energy for the descent. It was close enough for us.
Finally made it after dealing with bad weather and altitude sickened friends on 3 previous attempts that week. Great views.
Conditions finally started cleared up after a few days of snow (knee level) and high winds. Should be good for the next week or two. Winds were subsiding and the route is getting a bit packed in again. Route finding should improve. No crevasses, glacier is still receeding.
Piedra Grande was not too crowded. Locals say tourism is down. High camp can be windy but saves a few hours up to the glacier.
See trip report for more details.
Had to do a traverse over to the right to avoid steep and slick ice, - unroped so it was scary - got very cold on summit, so we only stayed for a short time - beautiful country, beautiful mountain. Marc Pagani and Mimi Schippers
This climbed whas of 1 day, we started at 1:00 am from Piedra grande hut, we got to the summit at 8:50 am
Had a hell of a battle with El Pico on this occasion... plenty of summer rain provided the mountain with 1-1.5m of snow which made for an interesting climb, sinking up to above my knees as I blazed a trail up towards the summit.
The route is steeper and more sustained than Ruta Sur.
On the downclimb... needed to self arrest once, had to show friends (who were very new to snow) how to self arrest which turned out to be very useful. Also simple downclimbing techniques of how to kick steps and use the ice axe were also necessary.
Even a few small avalanche zones maybe 10m X 10m made for a far more serious alpine experience than my first time. Was happy to share the summit with my friends Javier and Manolo and have the clouds open up for us on a few occasions to see the world unfurl beneath us.
A very serious peak not to be taken lightly at all... but a helluva lot of fun nonetheless..
reached the summit with my friends in about 8 hours from piedra grande, very nice weather, no wind at all
Very windy day (50-60mph). Thankfully not too cold, but most groups turned around. Lenticular had been hanging on the summit the whole day before.
Lots of photos:
This is weird - i just noticed on my summit log entries that i only had one for Pico when i know i had another one. Oh well, anyway i wanted to summit this great mountain for the first time before i turned 16, and i made it by about a week. It is a beautiful mountain. I summitted again in November of 2001 (i think that's right). I tried again this last January but did not make it that time (i have a summit log about it below). I plan to climb it again when all things permit once again in my schedule.
My two friends and I planned the entire trip on our own. This was our first high altitude climb and we are happy to say we did it un-guided. Awesome experience. Check out my trip report " A learning experience of epic proportion."
Left P.G. at 2 am and summited just before 9 am. First time summitter (we turned back around last year just short of the crater rim due to high winds!) We were very well acclimitized having climbed Izta just two days before.
Very calm day with absolutely wonderful weather. Glacier snow was in good condition thanks to the big winter storm few weeks back. I will post a Trip Report soon but feel free to contact me for details.
Almost stopped by a morning storm. Camped high at 15,700 ft just below the labyrinth. Met Roberto Flores on the summit.