My third attempt to summit and first time i did not realize the summit. It was still a beautiful climb. We started out this time from the town of Hidalgo hiking, because recent snow and mud made it impossible for even 4X4 to make it to Piedra Grande. There was quite a bit of snow even below the trees. We made it to the beginning of the Jamapa Glacier when we turned around because of some mild altitude sickness in our group. Perhaps it was not the best plan to attempt to go from 7,000 feet to over 18,000 in less the 24 hours (although we've done it twice before). It was sad to see the glacier receded quite a bit, but perhaps it is temporary. Great trip all in all. =-)
I guided 3 clients for Joshua Tree Climbing School (known as Wilderness Connection at that time). Nice sunny day with no wind.
Great climb, perfect weather!
What a great climb!!! We spent our first night outside Piedra Grande in a tent. Then we carried to a high camp at 15,700 ft. That night we watched a spectacular lightning storm pass below us, in the northern sky. Starting out at 3:00am, we summited at 10:00am, having made several stops to evaluate the weather. It cleared and we enjoyed a wonderful hour on the summit. The wind was still and the temperature was 36 F.
What a special place!!
--Mark , Scott, Nate
I ascended this mountain fifty one years before you did. I did it on the south side. There was no guide service nor hut to sleep in back then. I shared the mountain with no other party other than my divine companions, Jesus and Moses.
Awesome trip with Marin Search and Rescue
Our party of four arrived at Piedra Grande at about 13:00 on Saturday and immediately headed up to high camp. One of the guys in our party started feeling bad as soon as we got our tent and bivies up and ended up having a pretty rough night at 16,100 feet. After a sleepness night for all we got up at 4:30 Sunday morning to find that another in our party had succumbed to altitude sickness. We spent about 2 hours getting ice melted and eating and then 2 of us took off for the summit shortly before 6:30. We had beta from some climbers that were coming down the previous day that the route was to the left so we headed that way. Lots of dinner plate ice but pretty easy going all the way up until the last 200 feet or so. At that point the ice became a sheet with lots of rocks mixed in and the slope was between 45 and 50 degrees. Pretty tough to get the crampons to bite and without a rope we were feeling pretty exposed but continued up to the rim. At this point we were both pretty worked and there was some weather moving in so we decided not to go around the rim and bag the summit. The other two in our party started feeling better and ended up getting pretty far up the mountain before we regrouped on our way down. All in all a great experience but I think we will have to go back and get that last couple hundred feet. I would recommend taking a route to the right that will take you directly to the summit and avoid having to get around the rim to seize the top. We stayed at Hotel Gerar and were very happy with the accomodations and the gracious hosts.
See John's TR: Mexico Day Hikes.
At age 17, I went to Mexico for the first time. After a rain-soaked attempt on Popocatepetl, I took a bus to the town of Orizaba where I engaged two companions, Jesus Flores and Moises Zamora (Jesus and Moses). Together we took a train uphill to Esperanza on the Central Plateau and hiked up through the forest and puna grass to an altitude of 14,000 feet where we built a fire and tried to sleep in the so-called "Cave of Death." The next day Jesus and I climbed up the ash and snow slopes of the south side of Orizaba for seven hours. We reached the summit rock before clouds closed in and a snow storm forced us to turn back.
Five years later while I was a student at Mexico City College, I went again to Orizaba with two classmates and took the same train to Esperanza. We hired horses and rode them up through the same forest and over puna grass to the same Cueva de la Muerte. It was on the holiday weekend of the Day of the Dead. Hence there was a good number of climbers on the mountain. After eight exhausting hours of eying the same rock above me, I reached it and realized that I had been within about fifty feet of the summit five years earlier in 1951. A fellow climber took a picture of me standing next to the summit cross with a heavenly layer of clouds beneath our feet. After a long glissade on the neve and long strides down the loose ash to the cave, we found our horses waiting for us. The long crotch-jarring horseback ride downhill to the Esperanza railway station took another four hours and left me numb from the waist down. It was well after midnight that a train from Mexico City awoke me from sleep on the station platform and took us down to our car parked in the subtropical town of Orizaba.
Hence very early in life I learned that Mexico is a splendid country of high adventure.
Perfect conditions all the way. The Glacier was like strofoam and it was like a summer day on the summit with a great view of Popo with a plume. What a great joy to share this one with my 20 year old son.
Along with two of my friends from north México Servando and Néstor, and a new one from Puebla, Rafa; I finally summited this mountain after a previous failed attempt two years ago setting my new altitude record. I`m glad that we climbed this route since the winds were blasting at about 70mph making it difficult to even breathe and really dangerous on the Jamapa glacier. The wind chill forced us to retreat after only a couple of minutes on the summit. It was a great experience anyway!!!
Check out my trip report for details.
The mountain is really dry this season. We camp at las Cruces de Monterrey and make the traverse to the east glacier, severe of rock fall in "El Filo del Chichimeco", the east glacier is really short but its worth the climb, from 45° ant the begginnig to 70° at the end, the crater rim traverse is a pain in the ass, very long, got down via Jamapa Glacier, really icy and a little dangerous. Thanks to Joaquin Canchola for the ride to the hut
After climbing Nevado de Toluca, I made the trip from Toluca to Tlachichuca on February 3, 2003. Arrived at Sr Joaquin Canchola in Tlachichuca at 3:45pm and stayed that night in his house. Next day (Feb 4), Canchola drove me to Piedra Grande and got there at 10:30am. I made my camp (13,970 ft) outside close to the smaller hut. That same afternoon I day hiked to 16,250 feet to speed my acclimatization. This hike to 16K took me 3.5 hours roundtrip from Piedra Grande. The following day (Feb 5) I took it as a rest day pretty much. In the morning I walked around not too far from camp, and in the afternoon I ventured lower to the Par Agua tree camp at 13,000 ft. Summit day (Feb 6, 2003): Woke up at 2:00am or so and started walking at 3:00am from Piedra Grande. I reached the main base of the glacier at 16,400 ft around 7:00am. This is where I geared up, putting crampons and pulling out the ice axe. When I got to 17,000 feet, I had to take over 1/2 hour break as I had this pounding cervical arthritis neck headache. I swallowed 3 Advils, drank like 1 liter of water, and rested. After 30 minutes or so, I began to feel better as my cervical arthritis pain went away. I resumed climbing and by 11:15am I made the summit. I stayed at the summit for 25 minutes. This particular Thursday was beautiful in the mountain (clear sunny skies, light breeze, not that cold). Surface conditions earlier in the morning (and even as I was coming down) were hard snow, a few patches of water ice here and there. But crampons bited well. I left the summit at 11:40am and was back down in my tent at 2:15pm. An hour later Canchola's son came by and picked me up. Mrs Canchola (Sen~ora Guadalupe) prepared me this delicious supper. I truly enjoyed her Chipotle sauce, simply awesome.
Made it! Windy and goregous on the summit. Drank about 5 liters of water and consumed massive amounts of food (GU is good) Started at 1am, and hit the summit about 7:30. The view between the gulf to east and the plains to the west was incredible. Check out my trip report and feel free to e-mail me with any questions. What a great trip!
Camped three nights in trees way below huts and took day hikes. Day before summit we did a high camp around 15,000 feet. Left high camp at 3:15am and hit summit at 10:17am and back at Piedre Grande at 4:00pm.
Clear sky conditions with harsh wind from mid glacier up. Navigating through rock field below glacier very difficult in the dark. Glacier conditions afforded excellent footing.
Didn't take enough palatable snacks and was boinking the last half of the descent. Energy "goo" or gels would have been the ticket.
Our group of three people, all students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign decided to travel to Mexico for the Thanksgivens holidas. We spent about a week on the mountain. Our summit route started from the high camp at 4950m. It took us 3 hours to reach the top of the vulcano. I have to note that all of us suffered from poor acclimatization.
More info on the trip soon. . .
Climbed from Piedra Grande with ScottyS.
Did Orizaba with bearbnz yesterday from P. Grande in something like 8.5hrs hut-to-hut. We had done La Malinche New Year's Eve in sub-5hrs c2c with headlamps, drove over to Orizaba New Year's Day and hiked in to Piedra Grande from around 11,000' near Hildago. After a rather sleepless night in our tent, we got up and went for it. Trip report, useful information, and cool photos (hopefully) to come.