The first time, in 1997, I stayed in the large and noisy barracks at Piedra Grande. This was a mistake, which the following year I did not repeat. This time I had the driver drop me off on the approach road to base camp and I tented it at about 13,000' level. The next day I wandered up to the 14,000' level and camped away from the throngs. The next project was to set up a high camp at the base of the glacier at around 16,000'. A night up there and on to the summit to finish with a nice long glissade almost back to the tent. Truly memorable times and still the highest I've ever been and summited the mountain.
Conditions were very good in the Labyrinth and on the glacier. I recent snowstorm 4 days prior made for perfect conditions to kick steps in the Labyrinth. We didn't feel the need to use crampons or axe. The glacier itself is perfect for crampon work. We took a slight variation of the standard route, contouring over to the Ridge of Gold and descended the standard route. 10 hours round trip including 1.5 hours on summit.
normal route not in good condition - standard route now goes closer to ridge of gold
I climbed orizaba with el Oso from Orizaba Mountain Guides. he was very helpful throughout the ascent. The ascent was pretty straightforward and not technical but once you are on the glacier its a long long slog to the summit even though it looks really close. It was a fun day altogether. I was out of energy by the time I reached the summit and it took me almost the same amount of time to get down as it did to ascend.
This was one of the best experiences of my life.
I did it without preparation.
It was magic. I walk all the way to the refuge with all my gear alone, lost hope, found hope with a cool guy who was looking for a buddy and made it to the top and back down.
It was awesome!
You can find everything about this adventure, with all the details and advices on my blog:
It's also available in French:
Couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day. 6 hours to the summit from the hut. Started at 1:30am and returned to hut by 11:40am. On par with Mount Hood as far as physical difficulty. Add 18000ft of elevation and it makes it a bit more challenging. Great experience and absolutely beautiful country!!!
Spent a lovely couple days at the smaller Piedre Grande hut. Made at attempt on the summit the day before but turned around in the Labyrinth because my partner wasn't doing well. Climbed solo the next day - up in 5.5 and had the summit all to myself. Hardly felt the altitude! Memorable mountain.
Climbed over two days, with a high camp by the last rock rings below the labyrinth. Began climbing from my tent at 4:30 and reached the summit at 9:00. The labyrinth was out of condition with hard ice everywhere. Great conditions on the Jamapa glacier. Climbed Orizaba solo, but there were plenty of others on the mountain and in the hut.
Great climb with great folks... large CMC group --- very fun.
pretty tough straightforward climb. The last 2,000 feet were brutal against the wind. but a great mountain, the highest one so far in my career
Perfect wheather and mountain conditions. 5:45 H from Piedras Grandes hut to the summit - 75 minutes at the summit - 3 h down to Piedras Grandes.
Arrived at base camp Nov 25. Hiked to 15,600 ft. Slept at 14,000 ft. Next day hiked to 16,200 ft, slept at 14,000 ft. Summited Nov 27. Took 5.25 hours up and 2.5 hours down. Highest point to date, for me. It was cold on top. Had the whole hut to myself the night of November 27.
36 hrs after climbing Izta, we climbed Orizaba with Oso from OMG. Not a cloud in the way the entire 9 hours hut-to-hut! Quite cold, but that's what wool is for. We took a very direct line straight up with perfect snow conditions. So jealous to watch 2 Colorado guys ski down! Altitude was never an issue for me. Awesome trip! Spent a restful night at Canchola's afterward; love Joaquin's birds.
My fiancé and I had a great adventure getting to Tlachichuca and climbing the Volcano/Mountain. We had recently trad climbed a few multi pitch routes in Tuolomne and had a great guided climb up the east buttress of Mt. Whitney. Pico proved to be a great outing and as we are new at high altitude climbs to have success on the first go in a single day push is very encouraging. We were so exhausted and the wind was so strong at the summit we only took one picture.
Climbed with a group of twelve. All of us made it.
Awesome climb, not bad three in 9 days. I spend some time earlier in the week acclimating on La Malinche, then a successful summit of Ixtaccihuatl 17,340' followed by El Pico de Orizaba 3 days later. Long week, no storms or other conditions to be concerned about. Lot of wild fires in the surrounding areas, pretty dry this time of year. Awesome trip, good grade on the Jamapa glacier, little hard to breath but smooth going with plenty of time to acclimate on this trip
Great climb. STEEP! Over 2000 vert. feet per mile. My friend and I arrived on Wednesday and hiked to the base of the labyrinth, to acclimatize. The next day we left around 8:00am with the intention of caching our heavier gear (crampons, boots, etc.) at the base of the glacier. However, by the time we got there, the conditions were so perfect, we just decided to go for it! Worked out great. 5:25 to the summit from the hut, 2:37 back down.
We waltzed up the Ruta Normal in great conditions. Boot track through the labyrinth (only short icy stretches) and good snow conditions to the summit on the glacier. Stayed a the excellent Cancholas hostel, getting a ride to and from Piedra Grande in their 4x4. Lots of fun and, as hoped, a great way to first experience high altitude.
I left Puebla early on Saturday morning for Tlachichuca (54 pesos). From there I took a shared taxi to San Miguel Zoapan (10 pesos). Walked through the fields in 1 hour to Miguel Hidalgo. From there to refugio Piedra Grande in 3 hours. Refugio filled up completely and there were some ten tents pitched outside. Left on Sunday morning at 3 am to reach the summit at 7:30 am. Great view, many people from the ruta sur there. Ice in the labyrinth, glacier was perfect, ice not to hard, hardly any wind. Descent in 3 hours. Started walking back from the refugio, then got a ride all the way to Tlachichuca.
After a nice drive from Juarez down through DF we ended up at the base of Pico de Orizaba. We drove within a mile or so of the hut then finished hiking in. Met a mixed group of climbers from Seattle and Anchorage. Hit the summit the next morning and then headed to the beach the following day in Veracruz. Great trip