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Orizaba -- Thanks!

Discussion area for peaks outside of the USA.
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Orizaba -- Thanks!

Postby Athos791 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:18 am

Hey everyone, I am back from my Mexico trip. I had an amazing time, and met some of the coolest climbers in the world. I unfortunately was not able to summit due to getting HAPE at about 16,000 ft. I'll give the whole details in a TR in the next few days when I manage to write it up. Good news is Oso has offered to let me come back for free next season, as we were not able to do our glacier travel/rope course that we had planned. Can't say enough about Oso and all of his guides and how amazing, friendly and experienced they are. If you are considering Orizaba, I would highly recommend them. They were very fluid and quick in getting me down off the mountain after I started coughing blood. The odd part was, I felt great up until the point I started coughing; no headache, slept well at Piedra Grande and was eating well. Was moving well and feeling strong at first high camp, but once we moved up to glacier high camp is when It got dicey. We are planning a slower acclimation plan for next season..

Conditions: For those of you going in the next week, there was a LOT of snow on the mountain, and we had crampons on from the hut and for the rest of the route. The labrynth and aqueducts were pretty easy to negotiate, especially since our guides could have done it blindfolded. The hut was not nearly as "bad" as I thought it was going to be, slept great, only saw a few mice, and they were pretty scared of you, not like they crawled into your sleeping bag. haha Was cold on the mountain, we all had our down coats on at camp and it got cold at night.

Also, wanted to say thanks to everyone who helped me plan for this trip and gave me information. Especially SJP, your PM's were EXTREMELY helpful when down there. Hopefully I will be able to summit next season!!!

All in all, had an amazing trip in one of the most beautiful places in the world!
Cheers,
Luke
"We go to the mountains to satisfy our own ambitions, not because others evaluate what we are doing." -Anatoli Boukreev

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Re: Orizaba -- Thanks!

Postby susanjoypaul » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:27 am

Wow - welcome back! Glad to hear you're OK, Luke. HAPE can be deadly, quickly - it sounds like you were with the right folks to deal with it, though.
I'll be looking for your trip report.

Soooo - is this a new altitude record for you?

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Re: Orizaba -- Thanks!

Postby Athos791 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:31 am

Thanks for the reply Susan. Yep, broke my old record by about 2,000 ft. Not sure of the exact altitude we got to, but we were a golf shot away from the glacier.. So we were over 16,000 ft.
"We go to the mountains to satisfy our own ambitions, not because others evaluate what we are doing." -Anatoli Boukreev

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Re: Orizaba -- Thanks!

Postby CRAIGO » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:19 am

Athos791 wrote:there was a LOT of snow on the mountain


Glad you had a good time! Did you happen to notice how much snow was on Izta? I'm heading down there in 2 weeks and was curious. Also, where did you buy fuel for your stove?

Thanks

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Re: Orizaba -- Thanks!

Postby Athos791 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:26 am

The reports we heard about Izta were that it was dry until the glacier, so normal conditions. I did not buy fuel, as my guides had their stoves. I know that you can get gas at the Pemex stations (gas stations) in mexico though. They are everywhere along the highways.
Cheers,
Luke
"We go to the mountains to satisfy our own ambitions, not because others evaluate what we are doing." -Anatoli Boukreev

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Re: Orizaba -- Thanks!

Postby JB99 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:43 pm

Athos- sounds like we had similar high points. I'm real glad to hear you got down ok. Sounds like going guided became very clearly the right decision. I'm sure you had a great trip up to that point, plus a free guide for your return visit is pretty sweet.

Craigo- I'm sorry I haven't got back to you, just now remembered your PM. I'll need to write you a little later about the fuel, I got mine all the way in Puebla inside a large mall at a sports store. I have the receipt at home (at work now) and will PM you the store name. I would suggest trying to find that same chain in Mexico City instead of going all the way to Puebla if you're just going for Ixta. Getting from Puebla to Amecameca was the hardest leg of our trip when it came to travel logistics.
As far as snow on Ixta; when we were there it was bone dry. The day we left Tlachichuca Orizaba got snowed on pretty good from the look of things, and sound of things from Athos. We didn't attempt Ixta but the folks we saw coming down looked pretty rough & dusty. I don't know if it got snowed on as well or not. Seems like it would have been a much better climb with more snow.
"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not."

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Re: Orizaba -- Thanks!

Postby ndolbeare » Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:25 pm

Glad to hear you made it down safe and sound. I've seen people with HAPE and it's not pretty.

I've got some unfinished business myself with that mountain so I'll be back there too.

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Re: Orizaba -- Thanks!

Postby CorduroyCalves » Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:25 pm

Athos791 wrote:Hey everyone, I am back from my Mexico trip. I had an amazing time, and met some of the coolest climbers in the world. I unfortunately was not able to summit due to getting HAPE at about 16,000 ft. I'll give the whole details in a TR in the next few days when I manage to write it up. Good news is Oso has offered to let me come back for free next season, as we were not able to do our glacier travel/rope course that we had planned. Can't say enough about Oso and all of his guides and how amazing, friendly and experienced they are. If you are considering Orizaba, I would highly recommend them. They were very fluid and quick in getting me down off the mountain after I started coughing blood. The odd part was, I felt great up until the point I started coughing; no headache, slept well at Piedra Grande and was eating well. Was moving well and feeling strong at first high camp, but once we moved up to glacier high camp is when It got dicey. We are planning a slower acclimation plan for next season..

Conditions: For those of you going in the next week, there was a LOT of snow on the mountain, and we had crampons on from the hut and for the rest of the route. The labrynth and aqueducts were pretty easy to negotiate, especially since our guides could have done it blindfolded. The hut was not nearly as "bad" as I thought it was going to be, slept great, only saw a few mice, and they were pretty scared of you, not like they crawled into your sleeping bag. haha Was cold on the mountain, we all had our down coats on at camp and it got cold at night.

Also, wanted to say thanks to everyone who helped me plan for this trip and gave me information. Especially SJP, your PM's were EXTREMELY helpful when down there. Hopefully I will be able to summit next season!!!

All in all, had an amazing trip in one of the most beautiful places in the world!
Cheers,
Luke


Luke, I'm glad you got off the mountain safely. Your experience has tilted me even more toward going with a guide. Despite not making it to the top, I'm sure you're one of few NewHampshirites who can claim that high of an altitude as their highmark.

I'm about 50% toward convincing my wife to do Orizaba with me next year, probably during this timeframe. Maybe we'll be traveling around the same time.
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Re: Orizaba -- Thanks!

Postby Athos791 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:09 pm

Thanks for all the replies and kind words. JB, I am very glad I went with a guide now.. The climb was nothing I couldn't have handled with a partner, but having a guide was SOOO helpful in getting me down safely when I got HAPE.
CorduroyCalves, You will have an awesome time if you decide to go! Mexico is one of my favorite places to visit, been going since I was little, and the mountains were just gorgeous. Let me know when you decide on dates, im thinking christmas break will be when I head there next year.
ndolbeare, have any plans to go again? Just curious.. It really is a beautiful place isn't it.
"We go to the mountains to satisfy our own ambitions, not because others evaluate what we are doing." -Anatoli Boukreev

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Re: Orizaba -- Thanks!

Postby TomPierce » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:59 pm

Hey Luke,

Just saw your post. I'll add that I'm also glad you made it down safely. It's not just about the summit, it's about the climbing, summit or not. If you learned a few things and have some good memories then it was a success. Good for you, congrats!
-Tom

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Re: Orizaba -- Thanks!

Postby Athos791 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:06 pm

Hey Tom,
I had a truly awesome trip, even without the summit. Got to see a part of Mexico that I had not been to, met some amazing people, and spent time on one of the most beautiful mountains I have ever seen. I agree with you, even without a summit, the trip was very successful!!
Cheers
"We go to the mountains to satisfy our own ambitions, not because others evaluate what we are doing." -Anatoli Boukreev

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Re: Orizaba -- Thanks!

Postby cheeseburglar » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:04 am

Glad to hear you enjoyed Mexico. I'm looking forward to the TR.
It would be interesting to get an account of the HAPE onset and the recovery as you descended.
Did the guys have any steroids to give you?

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