Pico de Orizaba - Labyrinth beta

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Eli Boardman
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Re: Pico de Orizaba - Labyrinth beta

Post by Eli Boardman »

Scott P wrote: Tue Oct 04, 2022 3:42 pm
12ersRule wrote: Tue Oct 04, 2022 1:35 pm I've read that the Mexican "glaciers" are a mess now. Is there a particular reason why you want to go after this route?

I'm going in November and trying to avoid as much snow as possible.
The South Face is a scree pile, or so I've heard by those who have done it. I have only heard of one person actually enjoying that route

November usually has good snow conditions on the north side, though it does vary from year to year.

It's usually February and March that the glaciers deteriorate, but it can be in January too. Usually November is the best month.

Good luck whatever route you choose.
We enjoyed the south face. There's plenty of solid ground to climb if you stay on the rock ribs, then you can slide down the sandy chutes. It's basically a Sawatch 14er but 4,000 ft. higher.
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Scott P
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Re: Pico de Orizaba - Labyrinth beta

Post by Scott P »

Eli Boardman wrote: Tue Oct 04, 2022 6:53 pmWe enjoyed the south face. There's plenty of solid ground to climb if you stay on the rock ribs, then you can slide down the sandy chutes. It's basically a Sawatch 14er but 4,000 ft. higher.
You might be the person I was referring to as it was from this forum since I've only heard one person who enjoyed it and didn't remember who it was.

I think the north side is more interesting than a Sawatch 14er for sure (personally I wouldn't consider "similar to a Sawatch 14er" to be a compliment). That said though, since I need Sierra Negra to finish the Mexico's 13K's (though I am not actively perusing the list, but might as well finish it off), I might end up there some day.
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Re: Pico de Orizaba - Labyrinth beta

Post by seano »

Scott P wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 9:06 am
Eli Boardman wrote: Tue Oct 04, 2022 6:53 pmWe enjoyed the south face. There's plenty of solid ground to climb if you stay on the rock ribs, then you can slide down the sandy chutes. It's basically a Sawatch 14er but 4,000 ft. higher.
You might be the person I was referring to as it was from this forum since I've only heard one person who enjoyed it and didn't remember who it was.
Make that two, as I've done the south side twice and enjoyed it quite a bit once I found the "correct" up- and down-paths. I'll take stable talus and epic sand-skiing over a gritty, icy, retreating glacier any day.
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Re: Pico de Orizaba - Labyrinth beta

Post by Eli Boardman »

Scott P wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 9:06 am
Eli Boardman wrote: Tue Oct 04, 2022 6:53 pmWe enjoyed the south face. There's plenty of solid ground to climb if you stay on the rock ribs, then you can slide down the sandy chutes. It's basically a Sawatch 14er but 4,000 ft. higher.
You might be the person I was referring to as it was from this forum since I've only heard one person who enjoyed it and didn't remember who it was.

I think the north side is more interesting than a Sawatch 14er for sure (personally I wouldn't consider "similar to a Sawatch 14er" to be a compliment). That said though, since I need Sierra Negra to finish the Mexico's 13K's (though I am not actively perusing the list, but might as well finish it off), I might end up there some day.
If "interesting" climbing is what you're looking for, I'm not sure Mexico is the place to be. People seem drawn to Orizaba because it's the easiest way to get much higher than you can in Colorado, so it always baffled me why people choose the hardest route up the easiest mountain. The Sawatch stick out in my mind as exceptionally high peaks that are exceptionally easy to climb, which can also be said for Orizaba's Ruta Sur.

Disclaimer: the Ruta Sur is quite a bit steeper than any of the Sawatch trails, and a helmet is a good idea.
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Re: Pico de Orizaba - Labyrinth beta

Post by Scott P »

Eli Boardman wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 3:33 pmIf "interesting" climbing is what you're looking for, I'm not sure Mexico is the place to be.
The north side is still more interesting and scenic than the Sawatch 14ers (though Holy Cross and Huron are really scenic).

I assume most people use the northern route because it's more scenic and more of a climb. The view of the north side, even from afar is certainly more impressive.
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I only have to take other's words on the South Face and I am glad to find out that there are now at least two people I have heard that enjoyed the south face. Everyone else I know or have heard from that tried it says it wasn't that great. It's good to know that other opinions do exist and as I said, maybe someday I'll end up there. I might even PM you for information if I ever do.

If I ever go back to the Mexican volcanoes (I have already been to them many times, so it's not that high on my list right now) I might hit the south face since I haven't been to Sierra Negra.
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Re: Pico de Orizaba - Labyrinth beta

Post by Climbinginfinity »

I have climbed the North and South. I prefer the south. The south is not "easier." I attached the Mexican Government visuals on rock fall area on South and North route. The North labyrinth has plenty of rock falls area. Guides don't take you up the easier path or there is a cheating way (you cheat death every time you climb in rock fall area). You climb where there is no rock fall danger. You're hire a guide to just make sure you are not in it. Guides will not produce their GPX to you. It is what makes them money. I hire a guide each time as opposed to an outfitter. It don't mean my guide will summit with me but advise me to not be in danger areas. You will have no idea where you are at night. Your guide also advises on when to climb and weather windows. It is not a 14er. An outfitter plus guide is a babysitter.

South route is a scree pile if you climb in the rock fall area. You climb way to the left. As someone said on rock ribs.. My guide on south route told me that crazy gringos come and climb in the wrong area. I attached the visual created by Mexican government to stop climbing in the rock fall area or the scree pile area. My general sense is Mexican guides won't take you to the south because there is a guard post 24 hours a day at the split in the road up to Sierra Negre and they are not licensed or authorized to be guides. The US and Mexico take the security of the area very seriously with the amount of money in science project. Feel free to pm me on guide services.
South Face actual route and rock fall on scree pile.
South Face actual route and rock fall on scree pile.
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Attachments
North face rock fall and danger zones.
North face rock fall and danger zones.
FB_IMG_1702350044214.jpg (71.32 KiB) Viewed 3715 times
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