Pico de Orizaba questions

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Re: Pico de Orizaba questions

Post by aksean22 »

Hey mtn_nut!
Reading your post here and finding it extremely useful. I am planning on climbing Orizaba the 2nd week of Feb'24. If you still have the GPS route available I want to take you on you offer of sharing it. I am planning to go up with a couple of friends, but w/o a guide. We will be walking up to Piedra Grande for acclimation instead of driving there.
Please let me know if you still have the gps file.

There are a bunch of GPS tracks available on peakbagger that you can download https://peakbagger.com/peak.aspx?pid=8049. It was very helpful to have one going through the Labyrinth in the dark. Good luck on your climb!
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Re: Pico de Orizaba questions

Post by nyker »

I climbed up through the labyrinth and back three times; once on an acclimatizing hike in daylight, once on an attempt where I turned around at the top where the glacier starts and once with a successful summit, The latter two being alpine starts. I did sort of a fourth one but that was just more of a recon hike with no pack.

Each time we basically took a different route, generally dead reckoning to the same course but in short there are options and a few ways up like most mountains and conditions will likely dictate which path you actually take up through the rocks. Once it was icier and one time it was drier and then the summit day was actually right after fresh snow which warranted and/or allowed a different albeit steeper ascent route. Other than the altitude difference, I didn't find that section any more difficult technically speaking then many rockier sections of many 13ers and 14ers.

GPS / GPX coordinates may help in this section but would likely be more helpful if they were recorded in similar conditions that you're likely going to be experiencing (which you won't know until you're there on the rock) so I'd use caution following someone else's track.

For following a GPX route above the labyrinth on the glacier itself another thing to be aware of is that in recent years some crevasses have opened more than in past years where Crevasse risk was negligible, meaning you may be following a track that takes you right across a crevasse that was not there when that prior person who recorded that track climbed last.

Some of those crevasses were several meters wide and several hundred feet long, reminiscent of what you might see in some northern Cascades glaciated peaks. While crevasse rescue skills and team rope travel may not have traditionally been skill sets needed to climb Orizaba, they may be now. Maybe someone who's climbed it recently and has seen some of those large crevasses could comment on more recent conditions the last couple years.
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