Ascent of Pico de Orizaba on 2013-01-01
|Other People:||Solo Ascent|
|Date:||Tuesday, January 1, 2013|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||4x4 Vehicle|
|Peak:||Pico de Orizaba|
| Elevation:||18491 ft / 5636 m|
Ascent Trip ReportAfter researching on the internet and taking into account all of the factors, I decided climbing the Cada Sur would be my best option. It afforded a shorter car ride from Cordoba (where I was staying), a potentially snow-less climb (I had no experience climbing in snow and wanted to avoid it), and a steeper approach, all of which gave me the opportunity to do a solo climb in the shortest time possible. Besides, it was BY FAR the less popular and commercialized route, which appealed to me. There were still a lot of questions I had.
First, I did not know how my body would handle the altitude and didn't want to take my time in climbing it, nor did I want to acclimate for days in a refugio. A few days before the climb I had just bagged the highest peak of my life on La Malinche with little difficulty, so I at least knew I wouldn't get sick at 14,600 ft. Second, I didn't quite know how to get there (nor did anyone in my wife's family, whom we were visiting in Cordoba). Furthermore, they all thought I was crazy for wanting to climb it, as all they hear about are people dying. Lastly, I needed to time the climb to have a viable weather window.
After being in Mexico almost a week I had a chance to observe the weather and realized my time was potentially running out to make a safe and fast summit attempt. A day after, and sore from my Malinche hike, the family and I went to Coscomatepec which is at the Eastern base of the Pico to gather intel and eat at a favorite restaurant. Unfortunately, the mountain was completely hidden behind the dense fog, however we were able to get on the internet so I could check the weather and do more route research on how to drive to the southern face. I saw that the next couple of days would hold the best weather and knew I needed to get in gear if I was to even attempt to summit. The next day my wife, 14 month old son, and I "borrowed" a truck and set off to make it to the south face of the mountain via the roads we had chosen from maps and info obtained from a Spanish mountaineer who documented his attempt of the Cada Sur. A few hours later we were 13K feet in elevation and I was trying to turn the 4X2 truck around before we got stuck. We had found our route.
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||4711 ft / 1435 m|
| Total Elevation Loss:||5696 ft / 1736 m|
| Grade/Class:||Class 3|
| Quality:||8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble|
| Gear Used:||Ice Axe, Crampons, Ski Poles|
| Weather:||Sunny, cold, windy|
| Gain on way in:||4711 ft / 1435 m|
| Route:||Cada Sur (South Face)|
| Start Trailhead:||Close to the end of the rough two-track, just belo 13780 ft / 4200 m|
| Time:||4 Hours 0 Minutes|
| Loss on way out:||5696 ft / 1736 m|
| Route:||Cada Sur (South Face)|
| End Trailhead:||Close to the end of the rough two-track, just belo 12795 ft / 3899 m|
| Time:||1 Hours 30 Minutes|
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