Ascent of Volcán La Malinche on 2015-11-11

Climber: Seán Caulfield

Others in Party:Idan
Date:Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Bus
Peak:Volcán La Malinche
    Elevation:14501 ft / 4419 m

Ascent Trip Report

Started in Puebla at 5:45am, took a bus from near our hostel in the centre to the CAPU terminal ($MXN6). At the CAPU terminal we bought two tickets to Apizaco ($MXN42 each with Atah, 1hr 15mins - buses leave approximately every 20minutes). In Apizaco we walked about three blocks from the Atah terminal to the colectivo terminal. We found the colectivo for "CV Malintzi" and asked the driver what time he left. He gave us the times: 8:20am, 11:45am and 3:45pm from Apizaco to the Centro Vacaciones (the trailhead), with only one return colectivo at 5pm (the earlier colectivos continue in other directions). We had time to get some breakfast in the nearby market and some food and water for the hike in a supermarket before reporting back to the colectivo for our ride to the trailhead, which would cost us each $MXN20 and take 40minutes.

We got some great views of La Malinche from the colectivo and were excited to start our hike when we arrived in the pine forest outside the gates of the Centro Vacaciones. There is a restaurant and small shop here outside the gates for those who want to make any last minute purchases or have a breakfast or lunch before/after their hike.

The trail began in the pine forest, cutting the corners off the the old closed off road, not too steep at first before steeping shortly after the final turn off the road. It levelled off again near the end of the treeline, before REALLY steepening up to the summit (some easy scrambling required over loose rocks near the top. The views were great, although it clouded over a bit to the west, blocking our view of Ixta and Popo.

I summited in 2hrs30mins, much sooner than I had expected from reading other trip reports. It probably helped that I had completed Orizaba and Ixta in the previous week, so was well acclimatised. I half walked, half ran down the trail in just 1hr10mins and we managed to hitch a ride to Tlaxcala with a few Mexican hikers we met on the trail (there is a steady flow of traffic to/from the Centro Vacaciones, so hitchhiking should be possible, rather than waiting for the 5pm colectivo - San José Teacalco is about 8km downhill, walking there is also an option, there are more frequent colectivos).

All in all, La Malinche was a great day hike, very different to the other giant volcanoes I climbed in Puebla over my week there. In November we needed no gear, I did the hike in Vans trainers and wore shorts and a t-shirt the whole time, apart from the last 10minutes on the summit (out of 30) when it clouded over and I started to get a bit chilly so put on a light jacket. It would make for a great acclimatisation hike for anyone hoping to do Orizaba or Ixta and can easily be done independently and cheaply without a guide - our whole day cost us less than US$6 (minus food and water).

For anyone looking to camp, there are many, many (free) sites along the trail in the forest and near the Centro Vacaciones, and you can pay to stay in a cabin or to camp inside the Centro itself.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4363 ft / 1329 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4363 ft / 1329 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.8 mi / 12.5 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4363 ft / 1329 m
    Distance:3.9 mi / 6.2 km
    Route:Trail from CV Malintzi car park
    Start Trailhead:Centro Vacacional IMSS La Malintzi  10138 ft / 3090 m
    Time:2 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4363 ft / 1329 m
    Distance:3.9 mi / 6.3 km
    Route:Almost the same as route up
    End Trailhead:Centro Vacacional IMSS La Malintzi  10138 ft / 3090 m
    Time:1 Hours 10 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Seán Caulfield
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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