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#11285 - 03/15/04 01:31 PM Mexican Volcanoes
CaptainNoPro Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 228
Loc: Northern VT
Anyone been up Chimborazo or Ixta? Thinking about doing these this summer and looking for information (acclimation, difficulty of normal route etc.). I realize it's the rainy season then, but I'm willing to work inside the box so to speak.

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#11286 - 03/15/04 10:40 PM Re: Mexican Volcanoes [Re: CaptainNoPro]
andrew Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/15/99
Posts: 1816
Loc: Denver, CO
chimborazo is in ecuador, maybe you mean orizaba? i climbed the espinoza route on orizaba and the ayoloco glacier on ixta last week. the glaciers have receded a lot over the years - the glacier climbing on the ayoloco didn't take me any longer than about 30 minutes, and you could do the arista del sol with tennis shoes.

in the middle of summer, you probably won't be able to get very close to orizaba - most likely you'll have to walk all the way in from hidalgo, but that isn't a bad idea for acclimatization anyway. build lots of weather days in.

ixta should be no problem by the normal route, which is super easy. if you are coming from sea level, spend a couple of days in mexico city or amecameca before going higher. spend one day camped at la joya, move up to a hut the next day(ayoloco hut if doing ayoloco glacier, republica de chile hut if doing the arista del sol), and then summit the day after. do ixta first and you'll be well acclimated for orizaba.

the third class rock bands on orizaba would be no fun if they are icy or covered in snow, so you might want to move up to the camp at the base of the glacier so you don't have to do that part in the dark. the glacier is completely straightforward - the biggest crevasse i saw was about 6 inches wide.
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#11287 - 03/16/04 12:55 AM Re: Mexican Volcanoes [Re: CaptainNoPro]
GeeVee Offline
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Registered: 11/14/00
Posts: 4403
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Have you considered springing for a copy of Secor's Mexico's Volcanoes book? It was $14.95 when I bought mine a couple of years back.
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#11288 - 03/16/04 02:24 PM Re: Mexican Volcanoes [Re: andrew]
CaptainNoPro Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 228
Loc: Northern VT
Yeah, Sorry I meant Orizaba. I actually would prefer to hike and acclimate on the hike since I will have plenty of time. Additionally, the less steep snow climbing or glacier climbing, the better. My girlfriend is not comfortable on super steep stuff although she has been up mt. adams regular route in Washington state so she has experience with snow climbing. How reasonable is it to think that I could bring her up there? She's done a bunch of winter hiking but not much mountaineering aside from Mt. Adams in Washington.

Oh yeah, do you think you would need a rope?


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#11289 - 03/16/04 05:20 PM Re: Mexican Volcanoes [Re: CaptainNoPro]
andrew Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/15/99
Posts: 1816
Loc: Denver, CO
do the arista del sol on ixta if you don't want steep snow. that will be fine for your girlfriend. orizaba gets pretty steep - how steep depends on which part of the glacier you are on, but plan on at least 40-50 degree glacier by the easiest route.

i didn't use a rope - you don't need one for crevasse problems or anything like that. if the glacier is not suncupped and your girlfriend isn't very experienced, it would probably be a good idea to at least have one along for piece of mind - a couple of screws and pickets would be good in that case as well.

the route is different now than in the secor guidebook - the jamapa glacier is now climb much further to the right because glacial retreat has exposed some nasty rock bands. its a bit steeper on that side, but much more direct to the crater rim.
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#11290 - 03/17/04 03:14 PM Re: Mexican Volcanoes [Re: andrew]
nerdom Offline
Pooh-Bah *

Registered: 09/07/01
Posts: 2483
Loc: Davis Sq., MA
I think that 40-50 degrees is overstated (I have pictures that show pretty clearly the angle of the glacier). The entire glacier is no more than 30, possibly 35 degrees. At the crater rim, you encounter a close to 40-degree section. As for a rope, it's debatable. The one thing about the Jamapa is the sheer runout of the thing. There is nothing that is going to stop you if you don't self-arrest immediately (11 people died on Orizaba in the 3 months before I climbed it; in fact, 2 died when we were on the mountain). That thing is slick as snot and completely featureless. However, there really is no way anyone should fall on that thing, save for succumbing to the altitude.

You will NOT want to hike into the Jamapa -- it's a LONG way from the bottom. When did it, we caught a ride to the sub-alpine forest at around 12,000 feet (just above the village up there that I forget the name of), where we spent the night. The following day, we hiked to the Piedra Grande hut. BTW, it's a long day from the hut. I recommend making a high camp up at 15,500 (below the Tongue). It allows one more day of acclimatization, and makes for a much shorter, and therefore much warmer day.

Just my $.02. Whatever you do, you must avail yourself of Senor Reyes' hospitality in Talachichuca.

Eidte to add: Andrew is right about the route being different than the book. It used to involve a pretty steep, exposed icy approach on "The Tongue" to access the glacier. However, when I was there, you could easily skirt the tongue by negotiating the rock bands on the left. It involved some very easy 3rd class scrambling. This was in 2000. It may very well be different now, as glaciers worldwide have been in rapid retreat.


Edited by nerdom (03/17/04 03:20 PM)
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#11291 - 03/17/04 04:08 PM Re: Mexican Volcanoes [Re: nerdom]
andrew Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/15/99
Posts: 1816
Loc: Denver, CO
hi,

the glacier itself is much steeper now nerdom. the first time i was there in 1998, the jamapa was climbed pretty much the way it is described in the book and the angle was around 30. now, you have to climb the glacier much further right, and the part below the summit is considerably steeper than anything on the old route.

even if the roads get snowed in, you can still get to the village nerdom was referring to, which is called hidalgo.

here is a picture of the ayoloco glacier two weeks ago.



Attachments
103148-ayoloco.jpg (136 downloads)

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#11292 - 03/17/04 04:20 PM Re: Mexican Volcanoes [Re: andrew]
empicard Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/29/01
Posts: 2954
Loc: LI, NY
Man, this planet is getting warm, huh?
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#11293 - 03/18/04 02:28 PM Re: Mexican Volcanoes [Re: nerdom]
CaptainNoPro Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 228
Loc: Northern VT
Thanks for the help! How might one go about contacting Sr. Reyes - I hear many good recommendations for his services. Could you rent gear (crampons, axes) from him without being guided? I just don't feel like carrying all the crap all over the rest of mexico after we attempt the volcanoes.

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#11294 - 03/18/04 04:07 PM Re: Mexican Volcanoes [Re: CaptainNoPro]
andrew Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/15/99
Posts: 1816
Loc: Denver, CO
Gerardo Reyes's website is http://www.servimont.com.mx/ I don't know if you can rent that stuff from him or not, but keep in mind that at that time of year you'll need it for Ixta as well. Bring US dollars to pay him with. His place is also not easy to find unless you know where it is. Wehn you get off the bus at Tlachichuca, head outside and turn left. Walk two blocks and you'll see a Pemex gas station on the right side of the road. Go into the minimart across the street from the Pemex and on the far corner from the bus station. They'll help you find the place from there, and they speak some English if you Spanish isn't up to par.
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