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Pico de Orizaba

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Espolón de Oro 

Pico de Orizaba Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 18,490'
Location: 19.0302, -97.2702 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 7,524
Administrators: Hank Caylor, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Dustin Clelen on Dec 3, 2009
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Description 

Pico de Orizaba is the highest volcano in Mexico and a popular destination for local climbers as well as guided trips from the US and Canada. It is situated in the state of Veracruz, within 80 miles of the southwestern shore of the gulf of Mexico. Access is via the town of Tlachichuca from the west and the town of Coscomatepec from the east. The routes are an enjoyable combination of snow and cinder slogging, and the mountain is climbable year-round.

Getting There 

As with many international ventures, the most difficult part of the climb is getting yourself and your gear to the base of the route. Mexico City is probably the cheapest city to fly in to, though the city of Veracruz is closer. Once on the ground, Mexico’s extensive and surprisingly luxurious bus system is the best way to get around. As mentioned above, the main points of entry to the mountain are the towns of Tlachichuca to the west and Coscomatepec to the east. Tlachichuca is a small town with a market typical of many small Mexican towns. Food of all sorts can be found there, but there is nowhere to buy any climbing stuff at all, and there are no banking facilities with ATMs, so bring cash. Most people stay at Joaquin Canchola Limon's Hostel. He has been operating it for decades, and used to climb the mountain extensively himself, so he has a good understanding of the needs of international climbers. He will also give you a ride to the hut on the north side of the peak for an additional fee. This service is well worth it. The hike in and out would add two days of wandering the (poorly mapped) Mexican countryside on unmarked roads. His place is very secure and seeing his guest book is like looking at a summit register. Apparently, Fred Beckey stayed there recently. By United States standards, the services are inexpensive but those on a strict budget should be wary. When I was there it was difficult to figure exactly how much everything would cost and when the final bill arrived I was caught with my financial pants down (admittedly, this was just as much my fault as his – take plenty of money and know exactly how much he’s charging and you’ll be set). Several routes on the mountain can be accessed from the hut, or “refugio” on the north side. Since the summit is over 18,000 feet, acclimatization makes the trip much safer and more pleasant, so plan on spending a day & a night hanging out at the refugio (which is at roughly 13,900 feet) before climbing. The facilities available at the refugio are bunks and tables with a cement floor, so bring your own cooking & sleeping gear. There are no lockers. There are rats. As of the fall of 2006, there was no fee to stay there and Mr. Canchola Limon hauled the trash down in his truck. For more information, check out RJ Secor’s book “Mexico’s Volcanoes: A Climber’s Guide.”

Climbing Season

For the Mexico area.

Weather station 5.4 miles from here

1 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',0],['5.9',0],['5.10',0],['5.11',0],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Pico de Orizaba

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Pico de Orizaba:
Espolón de Oro        Alpine, Grade III   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Pico de Orizaba

Featured Route For Pico de Orizaba
Rock Climbing Photo: A guide and his client.  This is a good representa...

Espolón de Oro   North America : Mexico : ... : Pico de Orizaba
As of November 2006, this route had replaced the Jamapa Glacier as the standard route up the peak. Approach the glacier from the refugio by hiking up the obvious drainage. There is a well-traveled trail in the bottom half, but higher up the route-finding becomes very confusing, especially in the dark. There is an easy way, though there are tons of 4th & 5th class obstacles as well as legions of discarded wands that make it difficult to stay on the right path. In his guidebook for the area, Seco...[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of Pico de Orizaba Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Orizaba from the town of Tlachichuca
Orizaba from the town of Tlachichuca
Rock Climbing Photo: On the summit of Orizaba 1972
On the summit of Orizaba 1972
Rock Climbing Photo: An unfortunate tangle of steel rubble marks the tr...
An unfortunate tangle of steel rubble marks the tr...
Rock Climbing Photo: Orizaba from the air
Orizaba from the air
Rock Climbing Photo: The smaller hut at Piedre Grande.
The smaller hut at Piedre Grande.
Rock Climbing Photo: Another look at the large hut at Piedre Grande.
Another look at the large hut at Piedre Grande.
Rock Climbing Photo: Dodge Power Wagons in front of the large hut at Pi...
Dodge Power Wagons in front of the large hut at Pi...
Rock Climbing Photo: Piedre Grande huts at a little over 14,000 ft. The...
Piedre Grande huts at a little over 14,000 ft. The...
Rock Climbing Photo: View of Pico de Orizaba from the village of Miguel...
View of Pico de Orizaba from the village of Miguel...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking over Mexico from the summit or Citlaltepet...
Looking over Mexico from the summit or Citlaltepet...
Rock Climbing Photo: Refugio and the summit...way up there.
Refugio and the summit...way up there.
Rock Climbing Photo: Newel Jensen dropping the knee, above the clouds o...
Newel Jensen dropping the knee, above the clouds o...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking into the crater.
Looking into the crater.
Rock Climbing Photo: Ascending the Jamapa Glacier with Piedre Grande in...
Ascending the Jamapa Glacier with Piedre Grande in...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pretty much the meanest thistle I've ever seen.  S...
Pretty much the meanest thistle I've ever seen. S...
Rock Climbing Photo: Expect plenty of freezing mist on this peak.  Bein...
Expect plenty of freezing mist on this peak. Bein...
Rock Climbing Photo: Refugio, summit, and the remains of an old aqueduc...
BETA PHOTO: Refugio, summit, and the remains of an old aqueduc...
Rock Climbing Photo: View of Pico de Orizaba from the cemetery in Tlach...
View of Pico de Orizaba from the cemetery in Tlach...
Rock Climbing Photo: Following the boot track up through the thinning a...
Following the boot track up through the thinning a...
Rock Climbing Photo: Just before arriving the region received the bigge...
BETA PHOTO: Just before arriving the region received the bigge...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pano of the crater from the summit.
Pano of the crater from the summit.
Rock Climbing Photo: Less than 100 vertical feet from the summit!  Janu...
Less than 100 vertical feet from the summit! Janu...
Rock Climbing Photo: Craig Manker near the summit, Orizaba.
Craig Manker near the summit, Orizaba.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pico de Orizaba from the road to the refugio.
Pico de Orizaba from the road to the refugio.

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