Summit elevation: 18,491 feet / 5,636 meters
4 miles with 3,600 feet of climbing
Pico de Orizaba • Description
Pico de Orizaba aka Citlaltépetl is a 18,491-foot dormant volcano in Mexico. It is the nation's highest mountain and North America's highest volcano and third highest mountain (after Alaska's Denali and Canada's Mount Logan).
Popular routes include the North Face and South Face. The South Face can be approached from Ciudad Serdán with a four-wheel drive.
The route leads from the dirt road (~14,800 ft) to Refugio Fausto González Gomar (15,289 ft). Then it continues on through sandy terrain, followed by rocky terrain (Los Muñecos), always aiming at El Púlpito. El Púlpito can be passed on the left (site of crashed airplane), and shortly thereafter lies the summit and massive caldera.
The route offers spectacular views of the states of Puebla and Veracruz, and of Popocatépetl, Iztaccíhuatl, La Malinche, and neighbor Sierra Negra with observatory (and webcam of the South Face).
Pico de Orizaba • Interactive Map
Pico de Orizaba • Pictures
Sunrise over Orizaba
South Face and El Púlpito
Sierra Negra with Observatory
South Face and Refugio
View back at South Face
Sandra and I went 24 days to Mexico to visit family, friends, and climb Pico de Orizaba. We acclimated on La Malinche and Nevado de Toluca.
For Pico de Orizaba, we went with Angel and Cesar (guides), Ryan H., and Sergio J. from Puebla to Ciudad Serdán. There we met Salomon with a four-wheel drive, who drove us to the high camp - an old hut at the Sierra Negra turnoff (~14,000 ft). After a 45-minute drive, we started the ascent at 3:30 am, reached the summit at 11:30 am, and were back at the car at 3:30 pm.
By: Bernd Straehle
See Also: Climbing & Mountaineering