Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Orizaba - the highest mountain in Mexico - GPS Track

My friend Todd and I did Orizaba, the highest mountain in Mexico, third highest in North America, and the highest volcano in North America, making it one of the Volcanic Seven Summits. At approximately 18,500' it's usually not a walk in the park, though we did manage to summit on our first acclimatization hike, where we planned to stop either below or above the Labyrinth. We felt so good we kept on going and hit the top at about 5:10 PM. We descended in the dark, getting lost in the Labyrinth and the cliffs below, apparently, from this Spot GPS track [SPOT Connect], going too far to climber's left of the proper track. During our "lost in the dark" phase I was pretty sure we were too far to the right. We eventually moved in the correct direction and ended up crossing a familiar line of cairns and followed them down the way we'd come up, after a lot of mental wear and tear trying hard not to fall off a cliff in the dark.

Picture above shows me climbing through the mixed rock snow ice gravel of the Labyrinth. Balanced rock above is the landmark we used for the descent in the dark, and is at the ridge where the Labyrinth trail turns and goes to the foot of the Jamapa Glacier. Here is the GPS track as waypoints, not paths, the way that SPOT uses by default from their admin page.