Ascent of Volcán Iztaccíhuatl on 1999-12-25

Climber: Jan Triska

Date:Saturday, December 25, 1999
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Taxicab
Peak:Volcán Iztaccíhuatl
    Elevation:5220 m / 17126 ft

Ascent Trip Report

A Christmas eve different is that?
The trip started by taking a taxi from the nearest town, Amecameca, to the foot of the mountain trail itself (at almost 4000m). I'd pre-arranged for the same driver to pick me up after the descent, otherwise it'd be one long journey back to town...
After my partner bailed due to an injury, early in the hike up, I continued up solo and ended up bivying at the site of a former hut on the summit ridge notch (at around 5000m altitude). The going got tough from about 4800 m onwards; altitude definitely had some impact on my performance (I was even mildly ill during the night but managed to recover by the next morning). A Mexican fellow climber provided the only human company en route; I got lots of advice about climbs in Central America from the fellow. Day 2, an early start up the summit ridge, a long plod on a snow slope and then an anti-climactic summit (bad weather, couldn't see much).
Izta is not a difficult peak from a technical standpoint but it is big and tall, reminding one that it's not to be taken lightly. Several changes of weather occurred during the two days on the mountain. This is good training grounds for very big peaks such as Orizaba, Rainier or Mt. McKinley, not beacuse of the terrain but because of the trip size, weather, cold, potential to wander off the route.

There was some humor along the way, too - a stray dog joined me for part of the descent, and I met a duo of Spanish climbers at a lower hut who were stoned out of their minds on potent local weed. Fun times!
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1300 m / 4265 ft
    Route:standard route
    Trailhead:3920 m / 12861 ft
    Grade/Class:F (easy, occassional
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Bivouac
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Snowing, Cold, Breezy, Low Clouds
ALL sorts of weather, cloudy on the summit
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:1 Days 
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:1 Days 
Ascent Part of Trip: Iztaccihuatl (1 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Volcán Iztaccíhuatl1999-12-25

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