Ascent of Volcán La Malinche on 2012-01-09

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Duane Gilliland
Adam Helman -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Greg Slayden -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Date:Monday, January 9, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Volcán La Malinche
    Elevation:14560 ft / 4437 m

Ascent Trip Report

A 14 km round trip with 1250m of ascent including some scrambling.

After our Nevado de Toluca climb the previous day, we left the trailhead early morning and drove across to the Malinche trailhead, and by early afternoon we were installed in a 6-bed cabin with showers, with a nice restaurant which we made good use of.

We started hiking next morning at 07:30. There was unseasonal snow on the mountain (arrived over the New Year) and a reasonably late start would allow it to soften in time for our descent. From our cabin we hiked up to the main gate (N19.27942 W98.04247, 3144m). Just outside the gate is a small place which sells coffee, quesadillas etc (Duane and I breakfasted there); a small path leads uphill from there to a locked gate (N19.27942 W98.04247), which is where you would leave a car if not staying overnight at the resort (we noticed a lot of cars here Sunday when we arrived, but very few on Monday).

From the locked gate, the paved road is hiked a short way, then there's a R turn at N19.27772 W98.04195 onto a clear trail. This takes a more direct line than the road, which it crosses several times; there are occasional "La Cima" signs. The trail passes through nice pinewood, with glimpses of the peak through the tall trees. At N19.24455 W98.03198 the forest thins (note this point as you need to fork left here on the descent) and soon Malinche is in clear view. The trail continues uphill, steadily at first but soon becoming steep and loose (there is said to be a better route which climbs further R onto the crest, but we saw no sign of it).

In time we reached the crest which we followed uphill. It was covered with snow which was somewhat frozen and slippery, although we had no difficulty in mountain boots, and others were getting up (with some difficulty) in trainers. The ridge steepens to easy bouldery rock (YDS 2+) then there is a short level stretch, with excellent views of Popo and Ixta to the west and Orizaba - our next goal - to the east.

A short stony arete terminates at a 3m rock wall, which can be passed to the L or R at YDS 3, to reach the summit, the highest point of which is a small rock outcrop with a small amount of concrete (N19.23103 W98.03202, 4390m); there is also a Mexican flag. There are a few bits of metalwork with no current purpose. A group of Mormons summitted soon afterwards; after a few group photos we descended a short way and spent an hour lunching and taking in the view.

By the time we descended the snow had softened somewhat and was Ok in boots (some of us used ice axes).

Greg and I had taken a fancy to the attractive rocky peak Tlachichihuatzi which we had passed on the way up, and made the small diversion to visit it on the way down. There is some scrambling (hardish YDS 3) and airy going on the connecting arete and the ascent has a short section of easy YDS 3. There are two summits close together of very similar elevation. My GPS suggested 4110m P40m, W summit N19.24225 W98.03472, E summit N19.24229 W98.03499. It is an excellent viewpoint for Malinche.

Meanwhile Duane and Adam made a leisurely descent and we found them partway down talking to Ryan who had come up to meet us. He confirmed that Collin who had started with us, had returned to the cabin.

We were down at 3.20 pm for a shower and early dinner (the restaurant closed at 5). We then got things organised for our next ascent, and main trip goal - Pico de Orizaba.

Malinche photo album

A trip summary/overview can be found at the end of my Orizaba report

For a comprehensive illustrated description of the whole trip, see Adam Helman's expedition report
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4491 ft / 1368 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4491 ft / 1368 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8.8 mi / 14.2 km
    Grade/Class:YDS 3
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4294 ft / 1308 m
    Distance:4.4 mi / 7.1 km
    Route:North ridge
    Start Trailhead:Malinche resort  10266 ft / 3129 m
    Time:3 Hours 50 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4491 ft / 1368 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 4294 ft / 1308 m; Extra: 197 ft / 60m
    Gain on way out:197 ft / 60 m
    Distance:4.4 mi / 7.1 km
    Route:North ridge
    End Trailhead:Malinche resort  10266 ft / 3129 m
    Time:2 Hours 50 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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