Ixta Climbing Beta

8:49 p.m. on December 28, 2002 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Francisco

Halo,
I need info on climbing Ixta.
1- Is Ixta currently open to climbing, or do we need to bribe the policemen there?
1- water sources, or can we carry 5 gallon containers in the taxis? We want to attempt the Arista del Sol(sic)
2- transportation. Do we get to Amemeca(sp) and take a taxi from there, or are there jeeps like on El Pico de Orizabo?
3- Hotel recommendations in Amemeca(sp)?
4- Hotel recommendations in Mexico City?
We're going Jan 10-20, anyone else going there then? We are attempting Ixta first, then (El Pico de Orizabo.)
See ya there...
Mucho Gracias Amigos...
Bob

2:35 p.m. on December 29, 2002 (EST)
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Quote:

Halo,
I need info on climbing Ixta.

First thing is - get RJ Secor's book on Climbing the Mexican Volcanoes. I think the current edition is the third. It has all the info you need on the mountains and routes, plus a lot of info on transportation.

Second, get the Lonely Planet Mexico book. It has all the locations of the bus stations and prices (a year or so out of date, but pretty accurate) for getting from the Mexico City Airport to Amecameca and Tlachichula. I suggest staying at a hotel in Mexico City for your first one or two nights to do a bit of acclimatization. There are a number of quite nice ones that aren't expensive by Americn standards. Use only taxis that you prepay at the airport for getting into the city and ones called by the hotel front desk for in-town transportation. An unfortunately large number of the traditional green VW beetles are being used by the kidnappers, according to friends of mine who live in Mexico City. Puebla does not have this problem, nor do the smaller towns.

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1- Is Ixta currently open to climbing, or do we need to bribe the policemen there?

Izta is open, but you need to get a permit. You pick this up in Amecameca. The building where the office is located is next to the marketplace at the plaza.

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1- water sources, or can we carry 5 gallon containers in the taxis? We want to attempt the Arista del Sol(sic)

Water sources, what's that? Carry several 5 gallon containers with you, as much as you will need for the 3 or 4 days including an acclimatization hike. Since you are taking a taxi, only carry with you the gear you actually need on the mountain. Do not leave anything except your water containers at La Joya (some of the guys who hang out there will offer to watch your stuff for a fee. I won't comment on their prices or dependability, since we didn't use them).

I would strongly suggest you use a different route than the Arista for three reasons. First, -everybody- and his brother and sister use La Arista del Sol, including the day trippers from Mexico City. Second, you will want to do an acclimatization hike from La Joya the day after you get to La Joya, and the hike up the trail that starts that route is a quite nice scenic hike with lots of photo-ops. I suggest going up to about 15,000 ft. Third, La Arista del Sol goes up fairly quickly to the ridge, then up and down for an unbearable amount of kilometers staying above 17k (exposing your party to AMS possibilities for a very long time). You have to retrace your steps to get back down.

I would suggest that the Ayoloco Glacier route is a much better route. The schedule would be something like this. Night 1 - arrive by taxi (or whatever) at La Joya. Full day 1, training hike up the La Arista del Sol trail (the right, uphill branch just as you leave La Joya) to roughly 15k and return for the night at La Joya. Day 2, hike to the Ayoloco hut. I suggest taking tents and sleeping in one of the sheltered flat spots near the hut rather than sharing your bed with all the mice in the hut. Carry some sturdy sealed containers to keep your food safe from the beasties (most of the mountain huts in Mexico, including the ones at Piedra Grande, have mice and/or large rats - better to sleep outside). Day 3 - up and on the way up by 3AM at the latest. Cross the Ayoloco Glacier up to the saddle, along the ridge, and across the flat section to the summit. Take lots of photos. Return to the Ayoloco hut by the same route, pack, head out to La Joya, call the taxi, and head for Amecameca.

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2- transportation. Do we get to Amemeca(sp) and take a taxi from there, or are there jeeps like on El Pico de Orizabo?

As RJ's and the Lonely Planet books will tell you, you take a taxi from Amecameca to La Joya, and arrange for the driver to pick you up at a specified time. 4WD is not needed on Izta. On Citlateptl, I suggest using Joaquin, rather than Senor Reyes (RJ's favorite). You can arrange for several of the 4WD operators to pick you up in Puebla for the trip to Tlachichula, or you can get a bus (1 or 2 changes of bus, I think). Your cell phone will most likely work in Mexico. I used my ATT in Mexico City, Amecameca, from La Joya (one of the relay stations is less than a mile from the trailhead), Puebla, and Tlachichula with no problem. For calling back to the US, dial 001, area code, number. Unless you have the international plan, you will pay roaming and long distance at about $1/minute. But it works for calling the taxi up to La Joya when you are ready to go.

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3- Hotel recommendations in Amemeca(sp)?

Don't have one, since we basically headed straight from Mexico City to Amecameca, got some food at the food stalls, got our permit, and headed for La Joya. But Lonely Planet has a couple listed, and their recommendations are usually pretty good.

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4- Hotel recommendations in Mexico City?

Again, use Lonely Planet. I stayed at Hotel Flemming (Revillagigedo #35, phone 011 52 5 510 4530) last year, and Hotel Metropole (Luis Moya #39) several years ago. I have also stayed at the Hotel de Cortez, which is a Best Western. It is very interesting, being the oldest operating hotel in the western hemisphere, originally a nunnery. It is actually a bit fancy for a dirtbag climber, and the parties they hold from time to time in the central courtyard can be a bit noisy. But the historical aspect and beauty of the building were worth it for a couple of nights (at someone else's expense).

If you stay in Puebla (highly recommended, since you really should get some of the culture while there, and Puebla has a great museum, plus the cathedral on the central plaza is really beautiful), I have stayed at the Hotel Colonial Puebla several times. This was originally a nunnery, like the Hotel de Cortez in Mexico City, just off the plaza. It is pretty fancy, but surprisingly reasonable in price. They are actually used to dirtbag climbers. The cheapest rooms are on the first floor, but I suggest you go for 2nd floor or higher. I was in room 103 one time and found that in the morning, the car fumes from the street were a bit overwhelming. There are Vip's and Sanborn's restaurants a couple blocks away (good, cheap, authentic Pueblan food - try the enchiladas de tres moles). There is even a (gasp!) McDonald's on the plaza, but the pizza place on the plaza is much better if you want fast food.

5:25 p.m. on December 30, 2002 (EST)
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Bill's got it...

Quote:

1- Is Ixta currently open to climbing, or do we need to bribe the policemen there?

Open.

Quote:

1- water sources, or can we carry 5 gallon containers in the taxis? We want to attempt the Arista del Sol(sic)

I recall bringin' water.

Quote:

2- transportation. Do we get to Amemeca(sp) and take a taxi from there, or are there jeeps like on El Pico de Orizabo?

Taxi, I hear tell. We drove our own vehicle (never again!).

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3- Hotel recommendations in Amemeca(sp)?

Is a climbing hostel type place? Seem to recall (was in '84).

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4- Hotel recommendations in Mexico City?

Can highly recommend the Hotel Canada. Older, less expensive, quieter, potable water in the room, easy walk to zocalo.

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We're going Jan 10-20, anyone else going there then? We are attempting Ixta first, then (El Pico de Orizabo.)
See ya there...
Mucho Gracias Amigos...

Is nice to get out of Mexico City for aclimatization. Pyrimids nearby are worth a visit. Also, is some fun day hiking around Tlachichuca.

I've used Reyes twice with great success. I like stayin' in the old soap factory...

Fun trip. Have a blast. Stay away from the local ceviche prior to your ascent (unless you don't mind a bit of weight loss and a few days of down time. Hey, good for acclimatizing!). Oh, and maybe the horchata in the subway in Mexico City, too....

Leave time for the museum's in Mexico City. Way worth it.

Brian in SLC

7:00 p.m. on December 30, 2002 (EST)
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seconding a couple things -

Quote:

Is nice to get out of Mexico City for aclimatization. Pyrimids nearby are worth a visit.

Highly recommended. Climbing to the top of the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon are good for the acclimatization. Steep, too. When I did it once on my first morning in Mexico City, I got winded enough that I almost wanted to rappel or at least a belay on the way back down. Easiest way to get to the Pyramids (Teotihuacan) is ask the desk at your hotel to arrange for a taxi to take you on on of the cheap standard tours. They will take you via the Plaza de Tres Culturas (interesting archaeological site, covering the pre-Aztec, Aztec, and Spanish periods, which also was the site of student riots in the 1960s and 1970s - apparently a whole series of bloodbaths), Teotihuacan, and the Guadalupe shrine (where the robe with the miraculous image of the Virgin is displayed - plus lots of religious trinkets and an animatronic bell tower - interesting local culture, no matter what your personal religious beliefs are, since the Mesicans mix everything from the pre-Aztec practices to modern Catholicism, Mexican style, to materialisic moneygrubbers selling cheap trinkets). The guy driving you on the tour will drop you at one end of Teotihuacan and pick you up at the other end, saving a couple miles of walking. He will also probably try to take you to a tequila factory (interesting if you haven't seen how it is done, but you may swear off tequila once you have seen where the worms actually come from - unnh, that is, the non-plastic worms used so often these days) and a restaurant for lunch. Then again, you can get there and back on public transportation. It's just that it is more hastle to figure out the "schedule" and routing.

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... Also, is some fun day hiking around Tlachichuca.

Again, seconded.

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... Have a blast. Stay away from the local ceviche prior to your ascent (unless you don't mind a bit of weight loss and a few days of down time. Hey, good for acclimatizing!).

Bad pun, Brian! Eat the local ceviche (or pushcart vendor food), and you will have a blast of a less than pleasant kind.

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... Oh, and maybe the horchata in the subway in Mexico City, too....

Watch your pockets very carefully on the subway. Better yet, don't have anything of value in your pockets. Again, while I have used the subways and found them very nice and convenient, my friends who live in Mexico City say that the crime rate has gone way up in the past few years, even for the locals.

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Leave time for the museum's in Mexico City. Way worth it.

Absolutely! Some of the best museums anywhere in the world. I would also plan on visiting a couple of the open air markets. You can get some very nice crafts for amazingly cheap prices, compared to what the same stuff will cost in the US. Plus you are getting it often from the artisan directly in many cases (easy to tell with a couple minutes talking). In any case, I am sure you know enough about how Mexico operates to not pay the first asking price. With a bit of bargaining, you can often get things knocked down to half or less the initial asking price. I have gotten several sterling silver pieces for my wife at the going price for just the silver (had some of it tested and appraised after getting home). (ok, I know, Dan will jump me for exploiting the peasants. But I had to bargain hard, and the guy turned right around and collected about 10 times as much for a similar piece from another gringo, while I was still standing there).

1:51 p.m. on January 3, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

Went to Mexico this past Nov., and just wanted to second that using Joaquin Canchola was a great experience. A buddy told me when I was planning our trip to use Joaquin, and as he described it was much cheaper, clean, and generally a pleasure just to hang out with Joaquin and Maribel (who speaks good English).

Also, everyone in my group was blown away by the Hotel de Colonial should you stay in Puebla- the views from the roof are spectacular.

8:26 p.m. on May 31, 2003 (EDT)
(Guest)

I second that regarding joaquin and maribel. we climbed pico on new years eve 01 and stayed with them. they made us feel like a part of their family and even invited us to their new years party. we were bummed that we were so tired from the climb that day that we couldn't stay awake for it. they also fed us well for a very small fee. they kept making the tortillas for us till they knew we were completely stuffed!

September 19, 2014
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