Route: Pico de Orizaba (Mexico)

7.6 km
Vertical Gain
1,370 m

Orizaba (18,491') is the highest peak in Mexico and 3rd highest in North America.  We're not aware of a lot of FKT activity on Orizaba, but Sean O'Rourke pointed out this interesting tidbit:

"Hector Ponce is one of the best high altitude mountaineers in the world. His impressive list of ascents includes: Mt. Everest 8848m (summitting three times: 1996, 2002, and 2004), three  ascents on K2 8611m, two ascents on Kangchenjunga 8585m, summit ascents on  Shisha Pangma 8047m, Cho Oyu 8200, Gasherbrum II 8035 and Broad Peak 8042.
His list of technical ascents on Alpine Faces is equally impressive, with ascents on Aconcagua South Face (where he ascended in alpine style the dangerous and highly technical 10,000' face in 3 days), Huayna Potosi (6080m)West face (3000 vertical feet of ice in 7 hrs), Mont Blanc du Tacul- a 24hr ascent of the Gervasutti Pillar (5.10, Mixed IV, 1400m) just to name a few.
As a guide he has an equally impressive resume having guided Everest, Cho Oyu, GII as well as many ascents on (to name a few) Aconcagua 22,843', Huayna Potosi 6080m, Illimani 6370m, Sajama 6580m, Illampu 6432m, Huascaran 6800m, Tocllaraju 6100m, Chimborazo 6300m, Cotopaxi 5980m and of course in his native country, the Mexican Volcanoes many times (more than 100 guided ascents).
Hector holds the speed record on the volcanoes having climbed all three: Popo 17,886', Izta 17,126' and Orizaba 18,405' in 17 hrs and 30 mins! He also holds the speed record on El Pico de Orizaba (2hrs 10 mins from the Piedra Grande hut to the summit, and this was after having biked from Tlachichuca at 8800' to the hut at 14,000' in 2 hrs and 20 mins) His list  of technical rock and ice is also world class with many  ascents in Yosemite, the Canadian Rockies and the Alps. Hector is certified  as a mountaineering instructor with the Spanish Mountaineering Federation and  has a Rescue course certification with the Spanish Mountain School."

We also have a south side variation (up & back), submitted by Sean O'Roarke: "Most gringos climb Orizaba from the north, via the Piedra Grande hut and small glacier. However, the south route is snow-free in the dry season, and the trailhead can be reached in a passenger car. From the two-wheel-drive parking lot at the saddle between Orizaba and Sierra Negra, the route climbs a vertical mile in about 3.75 miles to the summit. If you pick the right line, you can mostly avoid the loose volcanic sand on the ascent, and bomb down it on the descent, making for a fun, efficient day."

Starting at the town of Miguel Hidalgo (3390m) was one of the classic mountaineering routes to achieve the summit of Pico de Orizaba, but nowadays it is not so used because a dirt road goes all the way to the Piedra Grande Hut at 4200 meters above sea level. The route starts from the church of the town of Miguel Hidalgo then follows the river all the way to the old aqueduct, almost one kilometer after the aqueduct the route intersects with the classic north route (Normal Route). The route continues all the way to the summit (5630 meters) through the Jamapa glacier.  Run back the same way.  21km, 2370m elevation gain.



Here's the full text from FB.  We can't add the FKT without complete information.


"Lázaro Espinosa" rompe récord anteriormente establecido por el estadounidense Michael Versteeg, asciende y desciende el Pico de Orizaba en 2:19.

El mexicano Lázaro Espinosa Juárez rompió el récord de velocidad de ascenso y descenso al Pico de Orizaba previamente establecido por el estadounidense Michael Versteeg el 20 de marzo del 2018. Versteeg había impuesto el FKT en el volcán más alto de México con 2:48:16, tardando tan sólo 2:02 en llegar a la cumbre desde Piedra Grande. El mejor tiempo realizado por un mexicano era de Héctor Ponce de León con 3:05.

Espinosa logró bajar la marca antes mencionada el pasado 29 de diciembre, llegando a la cumbre en 1:34 por la cara norte y completando el FKT desde Piedra Grande a cumbre y de vuelta en tan sólo 2:19:20. De esta manera, Lázaro bajó 29min el tiempo.

Uno de los grandes retos a los que se enfrentaron para este objetivo es que Lázaro Espinosa no había ascendido previamente el Pico de Orizaba y tuvo que aprender a usar crampones. El corredor se encontraba en el Pico de Orizaba preparándose para la tercera etapa y gran final del Triple Corona, sin embargo, ésta fue suspendida, razón por la cual decidió unirse a Eder Belmont y el equipo que los apoyó.

Lázaro Espinosa es un reconocido corredor de montaña. Oriundo de San Pedro y San Pablo Teposcolula, Oaxaca, ha participado en dos mundiales, diversas carreras internacionales y nacionales, logrando excelentes marcas, entre ellas como finalista en el Campeonato Mundial Karpacz, en Polonia, en el 2018.