The expedition
The schedule
Pico de Orizaba
The success

Pico de Orizaba summit,
as seen from camp at the media
Naranja, March 1987.

On 29th of January in 2000, the first Hellenic Mountain Expedition of the new millenium will depart from Greece in order to gain a new mountaineering achievement. The expedition will try to conquer mountain of 'El Pico de Orizaba' in Mexico. The peak of 'El Pico de Orizaba' is the highest peak in Mexico and the third highest in Northern America.

It has to be mentioned here that the peak of 'El Pico de Orizaba 5.760 m' has never been climbed by any Greek climbers in the past.

The members of the expedition are all members of Hellenic Mountaineering Clubs of Thessaloniki, and are:

Maximos Kaltsidis (23) who is student finishes his Master on Sport Management. ( Mont Peale (Rocky Mountains)1995, Mont Blank 1997, Glencoe 1998 and Ben Nevis 1999)

Argyris Kozias (33) bank officer. (Mont Blank 1997, Aconcagua 1998, Monta Roasa 1999)

Pavlos Raptis (35 ) businessman ,(Mont Blank 1995, Kilimantjaro 1995, Mount El Brus 1996, Aconcagua 1996, Mount McKinley 1999)

The expedition will depart on 29th of January from Amsterdam International Airport where the members will meet. (Argyris and Pablos will depart from Thessaloniki and they will meet Maximos in Amsterdam, where he would have arrived from England earlier). They will fly with KLM direct to Mexico City, and the flight will last about 12 hours.

View from Pico de
Orizaba summit, 1986.

Expedition schedule
  • The 1st day they will rest and the second day they will depart by local bus via Puebla to the small town of Cholula.
  • On 3rd day they will start their acclimatization schedule and they will spend two days on the mountains by climbing Iztaccihualt (Izta), 5.286 m.
  • On 5th day they will depart by local bus to go to small town of Tlachichuca where they will stay during the night. On 6th or 7th day they will depart for Orizaba town and then to Hidalgo village where the trail for the mountain Hut Piedra Grande (4270m) starts.
  • On 8th day they will spend the whole day to hut Piedra Grande (4270m) by hiking to local cliffs and acclimatize in the best possible way. It has to be mentioned here that the climbers will not spend the night in the hut but in expedition tents.
  • On 9th day they will start climbing the north face of volcano-mountain El Pico de Orizaba, and they will set a camp to a plateau located on 5.200m. It has to be said that the climbers have to pass through Jamapa Glacier in order to reach the plateau.
  • On 10th day they will attempt to climb the highest volcano-mountain of Mexico El Pico de Orizaba 5.760m, and add one more peak to the Greek Mountainnering History.
  • They will expected come back to Greece on 14 of February.
The route that the Greek team will follow is the north face route that is a direct- ascent through Jamapa Glacier.

The northwest face of Orizaba,
taken on the Road to the Piedra Grande
base camp on March 25th, 1999.

Pico de Orizaba

El Pico de Orizaba, or Citlaltepetl, is an active volcano and its highest peak lies 5.760 meters above the Gulf of Mexico. It located 180 miles from Mexico City and has the following coordinates: latitude 19 01' N and Longitude 97 16' W. It is the highest peak in Mexico, and the third highest in North America, behind Mount McKinley (20,322 ft.) and Mount Logan (19,550 ft.). Its steep snow-covered cone fills the sky from the town of Orizaba, which lies at the mountain's southeast base.

Best Climbing Months are December, January, February, March, April (dry season). First climbed in 1848, by F. Maynard & G. Reynolds. Its more recent eruption happened in 1687.

The views from high on the mountain are excellent, with the Gulf of Mexico visible to the east and Popocatepetl (17,887 ft.) and Iztaccihuatl (17,342 ft.), Mexico's second and third highest mountains respectively, visible to the west.

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