Time Out…

In Mountains, Travel by ACFA

So the weather isn’t exactly cooperating. In Tlachichuca at 8000 ft, there are rumors of a foot of snow and 40-60 mph winds at the Piedra Grande Hut at 14000 ft. And there’s only more snow and stronger winds in the 4400 ft above.
Here’s the clincher, the hotel we’re staying at is also a 4×4 transport to the hut. They’re bringing up 16 people tonight and 70 tomorrow. The other major transport company is bringing up a similar number and Mirabella (our lovely host) is estimating another 60 or so driving their own cars.
So there will be around 200 people in a hut that sleeps 65, all trying to summit on the same day. Meanwhile, the forecast is calling for 120 kph gusts and there will no doubt be dangerous wind-loading in the approach gully. Not to mention many of the people are renting all gear (including headlamps), which to us is a recipe for disaster.
With the horrendous weather forecast, the extreme overcrowding at the hut, and the lack of preparedness of the climbers, we want nothing to do with the situation about to unfold. We’re holding off until the mountain clears out on Sunday. We still have 14 days in the country, so there’s no hurry. We’ll just go day hiking, acclimitize, and see the sites.