Pico de Orizaba

January 17, 2019

Pico Orizaba_sm (3)

Photographer: James Van Gundy 
Summary Author: James Van Gundy 

Pico de Orizaba, also known as Citlaltépetl, at 18,491 ft (5,636 m) is the highest peak in Mexico and the third highest in North America exceeded only by Denali in Alaska and by Mount Logan in the Yukon Territory of Canada. With the exception of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, no other volcano in the world exhibits as much difference in elevation between its base on the surrounding landscape and its summit.

Orizaba is a currently dormant -- its last eruption occurred in 1846. This towering stratovolcano lies at the southeastern end of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. The photo above was taken on a commercial flight from Veracruz to Mexico City with the view to the south from an altitude of approximately 30,000 ft (9,100 m). Gran Glaciar Norte, Mexico’s largest glacier, is also prominent in this view.

The lower peak to the right of Orizaba is Sierra Negra, which rises to 15,223 ft (4,640 m). Note that the white structure on the summit of Sierra Negra, just barely visible in this photo, is the Large Millimeter Telescope. This is the world’s largest single-aperture radio telescope operating in its frequency range (0.85 to 4 mm). The access road to the telescope is said to be the highest road in North America. Photo taken on June 1, 2018.

Photo Details: Camera: NIKON COOLPIX P600; Software: COOLPIX P600 V1.2; Exposure Time: 0.0016s (1/640); Aperture: ƒ/4.0; ISO equivalent: 100; Focal Length (35mm): 50.