CLIMB THE THIRD AND SEVENTH HIGHEST PEAKS IN NORTH AMERICA AND EAT LIKE AZTEC ROYALTY
In the heart of Mexico lies a group of volcanoes that have captured the attention of humans throughout history. For over three hundred years the great Aztec Empire dominated the region around our first objective, 17,154-foot / 5229-meter Iztaccihuatl. Also known as “Ixta” this is Mexico’s third highest peak.
Depending on the climber’s ability, we will choose one of two routes: the beautiful ridge named the Arista Del Sol Route or the more technical Ayoloco Route. From the summit you will have an amazing close-up view of the highly active Popocatepetl.
From the summit you will have an amazing close-up view of the highly active Popocatepetl. We then take a leisurely rest day in the beautiful and historic city of Puebla before we tackle Mexico’s highest peak. Snow capped Orizaba (18,491 ft/5636 m) is the third highest peak in North America and offers an easily accessible high altitude experience for those new to high altitude and seasoned climbers alike.
Elevation: 7,341 feet / 2238 meters
Your guides will meet you at the Mexico City International Airport and transport you to the hotel, conveniently located in the center of the city's historic district. We can spend the remainder of the day sightseeing and beginning the acclimatization process.
Elevation: 11,703 feet / 3567 meters After a visit to the pyramids of Teotihuacan we leave Mexico City behind and drive through gorgeous high-elevation terrain towards Popocatepetl and Ixta. We can explore a fantastic market in Amecameca and make last minute purchases. We overnight in Amecameca.
Elevation: 13,124 feet / 4000 meters Our drive continues towards Popo-Ixta National Park and to the Paso de Cortez, named after Cortez crossed the pass in 1529 en route to the city of Tenochtitlan. From here we take our acclimatization hike up to 14,500 feet and relax and enjoy the great view of the volcanoes and the surrounding pine forest. We spend the night in the refuge.
Elevation: 15,000 feet / 4572 meters We use either the La Arista del Sol (Ridge of the Sun) route or the Glacier de Ayoloco route to climb Ixta, depending on weather conditions and the strength of the group. Today the group will move to a camp higher on the mountain, around 15,500 feet, depending upon the ascent route. In Aztec mythology, Ixta is known as the “Sleeping Lady” and with a little imagination, you can see the head, breast, belly, and knees along the skyline!
Elevation: 17,154 feet / 5239 meters
After a pre-dawn wake-up, we will make our summit attempt on Ixta. The La Arista del Sol route climbs steep terrain to gain the Rodillas (knees) and then traverses several false summits to the top of North America’s seventh highest peak. The Glacier de Ayoloco route climbs directly up the glacier from the Ayoloco hut, passing several crevassed areas and small ice cliffs en route to the summit. The exhilaration of reaching the top of Ixta is a tremendously satisfying reward. After soaking in the spectacular view of the Mexican landscape, we will descend to the trailhead and drive to Amecameca for a rewarding dinner and a great nights sleep in a local hacienda.
Elevation: 7,000 feet / 2134 meters
Today we will drive through Mexico’s scenic countryside, taking advantage of fantastic photo opportunities and experiencing the interesting culture and hospitality of local people. We spend the night in the colorful town of Puebla (7,000'), where you can purchase additional supplies or souvenirs and enjoy some fabulous local cuisine.
Elevation: 13,972 feet / 4259 meters
From Puebla we drive to Tlachichuca. We then travel in 4-wheel drive vehicles up the flanks of Orizaba to the hut at Piedra Grande (13,972'). We will go to bed soon after an early dinner to rest up for the next morning’s summit push.
Elevation: 18,410 feet / 5611 meters
After a pre-dawn start, we head for the summit of Orizaba via the Glacier de Jamapa. We will ascend the moderate snow slopes of the Jamapa Glacier, traverse below a rock band, then reach the crater rim. A brief trek around the crater rim leads us to the cross marking the summit of Orizaba, 18,410'! After enjoying the views of the rural Mexican landscape, we head down to Tlachichuca for a shower and a well-deserved celebration.
Return to Mexico City in the morning. Depart from Mexico Citys International Airport and return to your hometown. Note: when making flight reservations we ask that you do not depart earlier than 4 p.m. Hasta Leugo, Amigo!
Note On Itinerary: As conditions on the Mexico volcanoes are highly variable from season to season, there is a chance that our scheduled route(s) may be in an unfavorable state. Although we do our very best to follow the schedule listed, the very nature of climbing in the high mountain environment requires flexibility. This itinerary is subject to change due to inclement weather, unsafe route conditions, and other reasons beyond our control.
- Guide(s) and staff
- One scheduled hotel night in Mexico City (double occupancy)
- Scheduled restaurant meals
- All food while on the climb
- All group climbing gear, tents and cooking gear
- All expedition staff including porters and pack animals
- Ground transportation and airport transfers
- International airfare
- Personal equipment and clothing
- Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, room service, extra hotel nights, extra meals, etc.)
- Meals Day 1
- Lunch and dinner Day 9
- Alcoholic and bottled beverages
- Travel insurance with trip cancellation, medical and evacuation policy
- All expenses associated with non-scheduled departure
- Guide/Staff gratuities