We begin our adventures in Mexico City, staying near from the quiet Zona Rosa that is one of the famous historical centers of the city. From Mexico City we head to La Malinche, an extinct volcano whose crumbling core juts above the Puebla Valley. We use La Malinche to build our acclimatization in preparation for the climbs ahead, hiking and sleeping in cabins on the mountain’s flanks.
We then turn our sights to nearby Ixtaccihuatl (Ixta), a broad ridged peak that overlooks Mexico City. Our ascent begins with a straightforward approach through alpine meadows to our high camp, Grupo de los Cien. Climbing directly up the Knees Route toward La Arista del Sol, we gain the summit ridge, making the airy ridge walk over a few "false summits" to the true summit of Ixta.
Our climb of Orizaba starts with an exciting twelve mile jeep ride that takes us from the valley floor to our camp at the Piedra Grande Hut, perched above 14,000'. From our camp we make our way through the mountain’s rocky moraine to the toe of the Jamapa Glacier, climbing the glacier’s ice and snow slopes to Orizaba’s summit.
Climbing in Mexico includes moderately steep slopes and prior knowledge of roped travel, crampon techniques, and ice axe arrest is required; a review of these basic mountaineering techniques is built into the itinerary. These climbs are ideal for mountaineers looking to build their climbing skills, reach new heights on some of North America’s highest peaks, and take part in the excitement of an international climbing expedition.
Day 1 - MEXICO CITY • 7,300' | 2,225M
Upon your arrival in Mexico City, a taxi ride takes you to our hotel. Our hotel is near the heart of the city and the lively Zona Rosa with its many museums, shops, outdoor cafes, pubs and restaurants. We have an evening orientation meeting at 7:00 p.m. in the hotel lobby.
Day 2 - LA MALINCHE (14,636' | 4,461M) • 10,000' | 3048M
We meet for breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and plan to leave the hotel at 8:00 a.m. We drive in private vehicles to the cabins at the La Malintzi Resort, a facility located at 10,000' at the base of La Malinche (14,636') and initially used by Mexico's Olympic Team for training. There we take an acclimatization hike on La Malinche to stretch our legs and lungs. While reaching the summit is optional, depending on our time and schedule, this beautiful hike provides an enjoyable opportunity for helping our bodies adjust to the altitude. (B, D)
Day 3 - ALTZOMONI HUT • 13,100' | 3,658M
We depart La Malinche and travel towards Ixtaccihuatl. We have some time to visit a local market in Amecameca and purchase any last minute items for our climb of Ixtaccihuatl. We then drive to the Altzomoni hut (13,100') where we take a short acclimatization hike and overnight in the Altzomoni hut. (B, D)
Day 4 - IXTACCIHUATL HIGH CAMP • 15,430' | 4,703M
We leave the Altzomoni hut and hike to our High Camp. We set up camp, review our mountain skills and prepare for an early alpine start. (B, D)
Day 5 - IXTACCIHUATL SUMMIT DAY (17,340' | 5,285M) • 7,000' | 2,134M
Summit Day on Ixtaccihuatl! We depart High Camp for our summit attempt. We will climb the Knees Route to the Ridge of the Sun (La Arista del Sol). After enjoying the views and celebrating on the 17,340' summit, we descend to High Camp, pack up, and return to La Jolla. We transfer to the colonial city of Puebla and check into our hotel. (B)
Day 6 - PUEBLA • 7,000' | 2,134M
Our hotel in Puebla is located one block away from the Zocalo (main square) in the heart of the downtown historical district of Puebla and has been on the city map since 1668. The day is free for you to relax and explore the city and the many historic sites. (B)
Day 7 - ORIZABA HIGH CAMP • 14,000' | 4,267M
Today we drive to Tlachichuca located at the base of Pico de Orizaba. After lunch, four-wheel drive trucks take us to Piedra Grande, our High Camp on Orizaba at 14,000'. We spend the night in tents near the hut. (B, L, D)
Day 8 - ORIZABA SUMMIT DAY (18,491' | 5,636M) • 8,583' | 2,616M
Summit Day on Pico de Orizaba! With an early alpine start we make our way through a maze of rock and scree. Upon reaching the Jamapa Glacier, we don crampons and ice axes and rope up for the remainder of the climb. The glaciers on Orizaba are relatively non-technical, with very few crevasses, and the ascent to 18,491' is fairly straight-forward. After celebrating on the summit, we begin our descent. Upon reaching Piedra Grande, we load our trucks and descend for a hot shower and a home cooked meal. We spend the night in a climbers' hostel in Tlachichuca. (B, D)
Day 9 - MEXICO CITY & TRAVEL DAY
After breakfast we depart Tlachichuca and return to Mexico City. It's about a three hour drive, and we arrive at the airport around 12:00 p.m. Your outbound flight should be booked for 3:00 p.m. or later. (B)
Key: B, L, D = Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included.
- RMI Leadership
- Hotel accommodations as indicated in the itinerary, based on double occupancy*
- All park entrance fees
- All group transportation in country as stated in the itinerary
- All breakfast and dinner meals on the mountain and other meals as stated in the itinerary
- All group cooking, climbing and camping equipment
- International airfare
- Travel insurance, medical evacuation insurance and security evacuation insurance
- Passport and visa fees
- Excess baggage fees and departure taxes
- Meals not included in the itinerary
- Bottled water and personal drinks
- Customary guide gratuities
- Support Staff Tip Pool (we suggest $50 per person)
- Additional room charges including laundry service and other personal expenses
- Hotel accommodations not indicated in the itinerary
- Transfer from the airport to the hotel upon arrival in Mexico City
- Medical, hospitalization and evacuation costs (by any means)
* Accommodations are based on double occupancy. A Single Supplement Fee will be charged to those occupying single accommodations by choice or circumstance. The single supplement is not available in huts, tents, or in all hotels.
Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. reserves the right to modify the land cost of a trip at any time before departure.