Orizaba (Formally known as Pico de Orizaba) is North America’s third tallest peak and a classic climb. Situated in Mexico, it has it all: culture, high mountain huts, stunning views and the opportunity to get your crampons into plenty of snow and ice. This mountain is easily accessible to just about anyone willing to train and work hard on the climb.
Mexican Volcanoes Highlights:
- Climb Mexico’s tallest peak
- Build technical mountaineering skills
- Experience Mexico and it’s people
- Explore ancient Aztec culture and relics
- Eat the world’s best Mole in Puebla
- See the sunrise over Popo and its plume of steam, an active volcano, whilst acclimatizing from the slopes of Mt Ixta
Orizaba is a stratovolcano that sits in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and is just a short flight away from major hubs in the United States. The beauty of our “Orizaba Express” climb is that it is a high-altitude gem is very conveniently located and you can do it in just a week. It’s the perfect ascent for time poor people who have limited vacation or those who are preparing to climb Aconcagua or Himalayan peaks. To maximize the trip we have scheduled it so it is book-ended by the weekend. The climbing consists of mostly moderate glaciated terrain with a few protected steeper sections that involve roped travel, solid cramping and general snow climbing skills. We also take some time to explore the region and meet the locals who are amazingly friendly and welcoming, their culture rich and fascinating not to mention their food is delicious! We have a very close relationship with our local outfitters and staff and consider them like family. Our Mexican Volcanoes program is high altitude climbing from beginning to end. We fly into Mexico City at 7,382ft/2,250m, so right from the start your body will start adjusting to the rarefied air. Because of this it is paramount to use a slow progression, promote hydration and temperance and watch each other for symptoms of altitude illness. “Orizaba Express” is one of our shorter expeditions and as such one of our most popular trips because it allows those who are time poor to still get into the mountains. We acclimatize for Orizaba on the neighboring flanks of Ixta (short for Iztaccihuatl) allowing us to see more of the region. However, please note, we don’t intend to summit Ixta, we use it primarily as acclimatization training. This keeps our expedition within that week-long schedule whilst still giving us variety. Ixta is also less glaciated and summit day is long and boring with more objective danger. Summiting Ixta only fatigues our climbers and detracts from the real objective, Orizaba. Orizaba is not only more scenic, it allows us to get into our crampons and cement our technical mountaineering skills.
We have led many trips to Mexico and have stood on the top of Orizaba each time and hope to maintain our 100% success rate for many years to come. You don’t get better odds than that! This expedition will be organized by Mike Hamill, Owner of Climbing the Seven Summits. Mike has personally guided nearly well over 100 high altitude expeditions, 10 Mt. Everest expeditions, 23 X 8,000m expeditions, has 6 Everest summits, currently holds the record for most non-Sherpa summits of Cho Oyu, and has written the guide book to “Climbing the Seven Summits,” making him one of the most experienced guides in the world. Mike has an impeccable safety record and an unmatched success rate due to his expertise and professionalism and holds all of the CTSS guides to the same high standards as he holds himself. He knows that his choice of guides is the most important decision factor to continued success so CTSS only employs world-class leaders known for their coal face experience, focus on client care and attention to safety. Kilimanjaro is a serious undertaking and climbers should be prepared with adequate fitness. Our guides will work with you throughout the expedition to provide logistics, guidance, and information to best ensure your summit success & safety.
The following is a sample daily schedule of our Orizaba Express climb:
- Jan 12- Arrive Mexico City
- Jan 13- Gear Checks
- Jan 14- Drive to Cortez Pass and trek
- Jan 15- Move to hut at Cortez Pass and hike above Pass
- Jan 16- Drive to Hut on Orizaba, Short hike
- Jan 17- Carry to high camp
- Jan 18- Move to high camp
- Jan 19- Summit and descend to Tlachicuca
- Jan 20- Drive to Mexico city for afternoon flights