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Mexican Volcanoes

Climb three volcanoes in Mexico, including Orizaba – the highest volcano in North America

Introduction

This expedition is a fine introduction to mountaineering at higher altitudes for those with limited time. In just over two weeks, you climb three major summits and explore some of the interesting culture of Mexico. If you are looking for a ‘first’ expedition, or a superb mountaineering holiday, this could be it. The climbing is Scottish Grade 1, so you need to have completed Grade 1 scrambles and have some crampon and ice axe experience.

The trip begins with a visit to the Teotihuacan Pyramids, before an acclimatisation hike around the crater lakes to the summit of Nevado de Toluca (4,680m). You then drive to a camp below Iztaccihuatl (or “Izta” as it is known), located 50 miles southeast of Mexico City. At 5,220m this extinct volcano is Mexico’s third highest mountain. After your ascent of Izta, you visit Puebla, before arriving at Orizaba (5,610m). Orizaba is the highest peak in Mexico and the highest volcano in North America. It is a perfectly conical shaped volcano dripping with glaciers. To round off your trip you spend a day sight seeing in Mexico City.

Join us on Mexico’s Volcanoes

  • UK leader supported by English-speaking Mexican climbing guides.
  • Ascents of 3 major volcanoes, including the highest in Mexico and North America, Orizaba (5,610m).
  • Trip dates dovetail with the Mexican Grand Prix and normally some of the ‘Day of the Dead’ celebrations.

Experience Required

Experience of rock scrambling and ascending Scottish winter routes of Grade I or equivalent is required for those joining this expedition.
Our Scottish Winter Courses and our Alpine Courses provide good skills preparation for this expedition.

Equipment

As well as a detailed equipment list that will be sent to you upon booking we now offer an online expedition shop, an exclusive service for people booked onto our trips

Over the years, we have gained an incredible amount of experience and expertise in outdoor equipment and clothing. We have applied this to each trip that we offer and recommend what we believe to be the most suitable items for your trip.

We also offer a comprehensive Equipment Hire Service

Outline Itinerary

Day 1: Fly to Mexico City
Overnight hotel.
Day 2: Visit Teotihuacán
Drive 50km to Teotihuacán, the site of many of the most architecturally significant Mesoamerican pyramids. A full day of sightseeing, before you return to Mexico City for the night. Overnight hotel.
Day 3-4: Nevado de Toluca
Drive in 4-wheel drive vehicles 110km to Nevado de Toluca. The volcano has a crater with two lagoons. You spend two nights staying in a mountain hut at c3,500m.
Day 5: Ascent Nevado de Toluca (4,691m)
Mexico’s fourth highest mountain is an excellent peak to acclimatise on, the traverse of its crater is similar in character to the Snowdon Horseshoe and involves rocky scrambling. Drive to Toluca. Overnight hotel.
Day 6: Travel to Iztaccihuatl
From Toluca you travel to a hacienda at the base of Izta. Overnight hacienda.
Day 7: High camp on Izta (4,400m)
Drive to La Joya and walk to high camp (4 hours). Camping.
Day 8: Ascent of Izta (5,220m)
The route follows scree, then crosses an ice field, which is normally fixed with a rope. Beyond the icefield crampons are removed for the walk to the summit. Views of Popcatepetl and Friar’s Peak. Descend and drive to Amecameca. A 10-12 hour round trip. Overnight motel.
Day 9: Rest day in Puebla
Drive 2 hours to Puebla. Puebla is en route to Orizaba and has a beautiful city centre which is perfect for relaxing in cafes, looking around museums and churches and visiting a good bar in the evening. Your hotel for the night is centrally located and serves excellent food.
Day 10: Drive to Oso’s hostel below Orizaba (3,700m)
You travel approximately by road for 4 – 5 hours to a nice hostel below Orizaba. It’s possible to travel all the way to the mountain and walk up to the hut at 4,230m today.
Day 11: High camp on Orizaba (4,600m)
There are two choices of high camp, at either 4,600m or 4,900m. Camping.
Day 12: Ascent of Orizaba (5,610m)
A pre-dawn start is needed to reach the summit. The route follows the Glacier de Jamapa. The angle of the snow gradually steepens from very gentle, up to about 40° before reaching the summit and conditions can be quite icy. Views across the Gulf of Mexico to the east and the central plateau to the west. A 10-12 hour round trip. Overnight motel.
Day 13: Return drive to Mexico City
Overnight hotel.
Day 14 – 15: Fly home

PLEASE NOTE: Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary, but as this is Adventure Travel in a remote mountain region, we cannot guarantee it. Weather conditions, road conditions, vehicle breakdowns and the health of climbers can all contribute to changes. The expedition Leader and our local agent will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but an easy going nature will be an asset!

Acclimatisation

Approximate altitude profile of Mexican Volcanoes:

pic

Please note: This profile does not represent the gradient of the mountain!

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