North American Summit Climb

Mexico Volcanoes 18,490 ft

Price $2600-3000
Schedule
  • 12/08/2017 - Orizaba Express
  • 01/05/2018 - Orizaba Express
  • 01/19/2018 - Orizaba Climb
  • 02/09/2018 - Orizaba Express w/ Dennis
  • 02/26/2018 - Orizaba Climb w/ Dennis
  • 02/28/2018 - Orizaba Express
  • 03/17/2018 - Orizaba Climb w/ Brian
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The Mexican Volcanoes offer an excellent introduction into the world of high altitude mountaineering. Snowcapped El Pico de Orizaba at 18,490 ft is the highest mountain in Mexico and the third highest in North America also locally known as Citlaltépetl (Mountain of the Star). These mountains while never technical are interesting and offer straight forward glacier climbing at moderately high altitudes. After climbing Mount Rainer, Mount Baker or other Northwest peaks the Mexico Volcanoes are a great next step for those seeking to expand their international mountaineering experience or planning future expeditions to peaks like Elbrus and Aconcagua.

Orizaba and Iztaccihuatl Climb • 9 days

Our Orizaba and Iztaccihuatl climb allows more time for acclimatization as well as enjoying the chance to discover and learn about Mexico’s rich history and cultural sites with a tour guide. While in Mexico City we stay in the popular Zona Rosa district near the Plaza de la Reforma. We visit the pyramids of Teotihuacan (a famous pre-Aztec archaeological site) and tour the Museum of Anthropology known as one of the world’s best museums. We climb Iztaccihuatl the “Sleeping Lady” also referred to as “Ixta” via the less travelled Ayoloco Glacier route, North America’s seventh highest mountain at 17,158 ft and third highest in Mexico. From the summit of Ixta you will experience an incredible close up view of the highly active Popocatepetl volcano, also known as “Popo”, Mexico’s second highest peak which is restricted from climbing. During our rest day, we enjoy another cultural tour of the beautiful and historic city of Puebla and nearby colorful Cholula town. Our expedition then heads to the village of Tlachichuca near the base of Orizaba where we plan our ascent. We now travel by jeep up the mountain’s western flank through pine forest to the Piedra Grande Hut. After waking early, our guide leads the group by headlamp to the toe of the Jamapa Glacier at 5000 meters. We rope up and ascend 35-degree slopes to Orizaba’s final summit crater. View slideshow from our Mexico Volcanoes Expedition

You now have the option of departing for home or spending an additional day sightseeing Mexico City. Shop at a local artisan’s market, visit the historic downtown area and its Metropolitan Cathedral and enjoy an evening at one of Mexico City’s fine restaurants.

Orizaba Express Climb • 7 days

Our Orizaba Express climb first acclimatizes on La Malinche which stands at 4,448 meters or 14,646 feet high and is located near the colonial city of Tlaxcala. The mountains position offers amazing views of Iztaccihuatl, Popocatépetl and Pico de Orizaba. On our way, we visit the Teotihuacan pyramids and Tlaxcala. After summiting Malinche we head to Orizaba, locally known as Citlaltépetl and continue our acclimation and ascent of North America’s third highest peak. From Tlachichuca we travel by 4×4 jeep up the mountain to the Piedra Grande Hut. Our express climb often uses a high camp at 4500 meters to shorten summit day. View slideshow from our Mexico Volcanoes Expedition

Orizaba and Iztaccihuatl Itinerary

Day 1 • Arrive Mexico City
Day 2 • Mexico City
Day 3 • Base Camp • Iztaccihuatl • 12,000 ft
Day 4 • High Camp • Iztaccihuatl • 15,000 ft
Day 5 • Summit Day • Iztaccihuatl • 17,158 ft
Day 6 • Puebla
Day 7 • Base Camp • Orizaba • 13,800 ft
Day 8 • Summit Day • Orizaba • 18,490 ft
Day 9 • Mexico City • Depart

Orizaba Express Itinerary

Day 1 • Arrive Mexico City
Day 2 • Base Camp • Malinche • 10,000 ft
Day 3 • Summit Day • La Malinche • 14,646 ft
Day 4 • Zoapan • Orizaba • 13,800 ft
Day 5 • Base Camp • Orizaba • 15,000 ft
Day 6 • Summit Day • Orizaba • 18,490 ft
Day 7 • Mexico City • Depart

Nevado de Toluca and Iztaccihuatl Itinerary

Day 1 • Summit Day • Nevado de Toluca • 15,350 ft
Day 2 • High Camp • Iztaccihuatl • 15,000 ft
Day 3 • Summit Day • Iztaccihuatl • 17,158 ft

For more information about international adventures, please visit our partner company Mountain Gurus.

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Flight Schedule: USA – Mexico City (MEX)
Expedition begins and ends in Mexico City, Mexico


Orizaba and Iztaccihuatl Climb • 9 days

Day 1 • Arrive Mexico City
Transfer airport to hotel. We stay in the popular Zona Rosa district near the Plaza de la Reforma.

Day 2 • Mexico City
Today we tour Teotihuacan with a cultural guide, one of the world’s oldest archaeological sites (Pyramid of the Sun) near Mexico City. In the afternoon we have an expedition orientation and equipment check.

Day 3 • Base Camp • Iztaccihuatl • 12,000 ft
After breakfast we tour the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. We then head towards the volcanoes of Popocatepetl and Ixta stopping for lunch in the village of Amecameca. Our drive continues towards Popo-Ixta National Park and to the Paso de Cortez, named after the Spanish General Cortez who crossed the pass in 1529 en route to the city of Teotihuacan. We spend the night in a high mountain Altzomoni refuge. (D)

Day 4 • High Camp • Iztaccihuatl • 15,000 ft
In the morning we hike to high camp at the base of the Ayoloco Glacier on Ixta. We spend the night at the Ayoloco Hut. (B, D)

Day 5 • Summit Day • Iztaccihuatl • 17,158 ft
The day starts early. We climb for 4 to 5 hours to the summit of Ixta via the Glacier de Ayoloco route passing several short bands of rock and false summit. We descend to the Ayoloco Hut, pack, and return to Ixta base camp and drive to Puebla where we will spend the evening. (B)

(We also have the option of climbing the La Arista del Sol route (Ridge of the Sun) depending on weather conditions and the strength of the group. Ixta is known in Aztec mythology as the “Sleeping Lady” and with your imagination, you can see the head, breast, belly, and knees of the mountain along the skyline. The La Arista del Sol route climbs steep terrain to gain the Rodillas (knees) and then traverses multiple false summits before reaching the top.)

Day 6 • Puebla
After breakfast we have a cultural tour of Puebla (7000’) known for its excellent local cuisine and nearby colorful town of Cholula. The afternoon is free to take a rest or walk the city on your own.

Day 7 • Base Camp • Orizaba • 13,800 ft
We eat breakfast and depart to the village of Tlachichuca (Zoapan) at the base of Orizaba. We then take a four wheel drive shuttle up the mountain to Piedra Grande Hut at 13,980′. (L, D)

Day 8 • Summit Day • Orizaba • 18,490 ft 
The climb takes 10 to 12 hours round trip with an alpine start. After reaching the glacier, we ascend moderate 35-degree snow slopes of the Jamapa Glacier before reaching the crater rim and final summit high point marked with a steel cross. After descending the mountain, we meet the shuttle and return to the village of Tlachichuca. We have an opportunity to clean up and then drive to Mexico City late evening. We spend the night in Mexico City. (B, D)

Day 9 • Mexico City • Depart
Depart for flights home or enjoy an optional day in Mexico City. Our last full day in Mexico City is spent shopping at a local artisan’s market, the historic downtown area and enjoying a celebratory lunch. Overnight at hotel. That evening sample some of Mexico City’s vibrant nightlife.

Day 10 • Optional Departure
Transport to airport for flights home.


Orizaba Express Climb • 7 days

Day 1 • Arrive Mexico City
Transfer airport to hotel.

Day 2 • Base Camp • Malinche • 10,000 ft
After breakfast we drive east towards La Malinche. On the way we tour the Teotihuacan pyramids as well as the beautiful colonial town of Tlaxcala where we enjoy lunch. We spend the night in cabins at the base of Malinche.

Day 3 • Summit Day • La Malinche • 14,646 ft
We wake early for our ascent of La Malinche. After reaching the summit we’ll descend the mountain and drive to the village of Zoapan where we will spend the night. (B, L, D)

Day 4 • Base Camp • Orizaba • 13,800 ft
We eat breakfast and gear check and then take a four wheel drive shuttle up the mountain to Piedra Grande Hut. (B,L,D)

(We also have the option of spending a rest day in Puebla on Day-4 and driving to Piedra Grande Hut on Day-5. After breakfast we have a cultural tour of Puebla (7000’) known for its excellent local cuisine and nearby colorful town of Cholula. The afternoon is free to take a rest or walk the city on your own.)

Day 5 • Base Camp • Orizaba • 13,800 ft
Today we climb to the base of the Labyrinth for acclimatization. We return to Piedra Grande Hut and prepare for an early alpine start. We will review climbing techniques including the use of crampons ice axe and roped glacier travel. Overnight at the refuge. (B,L,D)

(We also offer the option of setting up a high camp on Orizaba at 15,000 feet. After climbing to the Labyrinth we will take a short acclimatization hike to the glacier. High camp requires the use of tents and porters.)

Day 6 • Summit Day • Orizaba • 18,490 ft 
The climb takes 10 to 12 hours round trip. After descending the mountain we meet the shuttle and return to the village of Zoapan for the evening. (B, L, D)

(We have an opportunity to stay in Zoapan or clean up and then drive to Mexico City late evening. Overnight in Mexico City.)

Day 7 • Mexico City • Depart
Return to Mexico City and depart afternoon for flights home or enjoy an optional day in Mexico City. Our last full day in Mexico City is spent shopping at a local artisan’s market, the historic downtown area and enjoying a celebratory lunch. Overnight at hotel. That evening sample some of Mexico City’s vibrant nightlife. (B)

Day 8 • Optional Departure
Transport to airport for flights home.


Itinerary Notes: Mountain Gurus makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the particular needs of the group. Please request a detailed itinerary for a list of scheduled and non-scheduled meals.

Mexico Volcaneos Expedition

Visit Mountain Gurus for departure details.


Deposit and Payments
$700.00 deposit includes a $500.00 non-refundable registration fee, due with application.
Balance due 90 days prior to start date. Please read NW Alpine Guides Reservation/Refund Policy for details.


Services included
All scheduled land transportation in Mexico
Hotel accommodations in Mexico City
Hotel accommodations in Puebla
Huts or tented accommodations
Scheduled meals during the expedition
Professional guide
All group equipment for the expedition (including tent, stoves, group climbing gear)


Services not included
International airfare and meals during travel – USA – Mexico City
Non-scheduled meals
Snack/lunch food during the expedition
Personal gear
Trip cancellation insurance
Medical and evacuation coverage
Staff gratuities

425.749.7421