We climb three awesome peaks in Mexico in eight days! The Orizaba Trilogy Expedition includes Pico de Orizaba (19,877 ft / 3rd Highest Peak in North America) Iztaccihuatl (17,244 ft / 7th Highest Peak in North America) and Malinche (14,435 ft).
El Pico de Orizaba (also known as Chitlalcotepetl) and Iztaccihuatl (also known as “Ixta”) make an impressive backdrop as they rise above the Mexican central plateau. The two volcanoes are the most attractive climbs in Mexico, providing an excellent introduction to high-altitude mountaineering and glacier travel. The experience gained on this trip extends a unique opportunity to develop the skills necessary for peaks requiring entry to moderate level mountaineering.
Climbing Summary Our first two objectives, Malinche and Iztaccihuatl, are commonly referred to as “entry-level peaks” in the climbing community. While Malinche is a dry peak with pleasant trails, Ixta is slightly more challenging because of the small glaciers and snowfields that crown the summit. These are enjoyable peaks that also provide excellent acclimatization in preparation for Orizaba. The climbing route ion Orizaba is a moderate-angle (up to 40 degrees) glacier that can be completed in two days. The most significant objective hazards are altitude and glacier travel. There is no significant crevasse risk on our selected climbing routes, but we will use crampons, mountain axes and travel as a rope team, when necessary, to maximize safety and success.
Those with good cardio-vascular fitness have the highest rate of success. Each member should have a basic familiarity with their fitness, as well as tolerance to altitude and acclimatization. Please review the schedule below with an emphasis on daily altitude advances. We regularly consult with climbers on their goals, so please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions, comments or concerns. As part of the itinerary, climbers will also review proper use of crampons, a mountain axe, and basic rope management. These skills are necessary for safe progression on snow and ice, self arrest, and glacier travel.
Planning and Preparation In the best interest of personal safety, success and team compatibility, adequate training and physical conditioning are required. Prior experience carrying a pack for two or more days is excellent preparation for this climb. Climbers should be able to carry an average of 35lbs or more for a full day, and be physically and mentally prepared to perform at high altitude. Climbers should be in good physical condition for their personal enjoyment and to support the team dynamic.
In an effort to help our climbers prepare, we schedule a short series of team conference calls to assist with physical conditioning, personal gear selection and individual logistics. Climbers are also invited to join us for weekend conditioning treks to help evaluate your progress. Finally, we are available to our team members on an individual basis to assist in their personal preparation and planning – we want you to summit!!
What’s Included / Not Included The cost includes advance assistance with conditioning, preparation and planning, airport ground transfers from Mexico City International Airport, double occupancy hotel accommodation, round-trip transfers to all trailheads, climbing permits and registrations, national park entry and camping fees, rescue service, professional guide service, cook service, alpine level camping equipment, team radio communication and a professional expedition medical kit. Items not included in the cost are your round-trip airfare to Mexico, personal equipment, medical/evacuation and trip insurance, gratuities (approximately $150 total per climber), entry visas for Mexico and early departure services. Personal meals in Mexico City and surrounding villages are not included. Members are required to make a non-refundable $US 500 deposit no less than four months in advance of departure to reserve your place on the team. The remaining balance is due two months in advance of departure.
Personal Gear We provide all participating members with a comprehensive and detailed personal gear list. We also remain available to consult on gear performance and selection on an individual basis.
8 DAY ITINERARY
Day 1 Arrivals at Mexico International Airport in Mexico City, Mexico. Please plan for an early arrival so that we can enjoy a visit to Teotihuacan. We will then transfer by vehicle to our lodge at Malinche to prepare for our first objective. In-country briefings, team orientation and a gear shake-down in the evening.
Day 2 We wake early and spend the day trekking to the summit of La Malinche (14,435 ft). The trek will be moderately paced to maximize our acclimatization to altitude. The group will overnight at the lodge at La Malintizi.
Day 3 Transport to Altzomoni Hut at the foot of Ixta (12,959 ft.) where the group will overnight. We will use part of the afternoon for skill training in preparation for our climb of both Ixta and Orizaba.
Day 4 Early morning departure for the ascent of the first summit of Ixta (Rodillas – 16,568 ft.) and then to the second summit (Los Pechos – 17, 244 ft.). Ixta is a broad ridged peak that overlooks Mexico City. Our ascent begins with a straightforward approach through alpine meadows to 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. The group will then descend to the town of Puebla for an overnight.
Day 5 Rest day in Puebla in preparation for our ascent of Orizaba.
Day 6 An exciting twelve mile jeep ride takes us from the valley floor to our camp at the Piedra Grande Hut, perched at 13,779 ft. along the slopes of Orizaba. We will overnight here in preparation for an early morning departure to the summit.
Day 7 Our route takes 10-14 hours round-trip to the 18,877ft summit of Orizaba. From our camp, we make our way through the mountain’s rocky moraine to the toe of the Jampa Glacier, where we don crampons, mountain axes and assemble as a rope team for the remainder of the route. The glaciers on Orizaba are relatively non-technical with no significant crevasses. From the summit, there are spectacular views into the dormant crater and the expansive Mexican landscape. After our descent, the group will return to the quaint village of Tlachichuca for hot showers and an excellent Mexican meal fit for our success.
Day 8 Early return to Mexico City for departures. If time permits and, depending on group departure schedules, we may have the opportunity to visit Cantona Pyramids.