Standard 9 day itinerary
Iztaccihuatl 17,126' and El Pico De Orizaba 18,405'
1 Fly to Mexico city. Afternoon arrival. Have dinner and sleep in Mexico city (7,300'). If time allows we will spend some time sight seeing downtown Mexico city.
2 Brunch in Mexico city. Travel to the small town of Amecameca (8,070'). We spend the afternoon in this colorful town getting permits and buying last minute supplies, and after an early dinner we travel to Altzomoni’s hut at 13,000’ at the base of Iztaccihuatl.
3 Day hike to the the third “Portillo” 14,700’ or "Grupo de los cien" hut (15,042') and return to La Joya to spend the night and further our acclimatization. This hike is a maximum of 5 miles long with 2000 vertical feet gain.
4 Rest/acclimatization day at Altzomoni (13,000’)
5 Climb Iztaccihuatl (17,126'). The normal route takes us up a beautiful ridge with spectacular views. Our ascent includes some scrambling (class 3 terrain) up rock and crossing glaciated terrain (with little or no crevasse fall danger). Crampons and Ice axe may be needed depending on snow conditions. The largest glacier on Izta highlights the summit. This is the top of the 7th highest point in North America. The views from this route are outstanding with Popo to the south, Orizaba and La Malinche to the East and Nevado de Toluca to the west. This climb requires 4,400’ of elevation gain and though the mileage is not long (less than 8 miles) it is challenging due to the altitude (the last mile is all above 16,500’). That evening we return to Amecameca to enjoy a hot dinner at a great restaurant and spend the night at a wonderful hotel in the forest (with hot showers and comfortable beds).
6 Drive to Canchola’s “Base Camp” in Tlachichuca. The Canchola family has been providing 4x4 transportation on Orizaba, lodging and great cooking to thousands of mountaineers from around the world for many years. We will enjoy one of their great, home cooked authentic Mexican meals. We will then, load our gear into 4x4's for the drive up to Orizaba's hut: Piedra Grande (13,943') where we prepare for our early morning departure for the summit.
7 Climb Orizaba (18,405'). Our route takes us up the Labyrinth: a series of rock gullies recently exposed due to the retreating glacier. A bit of steep snow or rock scrambling gets us passed the Labyrinth and onto the Jamapa glacier where we rope up. The glacier steepens gradually from 20º to 45º at around 18,000’. After a climb of 2000 vertical feet on the glacier we reach the impressive crater rim and then the summit of Mexico's highest peak and North America's third highest. Given that it is not the climbing season in Logan or Denali we are now the highest people standing on the North American continent!! And it shows…the views are truly spectacular. That evening we descend to Tlachichuca where we enjoy another great dinner, hot showers and beds.
8 Possible extra day for a summit bid in case of bad weather or if we need an extra day acclimatizing. Otherwise we drive back to Mexico city and celebrate our success at a very famous and excellent Mexican restaurant. If participants desire so we can also enjoy great live Mariachi music and the best Tequila at the most famous and traditional cantina in all of Mexico: The Tenampa in Garibaldi square. That night we enjoy our great 4 star hotel in Mexico city.
9 Late afternoon flight to USA