Overview:

Welcome to the Volcanoes of Mexico – the perfect introduction to climbing at higher altitudes, or for the seasoned veteran, an easily accessible training ground for Ecuador, Denali, Aconcagua, and the Himalayas. El Pico de Orizaba (18,490’) and Iztaccihuatl (17,159’) serve as the prioritized goals of this expedition. Acclimatization peaks, such as La Malinche (14,501’) provide excellent opportunities for acclimatization while ticking off another summit in addition to the giants.

Like many of our international trips to Europe, Ecuador, Chile, and Japan, the Mexico Volcanoes Expedition naturally balances the efforts made in the mountains with rest days spent exploring the local culture, enjoying well-prepared cuisine, seeing the countryside when traveling to the next peak, and relaxing in restful, pleasant accommodations.

Our 10-day itinerary provides ample time for acclimatization and a back-up summit day (see the Sample Itinerary below for more details). Both Izta (Iztaccihuatl) and Pico de Orizaba have relatively small glaciers with easily avoided crevasses. These peaks require minimal technical skill to reach the summit. This trip does not involve tent camping – all nights are spent in hotels and on-mountain huts (except in the case of a potential high camp bivouac on Pico de Orizaba depending on participant acclimatization and physical needs, as well as mountain conditions). Pack weights are limited to 25-30lbs.

Prerequisites:

Climbers joining this expedition should have taken an Introduction to Mountaineering Course with CMS or an approved comparable course with another company, or have ample personal experience using crampons, ice axe, and climbing/hiking peaks.

Preparation:

Expedition members should have good core strength, excellent hiking and cardio-vascular fitness, and the strong mental and physical stamina to move for 12-15 hours with short breaks. Training should include many hours each week of hiking with a pack, stairmaster, running, and a daily regimen of core-strengthening exercises such as push-ups, yoga/stretching, cross-fit, etc.c.

Duration:

10 Days

Maximum Ratio:

3:1

Minimum Age:

Please call to register participants under 18 years of age

Meeting location:

Terminal 1, Puerta 8.  Your guides will be waiting for you with a Colorado Mountain School sign as you exit the customs area.

Details:

Client Testimonials:

“I can’t recommend this trip enough. Best guides anyone could ask for. Not only are they some of the most competent climbers out there but also a great group of guys to travel with. An amazing experience.” -Sean P

“Our guide, Japhy, and the expedition was such an amazing trip. So much fun, climbing, hanging out with cool people and experiencing the culture!! I highly recommend this trip. Hmm, maybe I’ll go again! -Bob V

“Good times to be had by all!” -Cory D.

Guide Testimonial:

“Mexico is an amazing study in contrasts: from kicking crampons on a frozen glacier at 18,000 feet to ancient Aztec ruins, to picturesque pueblos and true Wild West cowboys.  This trip is one of the best values for those interested in high altitude mountaineering and cultural exploration.” –Japhy Dhungana

Lodging:

Hotel, cabin, hostel or bivouac; double+ occupancy

*single option available for additional $500

Notes:

Payment Schedule:
· 25% deposit due with an accepted application
· Balance due 90 days before Day 1 of trip

Expedition Cancellation Policy:
· A non-refundable $100 application fee will not be refunded from your initial deposit.
· 100% (minus application fee) will be refunded 120 days prior to trip start.
· 50% (minus application fee) will be refunded 91 to 119 days before trip start.
· 25% (minus application fee) will be refunded 46 to 90 days before trip start.
· 0% will be refunded 0 to 45 days before trip start.

Day 1: Welcome to Mexico City! Your guides will pick you up at the airport between 12noon and 3:00pm. From there, you will be driven 3 hours in a private vehicle to the town of San Jose Teacalco (9,000’) where you will stay three nights in a lovely private cabin.

Day 2: Hike 4-5 hours up to 12,000’ to acclimate to the altitude and the environment.

Day 3: Summit Malinche (14,501’) for acclimatization purposes, a 6-10 hour endeavor.

Day 4: Rest/Travel Day. Drive 3.5 hours to the Altzomoni Hut (12,800’) on Iztaccihuatl.  After dinner and a summit talk, you will turn in early for the next day’s arduous summit/acclimatization climb.

Day 5: Summit Iztaccihuatl (17,160’). This will be an early start and a long climb of 10-12 hours. Izta is considered a difficult challenge due to the steep climb to 16,000ft and then the long traverse across the summit ridge to 17,000ft. Some say this climb, though at a less elevation than Pico de Orizaba, is a harder climb. Participants who are having a harder time at altitude and with less fitness will use the hike to the Grupo de los Cien Hut (15,470’) as an acclimatization hike. The day will end at a hotel in the town of Amecameca. (Wifi available)

Day 6: After sleeping in and resting, you will drive 3.5 hours to Tlachichuca (9,000’). Along the drive, you will stop in the old town of Puebla to enjoy lunch and the baroque-style 16th-17th century Puebla Cathedral.

Day 7: You will leave some luggage at the climber’s hostel and travel 2.5 hours in vehicles to the hut at Piedra Grande (14,000’). Once at the hut, you will hike 2-4 hours to 15,500ft for acclimatization and return to the hut for the night.

Day 8: Summit El Pico de Orizaba (18,490’). The summit climb will be 10-15 hours and will start early in the morning. After returning to the hut, you will ride back to town and your hostel.

Day 9: Back-up summit day. In case of weather or team members are not feeling well, this day will serve as a second opportunity to climb Orizaba. If you summit earlier in the trip, this day will consist of cultural activities. You will end up at your hotel in Mexico City (wifi available) and celebrate your accomplishments with the team with a final evening out on the town.

Day 10: You will be dropped off at the airport by your guides or by a chartered taxi service.

Price Includes:

  •      Most meals
  •      Lodging and hotel accommodations
  •      In-country transportation from airport pick-up to drop-off
  •      Guide fees
  •      Group climbing and camping equipment
  •      Park and permit fees

Price Excludes:

  •      Airline tickets, baggage fees
  •      Personal climbing equipment
  •      Certain foods: 2 high camp dinners, breakfasts, & hot drinks; some snacks; final dinner out on the town (see gear list)
  •      Trip Insurance
  •      Guide gratuities
  •      Non-meal time food & drink purchases; alcoholic beverages
  •      Expenses beyond CMS’s control

Item Description Quantity Example Purchase At Rent At Equipment Type
Baselayer Bottoms

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Lightweight or mid-weight are recommended.

1

Men: Rab Merino 120 Pants
Women: Rab Merino 120 Pants

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Beanie/Fleece Hat

Should cover the ears and fit under a helmet. Hats with fluff balls on top do not fit under helmets.

1

Rab Logo Beanie

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Belay/Rappel Device

Plaquette style devices with auto-block mode are ideal.

1

CAMP Piu 2

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Bowl, mug, fork/spoon

Personal utensils

1

Sea to Summit Delta Camp Set

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Climbing Harness

UIAA/CE approved; With belay loop and gear loops. The waist belt should fit over multiple layers of clothing.

1

CAMP Laser CR

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Equipment
Compass

Used for navigation and orientation. A compass with adjustable declination is preferrable.

1

Silva Ranger CLQ

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
First Aid Kit

Your guide will have an emergency First Aid Kit. You should bring a small kit including blister prevention and care products such as a role of athletic tape and Moleskin. Your kit should also contain a few Band-aids, some Tylenol and Ibuprofen.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Food

Proper lunches that are prepared ahead of time are recommended (sandwich, burrito, leftover pizza, etc), along with an assortment of snack bars, gels, and/or trail mixes. Feeze-dried meals are acceptable on overnight trips, but not day trips.

1

Made in Nature, Thrive Tribe

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Gaiters

These are instrumental when wearing crampons. They protect your softshell pants from getting ripped and keep snow out of your boots.

1

RAB Latok Extreme

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Headlamp

Load with fresh batteries. Critical for hiking before sunrise and great to have in the pack in case you are caught out after dark.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Heavyweight Waterproof Glove

This glove comes out when the winter going gets cold and wet or at higher altitudes.

1

RAB Alliance

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Hot Drinks

Coffee, tea, hot cocoa are great for warming up when it's cold outside.

1

Cusa Tea; Alpine Start Coffee

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Lightweight Baselayer Top

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Worn against the skin and is considered a "wicking" layer that facilitates the movement of moisture away from the skin and through the layers. Hooded base layers add extra versatility.

2

Men Rab Merino 120 Long Sleeve
Women Rab Merino 120 Long Sleeve

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Lightweight Gloves

Synthetic; Thin gloves used when hiking the early morning approach. Belay gloves can suffice if full-fingered.

1

RAB Power Stretch Pro

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Lip ScreenSPF 15 or higher.

Non-SPF rated lip balms can actually increase your chances of getting burned.

1

Rocky Mountain Sunscreen Lip Balm

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Midweight Baselayer Top

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Adds extra warmth and protection from the cold and wind without creating a moisture barrier as a jacket would. Having at least one base layer that is hooded adds versatility, protecting the neck and ears from cold winds.

1

Men Rab Merino 160 Hoody
Women Rab Merino 160 Long Sleeve

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Midweight Softshell Glove

This is the workhorse glove and is most often worn on warmer days when mountaineering. Softshell gloves are water-resistant and durable. They often have leather palms and fingers.

1

RAB Guide

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Mountaineering Axe

Utilized in ascending or descending snow slopes. Ideal length is variable based on terrain and height of person.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Mountaineering Boots

Waterproof, insulated, leather or synthetic boots. Two levels of boots can be appropriate depending on the season, conditions, and personal needs. These boots have rigid and semi-rigid soles so they climb rock well and are compatible with crampons. 1. Lightweight (May - October): This is a single-layer, semi-insulated, waterproof boot, such as the La Sportiva Trango Cube. 2. Mid-weight (October - June): This is a single-layer, insulated boot, such as the La Sportiva Nepal.

1

Men: Scarpa Grand DRU GTX
Women: Mont Blanc GTX WNM

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Mountaineering Crampons

Steel crampons with horizontal front points are ideal. Must be semi-rigid and compatible with your boots.

1

CAMP XLC 390

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Neck Gaiter

"Buffs" are quite versatile in their uses. They can be used as light beanies, neck warmers, and can offer face protection from the cold wind or sun.

1

BCA Neck Tube

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Pajamas

It can be nice to have something clean to change into each night for sleeping in your sleeping bag.

1 Clothing
Personal Care Items

Medications, glasses/contacts, feminine products, etc.

1 Optional
Personal Toilet Kit

At minimum, bring a small Ziploc with toilet paper. Consider bringing a travel sized package of hand-wipes. Idealy, purchase, or for free from the RMNP Backcountry office, bring a "Rest Stop." The Rest Stop, known as "Blue Bags" in the Pacific Northwest, or the "Wag Bag" in other areas, are poop-in-a-bag systems that include toilet paper and a sanitizing hand wipe.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Rock Climbing Helmet

UIAA/CE approved; Should be large enough to fit over a beanie. Plastic helmets are more durable, but heavier. Foam helmets are lighter, but more easily damaged when carried in a pack.

1

CAMP Titan

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Equipment
Sleeping pad

Insulated air mattresses or foam are ideal. Uninsulated air mattresses are not recommended.

1

Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Smartphone

Great for taking photos and videos. Smartphone batteries tend to shut down in freezing temps - keep your phone in a warm inner layer. A tether is ideal in the mountains to protet against dropping your phone.

1 Optional
Softshell Pants

Softshell material is stretchy, wind-proof, water-resistant, and resists abrasion. Mid-weight is recommended and light-weight pants can work for warm days. Typical thin, nylon "hiking pants" are generally not tough enough.

1

Men: Rab Vapour Rise
Women: Rab Upslope

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Softshell/Fleece Jacket

Water-resistant, windproof, yet it "breaths," which means it allows moisture to move through. Hoods are ideal. There are multiple thicknesses of Softshell jackets. A lightweight or medium-weight jacket is preferred. Fleece jackets are acceptable.

1

Men: Rab Alpha Direct
Women: Rab Alpha Direct

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Sports Bra

Provides support and allows for full range of motion

1

North Face Beyond the Wall

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Sun Hat

A billed hat to keep the sun at bay during the approach and descent.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Sunglasses

"Wrap-Around" style sunglasses with 100% UV Protection.

1

Julbo Stunt

Julbo

Equipment
SunscreenSPF 30 or higher.

Travel size.

1

Rocky Mountain Sunscreen SPF 50

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Synthetic or Down Puffy Jacket

Fits over all other layers and is worn at breaks and on really cold days. Synthetic puffies are more durable, are easily laundered, and dry out quickly if wet. Down puffies are lighter weight, pack smaller, and provide exceptional warmth, but once wet, they stay wet.

1

Men: Rab Zero G
Women: Rab Electron

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Synthetic/Merino Wool Socks

Wool/Synthetic blends are great for long days on the trail. "Ski" and "Snowboard" socks are especially useful when warmth is desired.

2

Point 6 Hiking Light Crew

Point 6

Clothing
Trash Bag

Lining the inside of your pack with a heavy duty trash bag will keep the contents of your pack dry on rainy days.

1 Optional
Trekking Poles

Adjustable and without powder basket.

1-2

CAMP Backcountry

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Optional
Watch w/ Altimiter

An altimeter is very useful in gauging progression of altitude gain or loss when climbing, and especially when visibility is decreased due to weather. Many Altimeter watches have compasses and/or GPS tracking functions.

1

Suunto Vector; Suunto Core

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Water Bottles

1 liter bottles are the standard. Bladders such as Camelbacks and Platypus are acceptable for above freezing temps, but only in conjunction with another bottle. Bladders are not acceptable during sub freezing temps. Sports drinks are also acceptable.

2

Nalgene, Hydro Flask

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Water Purification Tablets

Iodine or Chlorine-based treatments; To keep packs light in the summer during early morning approaches, your guide may suggest only carrying a liter or two of water, with the plan to refill during the day at a stream.

6 tabs/day

Aquamira, Potable Aqua

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Waterproof Shell Jacket

Non-insulated, Gore-Tex, Dermizax, Event, or other waterproofing system is required. Mostly, this jacket sits in the bottom of your pack and comes out when the weather gets nasty with precipitation. This jacket should fit over all other layers.

1

Men: RAB Latok
Women: RAB Latok

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing