The Mexico Volcanoes are a great way to gain high altitude climbing experience on glaciated peaks in a relatively short time frame. Traveling in this region of Mexico is very safe, and easily accessible from the United States. Pico de Orizaba, at 5,636m / 18,491ft is the third highest peak in North America. Neighboring Iztaccihuatl, the “sleeping lady” at 5,230m / 17,160ft is the seventh highest on the continent. We spend time visiting the historic city of Puebla between climbing these volcanoes and have ample time as well for the museum of anthropology in Mexico City. The combination of rich cultural experience along with high altitude glacier climbing makes this program a great value given the short time period in which we can accomplish so much. These peaks are a wonderful way to get acquainted with climbing at altitude, in preparation for a longer and more demanding climb such as Aconcagua, the Ecuador Volcanoes, or Denali.

photos: Copyright © 2019 Terray Sylvester. Used with permission.
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Pico de Orizaba and Iztaccihuatl

  • October 3 - 12, 2024
  • October 17 - 26, 2024
Cost USD 4,490
*inquire for expedition cost
Deposit USD 1,700

Day 1: Depart country of residence and arrive in Mexico City. We will pick you up at the airport and check in at our hotel in the heart of the city. After an equipment check and orientation we will enjoy a welcome dinner together at one of the many fine restaurants that serve traditional Mexican cuisine.

Day 2: We depart our hotel after breakfast, then spend a few hours in the museum of Anthropology reviewing the fascinating history of Aztec and Toltec ancient civilization before heading to the village of Amecameca, and then on to the Altzimoni hut on Izta, at 14,000’. Across the plain we can see the neighboring peak Popo.

Day 3: Today we go for an acclimatization hike from our hut to around 15,000’, enjoying a picnic style lunch on the trail with incredible views, and then return to our hut for dinner. From our hut we have a nice view of the “Paseo de Cortes” the mountain Pass that Hernando Cortes and his men crossed to fine the city of Tenochticlan.

Day 4: We climb to our high camp at 14,950’ and review proper techniques for using the ice axe, crampons, and climbing rope. After an early dinner we go to bed in preparation for an ‘alpine start.’

Day 5: We leave camp before dawn and climb to the Ayaloco glacier. From here we rope up and don crampons and ice axe, then climb snow slopes to the summit ridge, and then to the true summit of Izta. The view is amazing, and after a rest we descend to camp. We pack up our camp and continue our descent to the trail head where we drive to the City of Puebla. Here we will spend two nights in a nice hotel, touring this historical city and many fine restaurants.

Day 6: Rest day in Puebla, pack and organize gear for Orizaba.

Day 7: We depart Puebla after breakfast and drive to the village of Tlachichuca. Here we have lunch at our outfitter’s house, then transfer our gear into his 4 X 4 jeeps and begin the drive up to the Piedra Grande Hut (14,100’).

Day 8: We climb to our high camp on Orizaba and after dinner prepare for another ‘alpine start’.

Day 9: We leave before dawn, and gain the glacier where we rope up and don crampons and ice axe. From here we ascend the final 2,000’ to the summit of Orizaba, the highest volcano in North America. We descend to camp, pack up our belongings, then continue to the Piedra Grande hut where our outfitter will meet us. We drive back to Tlachichuca and then to Mexico City where we spend the night in a hotel.

Day 10: We depart Mexico for our country of residence.

Mexico Volcanoes climb

  • October 3 - 12, 2024
  • October 17 - 26, 2024
Cost: USD 4,490 (*inquire for expedition cost)
Deposit: USD 1,700

Costs Include:

  • Airport pick up upon arrival
  • Two-nights hotel accommodation in Mexico City and 2 nights hotel accommodation in Puebla (double occupancy)
  • All group gear such as ropes, tents, cooking equipment, VHF radios, satellite phone, etc.
  • All food while climbing
  • Climbing permits, hut fees, Park entrance fees
  • All transport in Mexico
  • Mountain guides
  • Porters (for carrying gear to high camps)
  • Museum entrance fees

Costs Do Not Include:

  • Airfare
  • Personal Items
  • Trip cancelation insurance or the required medical evacuation insurance
  • Fees for early departure
  • Wire transfer fees
  • Option to upgrade to single room

Cancellation/Refund Policy

  • There are no refunds for the deposit or balance payments for this expedition. This includes but is not limited to, expeditions that conclude without reaching or making progress towards expedition objective(s) (for example, the summit) due to route conditions, weather, insufficient manpower, or any other factor outside the control of Madison Mountaineering.
  • Expedition leader has the final say on the expedition conclusion and will make all best efforts towards reaching expedition objective(s) within our margin of safety.
  • Participants that choose to leave an active expedition for any reason are not entitled to any refunds
  • Madison Mountaineering, LLC highly recommends trip cancellation insurance for all expeditions
  • Due to the nature and heavy costs of government and operator permits, Madison Mountaineering must adhere to a stringent refund policy
  • Deposit due with registration materials
  • All balances are due 120 days prior to departure date unless otherwise specified
  • Participants whose balances are not received by the 120-day deadline as stated above, risk forfeiture of their funds and their place on the expedition

Note: Madison Mountaineering, LLC reserves the right to waive any fees. As we offer personalized service, we will attempt to accommodate changes and cancellations when necessary, waiving certain fees when feasible. Deposits paid by participants acknowledge the above cancellation terms.

Print Gear List

Base Layers

  • Synthetic Short Underwear (1-2 pair): non-cotton style underwear
  • Lightweight Long Underwear (1-2 pair): long sleeve shirt and long pants
  • Heavyweight Long Underwear (1 pair)
  • Short Sleeve Synthetic Shirt (1-2)

Mid Layers

  • Soft Shell Jacket: to be worn over other layers
  • Soft Shell Pants: very breathable and water repellant
  • Mid-Layer Top: lightweight layer for use over base layers
  • Lightweight Nylon Pants

Windproof/Rain Layers

  • Hard Shell Jacket with hood: waterproof and breathable shell jacket
  • Hard Shell Pants: waterproof and breathable shell pants

Insulation Layers

  • Heavyweight Insulated Down Jacket with hood
  • Insulated Pants


  • Warm Hat: synthetic or wool hat (ski hat)
  • Balaclava: to protect your neck and face in high winds
  • Baseball Cap or other sun hat: to shade your face/neck from the sun on a hot day
  • Bandana or Buff: to protect your neck/face from the sun


  • Glacier Glasses: full protection with side covers or wrap around
  • Ski Goggles: to be worn in the event of high winds – (2nd pair optional)


  • Lightweight Synthetic Base Layer Gloves (2 pair): for wearing on warm days
  • Soft Shell Gloves: to wear for moderate cold/wind
  • Shell Glove with Insulated Liner: to wear for severe cold/strong wind
  • Expedition Mitts: large enough to fit a liner glove inside


  • Liner Socks (3 pairs)
  • Wool or Synthetic Socks (3 pairs)
  • Mountaineering Boots
  • Hiking Shoes/Boots: comfortable hiking boots
  • Gaiters

Sleeping Equipment

  • Sleeping Bag: rated to at least -20°F
  • Self-inflating Sleeping Pad: full length is preferred
  • Closed-cell Foam Pad: to be used in conjunction with the inflating pad for warmth and comfort when sleeping
  • Earplugs

Mountaineering Gear

  • Expedition Backpack: approximately 65L
  • Compression Stuff Sacks: for reducing the volume of the sleeping bag, down parka, etc. in your pack
  • Trash Compactor Bags: to line backpack and stuff sacks as well as for separating gear
  • Backpack Rain Cover (optional)
  • Trekking Poles with Snow Baskets: adjustable
  • Ice Axe: general mountaineering tool (65cm)
  • Crampons: general mountaineering crampons
  • Climbing Helmet: must be able to fit over your warm hat
  • Alpine Climbing Harness: mountaineering harness, with adjustable leg loops. Not a rock-climbing “sport” harness
  • Carabineers: 2 regular, 4 locking
  • Belay/Rappel Device
  • Headlamp: with 2 extra sets of new batteries

Travel Items

  • Large Duffel Bag with Lock: for transporting gear
  • Small Duffel Bag with Lock: to store items in the hotel(s) while on the climb
  • Travel Clothes and Shoes: for days in cities and towns
  • Lightweight journal, sketchbook, pencils, pen
  • U.S. cash: for currency exchange to purchase SIM cards or merchandise in cities and towns

Additional Food Items

  • Snack Food: bring a few days supply of your favorite climbing snack food such as bars, gels, nuts, beef jerky, etc. variety of salty and sweet is good

Other Equipment

  • Cup: plastic 16 oz. minimum cup or mug
  • Bowl: large plastic bowl for eating dinner or breakfast
  • Spoon: plastic spoon (Lexan)
  • Water Bottles (2): wide mouth bottles with 1-liter capacity
  • Water Bottle Parkas (2): fully insulated with zip opening
  • Water Treatment
  • Thermos (optional): 1 liter
  • Hand and Toe Warmers
  • Sunscreen: SPF 50 or better
  • Lip Screen (2 sticks): SPF 30 or better
  • Toiletry Bag: include toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, baby wipes and hand sanitizer (2 small bottles)
  • Pee Bottle: 1-liter minimum bottle for convenience at night in the tent
  • Female Urination Device (FUD)
  • Knife or Multi-tool (optional)
  • Small Personal First-aid Kit: include athletic tape, band-aids, Ibuprofen, blister care, etc.
  • Medications and Prescriptions: bring personal medications, antibiotics (Azithromycin, etc.), altitude medicine such as Diamox, etc.
  • Handkerchiefs/Bandanas (optional)

Optional Electronics

Madison Mountaineering is recognized for well thought out strategy in leading high altitude climbing expeditions, as well as high-quality service throughout. We have two decades of experience in the planning and coordination of mountaineering expeditions, our reputation is excellent. We strive to make each expedition the best possible experience for our climbers and focus on our 3 primary goals of success in reaching the summit, returning safely, and having fun! Safety is always our number one priority.

Our guides are some of the best and most experienced in the industry, having a strong grasp of technical climbing, expedition, and high altitude experience, along with strong interpersonal skills. Our teams are small and equipped with the best support available to ensure the highest chance of success. We are renowned for our comfortable base camps, high-quality food, first-rate communications, and medical support services, all of which are overseen by a professional member of our team.

Most of our climbers have either climbed with us before, been referred by a friend who has climbed with us, or met one of our teams while attempting another peak and decided to join us for their next expedition. We work hard to facilitate safe, successful, and enjoyable expeditions for all of our climbers. Our track record and past climber testimonials prove we are highly competent experts in our field and love what we do!

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