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. Orizaba, at 18, 860’ is the third highest peak in North America. Neighboring Izta, the “sleeping lady” at 17,350’ 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 make 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.
We regularly organize custom programs for private groups. We are happy to accommodate your program dates, as well as other specific requests related to the itinerary, amenities, and group size. Please contact us to find out more about custom programs.
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: $3,650
• Airport pick up upon arrival
• 2 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:
• Personal Items
• Trip Cancellation Insurance
• Fees for early departure
• Wire transfer fees
• Option to upgrade to single room
• There are no refunds for the deposit or balance payments for this expedition. This includes but is not limited to, expeditions that conclude without a summit or progress towards a summit for participants 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 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.
• Ice Axe: A mountaineering ice axe with straight shaft, generally a 60-65 cm ice axe will work well.
• Crampons: Mountaineering crampons rather than water ice climbing crampons.
• Trekking poles: Adjustable poles
• Climbing Harness: An alpine style climbing harness
• Carabineers: 2 locking
• Mountaineering boots: A double plastic or well insulated mountaineering boot with removable liners is preferable.
• Gaiters: to fit over your boots, these help keep small rocks and dirt out of your boots.
• Mountaineering Socks (3 Pair): Wool or Synthetic
• Liner Socks (3 Pair): A thin sock to be worn under the mountaineering sock to reduce friction.
• Camp booties: Optional
• Toe Warmers: Optional
• Underwear (1-2): Synthetic is best
• Long underwear pants (2-3 pair): 2 pair of lightweight and 1 pair medium or heavy weight.
• Long underwear shirts (1-2 pair): 1-2 pair of lightweight, and 1 medium or heavy weight. These should be long sleeve.
• Insulated Jacket: This can be a lightweight down or prima loft jacket, fleece jacket, or soft shell jacket.
• Hard Shell Jacket: A waterproof and breathable jacket designed to be worn in rain, snow, and high wind.
• Hard Shell Pants: A waterproof and breathable pant designed to be worn in rain, snow, and high wind. Full side zippers on each pant is preferable.
• Expedition Down Parka: A very substantial down parka with minimum 800 fill down. This can be worn over all layers.
• Insulated Pants: Prima loft or down pants, full side zippers are preferable.
• Warm Hat: Wool or fleece.
• Balaclava: to protect your neck and face.
• Buff or Bandana: To cover your face and neck, can keep out the dust.
• Sun hat: A baseball style hat or other sun hat.
• Glacier Glasses: dark lenses that wrap around
• Goggles: To be worn in high winds
• Liner Gloves: Fleece or wool
• Soft Shell Gloves: for cold and windy conditions
• Heavy Glove or Mitten: with removable liners
• Hand warmers: Optional
• Expedition Backpack: An 65 liter internal frame back pack.
• Sleeping Bag: Rated to at least -10 °F. Down is preferable over synthetic.
• Compression stuff sacks: for reducing the volume of your sleeping bag and down parka.
• Self Inflating pad: A full length air mattress
• Closed Cell foam pad: Full length is best
• Headlamp: Bring a spare set of batteries
• Cup: 16oz. minimum
• Bowl: ½ liter minimum capacity
• Spoon: Plastic (lexan)
• Sunscreen: SPF 50 or stronger
• Lip screen: SPF 30 or stronger
• Water bottles: 2 bottles with 1 liter capacity each
• Water Purification System: Tablets or Steripen
• Pee Bottle: 1 liter capacity minimum
• Pee Funnel: For Women
• Knife: Optional
• Toiletry Bag: Toothpaste, Toothbrush, baby wipes, etc.
• Hand Sanitizer: 2 small bottles
• Hand warmers / Toe warmers: 3 sets of each
• Trash Compactor bags (4): To line stuff sacks and separate gear
• Camera: lightweight with extra batteries
• Travel Clothes: For days in Mexico City & in Puebla.
• Large Duffel Bag with lock: for transporting all personal gear.
• Small duffel bag: to store items in the hotels.
• Small Personal First Aid Kit: Athletic tape, band aids, Ibuprofen, Moleskin, blister care products, personal medications, cough drops.
‣ Acetazolamide (Diamox) for altitude illness
‣ Antibiotics such as Ciprofloxin or Azithromycin for gastro intestinal or respiratory illness
‣ Ibuprofen for muscle soreness
‣ Excedrin for headaches ‣ Anti-nausea medications.
• Climbing Snacks:
‣ Electrolyte Replacement Drink Mix: Bring a supply for 6 days.
‣ Energy Gel: Single serving gel packs such as GU, Clifshot, Powergel, etc.)
‣ Energy Bars: Power bar, Cliff bar, etc.
‣ Candy Bars: Snickers, Mars, Twix, Milky Way, etc.
Madison Mountaineering is recognized for well thought out strategy in high altitude climbing expeditions, as well as high-quality service throughout. Because 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!
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 not only experts in our field, but we also love what we do!