Pico de Orizaba (18,491ft/5,636m) is the highest point in Mexico and the third highest point in North America. This is a popular mountaineering objective on its own, but we have the option to do what we are best known for – skiing right off the summit! This trip is timed to coincide with the end of the storms that bring Orizaba most of its snow. If you are looking for a great way to introduce yourself to high altitude climbing, this is it. This trip can run either as a mountaineering or ski mountaineering trip depending on conditions. If the advertised date does not work for you, please call us to arrange for a private trip.
Pico de Orizaba (18,491 ft / 5636 m) is the highest point in Mexico and the third highest point in North America. This is a popular mountaineering objective on its own. We also propose doing what we’re best known for – skiing right off the summit to the toe of the Jamapa Glacier! This trip is timed to coincide with the end of the storms that bring Orizaba most of its snow. This trip can run either as a mountaineering or ski mountaineering trip. Please inquire upon sign-up.
A shorter itinerary, lower guest-to-guide ratio, and a ski mountaineering climb and descent set this trip apart. And while this trip is relatively short – only 7 or 8 days – we spend those days maximizing our acclimatization. We’ll take a unique trekking approach from the town of Tlachichuca to the refuge at the base of the route, carrying light day packs while our heavier mountain and ski equipment is shuttled up by car. To make this trip possible we’ve teamed up with Servimont Climbing Adventures, a three-generation local logistics and guide service.
Overall Difficulty Level: Difficult
Skills Required: Advanced skiing ability and ski touring ability; experience with crampons also required.
Fitness Level: Very strenuous due to climbing and ski touring at high altitude
Day 1: Meet your guide in Mexico City, Mexico. We’ll then drive to the town of Tlachichuca (8500 ft / 2600 m), and stay in the Servimont Lodge, our base for the week.
Day 2: Because of the sudden elevation gain, we’ll take the first day a little easy and have a light day hike, climbing no higher than 11,800 ft / 3600 m, on the west slopes of Orizaba.
Day 3: We’ll start an overnight trek that will give us added acclimatization and some light exercise. Carrying light day packs and with a local Servimont hiking guide, we’ll start climbing up the west slopes of Orizaba, and meet our camping equipment at 11150 ft / 3400 m.
Day 4: Finish the overnight trek to the Peidra Grande refuge (14,000 ft / 4270 m), where we’ll thank our hiking guide, meet our warden, and be reunited with all of our mountain and ski equipment.
Day 5: A final acclimatization hike to the Jamapa Glacier, climbing no higher than 16,000 ft / 4900 m. Depending on snow coverage, this may be a ski tour.
Day 6: Summit Day! Climb the Jamapa Glacier to the crater rim, and ski from the summit. Then we’ll be met by a driver at the Piedra Grande refuge and be driven back to Tlachichuca for a celebratory dinner and final night.
Day 7: POSSIBLE WEATHER DAY. We recommend that everyone “pad” their trip by one day to allow for a possible weather delay. This can be as simple as purchasing refundable tickets to allow for an earlier booking home. If we choose to take this weather day, there will be added costs not included in the price advertised.
Day 8: Travel day to Puebla, and return home.
Snow Travel Equipment
Our hope is to ski off the summit of Pico de Orizaba, but this will be decided based on the conditions we find while we are there.
Although tipping is not a requirement, it is considered standard practice in the guiding industry and is appreciated by our guides. We generally recommend roughly 10%-15% of your course or trip cost or a flat amount that you are comfortable with.