Alpenglow’s Mexican Volcanoes Climbing School is perfect for those who want to learn about climbing high altitude glaciated peaks and increase their self-sufficiency in the mountains, but just can’t take 2-3 weeks off to travel to South America or the Himalaya. Mexico is one of the only places in the world where we can gain skills and summit peaks in just one week. For the aspiring climber with no glacier experience, the Mexican volcanos school offer moderate glaciated routes at altitudes which can be attained with only a few days of acclimatization. But this expedition is also for the more experienced climber looking to refresh and dial in methods for glacier travel, crevasse rescue, and rope systems. Regardless of whether or where you have climbed in the past, this weeklong whirlwind climbing trip will satisfy your need to get to the big mountains again, and will build your technical skills and experience. It is an excellent introductory or refresher course with a focus on education, and a way to sneak some mountaineering into a busy life schedule!
While learning skills in the Mexican volcanoes school, our classroom will be in the field, as we attempt two peaks during this trip. After a quick exploration of Mexico City and the surrounding highlands, we head to Iztaccihuatl. At 17,154 feet (5,229 meters), Ixta (as it is locally known) is Mexico’s third highest peak. It is the perfect mountain to acclimatize on, and while not highly technical, will provide an ideal opportunity to get used to traveling on rope teams and in crampons and is a beautiful route and summit. The view from the summit takes in all of the volcanoes of Mexico, including nearby Popo, which is currently erupting! On Ixta, we will ensure that everyone’s mountain skills are up to speed so that you are an able to be an active participant on the climbing and decision-making team.
We then spend a day of rest and recovery in the traditional highland town of Puebla. The day will pass quickly exploring the local’s market, buying souvenirs, and eating the excellent Mexican cuisine.
From Puebla we head to our second objective, Orizaba, where you will utilize the more technical skills learned on Iztaccihuatl. As Mexico’s tallest peak and the third highest in North America. Its summit sits at 18,410 feet (5,611 meters) and is heavily glaciated. We will be technically and mentally prepared, as well as well-acclimatized and rested for our summit push, which is comparable to summit days on many of the world’s biggest peaks. The climb of over 4,000 vertical feet (1,020 meters) on crevassed glacier and steep slopes will test all of the training you have done throughout the week. A summit of Orizaba and the skills you’ve learned to get there are excellent preparation for expeditions to mountains like Denali, Aconcagua, or Huascaran, as well as an achievement in its own right.
Our Mexico school will be guided by one or more of Alpenglow Expeditions’ AMGA certified lead guides. AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association) certification is the highest possible training available to guides, and only the most experienced and dedicated attain it. Our guides have also traveled and climbed extensively in North and South America. Their knowledge of the mountains, combined with their passion for teaching others to become competent mountaineers, guarantees that your experience will be one to remember and you’ll leave with many more skills to help you progress through the ranks of the big mountains of the world! In contrast to many guide services working in Mexico, we climb in small teams, with a maximum climber to guide ratio of 3:1. This helps ensure that you understand the systems you learn about, stay healthy and strong, and are able to enjoy each component of your experience.