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 timed to coincide with the end of the storms that brings Orizaba most of its snow, and happens to on the week before Dia de Muertos – the Day of the Dead, one of the great holidays of Mexican culture.
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 sets this trip apart. And while this trip is relatively short – only 7-8 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.
Day One – 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 Two – 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 Three – 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 Four – 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 Five – 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 Six – 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 Seven – 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 Eight – Travel day to Puebla, and return home. Included in cost:Transportation from Puebla, Mexico to TlachichucaLodgingMealsHiking guide and refuge wardenTeam camping equipment (tents, stoves, etc).Team technical equipment (ropes, protection, etc)Not included in cost:Flight to PueblaAlcohol,Lodging and meal costs incurred by adding the weather day described above (if it occurs).Gratuity for hiking guide, refuge warden, and mountain guides.Personal Equipment.
Should I tip my guide? And how much should I tip them? 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 flat price tip that you are comfortable with.
Will we be skiing off the summit? Our hope is to ski off the summit of Pico de Orizaba, but this will be decided on conditions while we are there.