Citlateptl* means Star Mountain. The Aztecs called it this because its snowy peaked gleamed in the sun. Climbers know it better as El Pico de Orizaba, and it makes a great first climb at altitude. Although the route we choose is only moderately technical, climbers should have the basics of snow travel well in hand before the trip. Our approach hike has proven time and time again to be a great recipe for success. With the cultural highlights of Mexico, this trip is a winner. (*Pronounced “SIT la TEP uh tull”)
The combination of easily accessible high altitude mountaineering, great weather, and cultural diversity makes this a must do trip. We will start by being picked up in Mexico City by private van, from which we’ll travel from the urban to the extremely rural. First we’ll acclimatize by climbing to the summit of La Malinche, a 14,000 foot peak that is the crown jewel of a popular Mexican resort area. After a challenging day of peak-bagging we’ll be driven down to Tlachichuca at the base of Orizaba. From there we will have a night of hospitality and refueling before beginning our two day approach hike into the mountain utilizing pack animal support for our tents and group gear. We will follow a remote route that winds through open sub alpine forest and farm land, allowing us to camp at a beautiful waterfall. Then we’ll make the final push up to our base camp at Piedre Grande. From here we will have two days to finish our acclimatization and attemp to reach the summit.
Our eight day in-country program provides extra time for good acclimatization and rest before the final summit attempt. Going up to 14,000 feet early, and getting rest at a relatively low elevation before going slowly back up, has proven to be a good recipe for success. We have found that this slower approach to high altitude climbing works extremely well. We provide top quality food, lodging and highly personalized climbing instruction that gives you your best chance to achieve this magnificent summit.
Cities and Markets
If we are fortunate to stand on the 18,405 foot summit, we still have a long descent ahead of us. After climbing down to the Piedra Grande Hut and taking a short break, we’ll throw our gear in the 4WD trucks and take the bumpy ride back to Tlachichuca, where cold drinks,a hot meal and hotter showers await. Then next day, we’ll have a leisurely breakfast and drive back to Mexico City where we’ll hit the markets and go out for a celebration dinner.,
After our standard program, we’re offering the chance to stick around and tag another summit of Ixta, the 3rd highest peak in Mexico. This additional trip is a great way to finish up your Mexican adventure. After all the acclimatization you’ve acquired, the long ridge scramble up to the summit of Ixta goes quickly and without much weight on your back. Sandwiched in the pass between Mexico City and Puebla, this is possibly the most aesthetic sunrise you’ll ever see over city lights. This program adds two days to your total itinerary.