Pico de Orizaba – Citlateptl

Length:8 days
Price:$3800 per person

Location:Jamapa Glacier

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”)

Forested Approach

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.,

Ixta Add-on

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.


Get Started

Interested in a trip? Call us today to get started on your trip reservation. We will take the time to place you on the expedition that is a fit for you.

(541) 312-9242

When you call us you will speak to someone knowledgable about all or our trips and locations.


Jamapa Glacier

The route follows an old, unused aquaduct up to a section of the mountain called the Labyrinth. This presents the first challenge, as climbers wind through a steep maze of snow, ice and rock steps. Once trough this 500 foot band, climbers gain the toe of the Jamapa Glacier and head toward the saddle between Orizaba and el Sarcafago, a sub-peak. It is a long, ever steepening climb up the glacier toward the crater at the summit. Above 17,000 feet, travel is slow, but the reward is a summit that has one of the grandest views, rising higher above its surroundings than nearly any other mountain in the world.

Style:Steep snow and glacier travel
Skill Level:Difficult

"I am very happy with my TMG experience. The guides were professional, personable, and extremely concerned about safety. . . I absolutely give highest marks to these guys. If you don't have much Alpine experience, or just want the security of seasoned veterans guiding you up this mountain, then I strongly recommend you sign up with them. Thanks, guys, for a great experience!!"

George C
Highland, UT

"What a fantastic experience gaining the summit of a mountain we've gazed on from Portland for 25 years! . . . We learned a great deal, had a ton of fun, felt in very capable hands, and had the reward of summiting on a beautiful clear day. The value of being with a professional, certified, guide and guiding organization was evident throughout. Kudos to the TMG team who were responsive, supportive, and fun to work with every step of the way."

Malcolm C
Portland, OR

"We booked 2-day overnight program on Mt. Hood with Timberline Mountain Guides. Our guides were great, . . super friendly and reputable. The program did not go as planned due to inclement weather but we still had fun and good experience. The guides were definitely flexible and provided guidance during the trip. I would recommend going with them if it's your first climbing trip on Mt. Hood for sure."

Portland, OR

Skill Series

Next Steps

  • The North Ridge of Mount Baker is a big day that pushes your technical limits – if you’ve done Orizaba, you’ve got the lungs for this.
  • The Emmons Glacier on Mount Rainier is similar in physical challenge to Orizaba, although the elevation is less of a factor, the huge crevasses make up the difference.

Know Before You Go

  • Our Mount Hood Summit Program or other similar experience is required to join this climb
  • Excellent fitness is required to join this trip
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