Mexico: The Volcanic Trilogy


Rising from the highland valleys east of Mexico City, Pico de Orizaba (18,851 feet), Popocatépetl (17,887 feet) and Iztaccihuatl (17,343 feet) are the third, fifth and seventh highest peaks in North America. Mexico's three highest summits are not technically demanding, but the routes can be extremely strenuous, traversing slopes of scree and talus, snowfields and glaciers. This trio of volcanic peaks is an excellent introduction to mountain climbing—a great practice exercise for a major climb such as Mt. McKinley. Virtually all participants will shatter their own personal altitude records.
When you head to Mexico for these amazing climbs, be sure to schedule some time to enjoy the local culture and the country's pyramids. Tlamacas at 12,960 feet makes for a good starting point. Here you can acclimatize and brush up on basic skills. The lodge serves as a base camp for the ascents to Popo and Ixta, before the moving on to a hut in Augusto Pellet to stage the ascent of Orizaba.

Practically Speaking
Costs for 11-day, 3-summit expeditions run around $1,7500, with most departures between mid-November and early February.

Published: 8 Jul 2005 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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