El Pico de Orizaba, Mexico
Mexican volcanoes offer climbers significant opportunities to explore skills for safe high mountain travel. With altitudes over 18,000 feet, Mexico sports the third and fifth highest summits in North America providing ample experience in a true high altitude environment.
The principal goal of this expedition is a summit attempt on El Pico de Orizaba (18,700 feet). With a variety of routes possible, from the standard Jamapa Glacier approach to the difficult El Pecho de Pluma (doves breast), a team’s diverse goals can be realized.
The expedition objectives are established after the make-up of our team is determined. The team develops the trip itinerary to suit the level of skill and commitment of its members, recognizing their interest in immersion in local culture and the need to acclimate to the altitude.
No matter what the climbing objective, we can expect to travel in glaciated terrain. To help insure safe passage through snow fields, we examine snow climbing and crampon technique, ice ax positions, and glacier travel procedures while climbing moderate to steep ice slopes and traversing the rim of the 1000 foot deep crater.
Participants are exposed to issues of high altitude physiology, high altitude mountain sickness, nutrition at altitude, evaluation of objective mountain hazards, and an introduction to glacier formation, movement, and route selection.