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In the heart of Mexico, a beautiful scenic drive from the bustling capital city, lie the grand volcanic peaks of Itza and Orizaba.
Ixta, “the sleeping lady”, is located 50 miles southeast of Mexico City and is Mexico’s third highest peak. The mountain itself comprises four peaks whose features are named for various parts of a sleeping female figure: the head, chest, knees and feet! Depending on the team’s ability, we will climb one of two routes: the Arista Del Sol Route along a majestic and classic ridge, or, the more technical, Ayoloco Route. From the summit you will have close-up views of the highly active Popocatepetl and even Mexico City depending on conditions.
We recover and refuel in the city of Puebla before our next aim: Orizaba. Orizaba (5746m) is Mexico’s highest peak and is the third highest peak in North America. Its lofty height even makes it visible to ships arriving at the ports of Veracruz.
The climb itself from the trailhead to the glacier is relatively straightforward, but once we are on the main flanks of the glacier the trail steepens and the slope increases to make the crampon work both steady and adrenaline fuelled. Once cresting the summit rim we’re rewarded with a view across central Mexico and out to the sea.