Logistics

Paperwork

Please take the time to read the entire Logistics section in full. If you have questions, feel free to call the Alpine Ascents office or email us. 

Make sure you have submitted the following paperwork to Alpine Ascents.

⎕  Application
⎕  Flight itinerary
⎕  Please see COVID-19 requirements for additional paperwork to enter to Mexico.

Trip Insurance & Evacuation Coverage

We highly recommend trip insurance as there are many unforeseen circumstances that can occur leading up to a trip. Evacuation and medical coverage may be required for this trip, please see paperwork section above. Please click here for more information:

https://www.alpineascents.com/trip-cancellation-insurance-trip/

Getting There

Flight reservations for your expedition should be made as soon as possible. Please forward a copy of your flight itinerary before final purchase so we can review departure and arrival dates.

Alpine Ascents can make hotel arrangements to meet individual itineraries.

Flying to Mexico City, Mexico

Arrival: This trip requires that you arrive in Mexico City on Day 1 of your expedition. Early afternoon arrival is preferred. Please arrive no later than 5:00 p.m.

The airport in Mexico City is challenging for pickups due to its size and the unpredictable length of time to clear customs. Please take a taxi to your hotel.

Departure: You may fly out any time on the last day of your itinerary.

Early Arrival/Late Departure: For those arriving early or departing after the scheduled itinerary, we can make hotel and transport arrangements at an additional cost. Please contact our office in advance if you would like us to make additional reservations.

Missed Flights: If you miss your flight or if your flight is significantly delayed, please contact Gordon Janow by calling our Seattle office (206) 378-1927 and follow the prompt for 24-hour contact.

Visas & Passports

To enter Mexico you must have a valid passport that does not expire for at least 6 months past the end date of your journey. US citizens do not require a visa.

Climbers are responsible to determine and satisfy entry requirements for your passport/nationality. Alpine Ascents is happy to help in this process. US citizens can consult US State department website here: Mexico International Travel Information

Hotels

For climbers who prefer single room accommodations, these arrangements can be made for an additional fee. Be aware that private rooms are available at hotels during our trip, but not on the mountain.

For climbers choosing double room accommodations every effort will be made to pair you with another climber. A Single Room Supplement Fee will apply if a match cannot be made or there is a last minute cancellation. This will help keep our overall program pricing down since unlike other companies we do not charge more for smaller groups.

In Mexico City

Hotel Maria Cristina
Río Lerma No. 31 Col. Cuauhtémoc, México D.F., C.P. 06500
Phone: (52 55) 57031212
Website: hotelmariacristina.com.mx

 

Gear List

Please refer to your Gear List:

You are required to bring every item on this list as described, so be as precise as possible when packing. We are happy to work closely with you on finding the proper gear.

If you plan to rent gear, your rental form must be submitted at least a month prior to expedition start date. Please call our office or e-mail [email protected] with any questions.

Gear Lexicon

If you’re confused by items and/or language on the Gear List, we encourage you to refer to our Gear Guide for explanations on layering systems, differences between boots, etc.

Other Resources

Below are articles written by veteran Alpine Ascents guides that you may find helpful in preparing and packing for your expedition.

Medications & Prescriptions for Mountain Climbing

Women’s-Specific Tips

Not on the Gear List, but in our Backpacks

Packing Tips

People generally take too much “stuff” rather than too little. Study each item before you pack it. Eliminate redundant items, extra changes of clothing, and excessive “nice to have” luxuries. You will benefit from traveling light because of the costs of excess baggage and because of the frequent loading and unloading of bags. Remember to review your airline’s weight limits and pack accordingly. Traveling light may be your key to summit success. Take everything on the required equipment list and little else.

Expenses

We recommend using a combination of cash and credit cards for purchases and extra expenses in Meixco. When exchanging money, request the change in small denominations as change for larger notes is scarce outside big cities. We recommend bringing between $500 and $700 in cash.

Alcoholic drinks and bottled drinks are not included in your meals. Please bring some extra cash if you plan on having drinks (not recommended during the expedition).

Early Departure/Evacuation

If you need to leave the expedition early, you are responsible for all incurred expenses (evacuation fees, transport, extra hotel nights, etc). A comprehensive trip insurance plan is recommended, which can cover these costs in the event that they occur.

Tipping

Our guides make every effort to ensure your climb is safe, successful, and as enjoyable as possible. If you have a positive experience, gratuities are an excellent way to show your appreciation. It’s difficult to recommend a specific amount as we believe tips should be based on level and quality of services, as well as an amount that meets your budget. Please consider the information below to be a general recommendation.

7-10% of the total trip cost is a standard guideline for the whole guide team. Any contribution to the guides’ tip pool can be given directly to your lead guide and will be appreciated by the entire team. We recommend a tip of $75 for your local tour guide/transportation specialist in Mexico City.

On the Mountain

Physiology Of Mountaineering

Dehydration, hypothermia, frostbite, and altitude illness are all important health conditions to be aware of while climbing. Please read our overview of these physical factors:

Food & Water

We are aware of the potential monotony of expedition food and Alpine Ascents makes every effort to make meals a positive part of the climb. We take great care in our meal preparation, understanding the importance staying healthy, fueling effectively, and enjoying your food. Whenever possible, we use fresh ingredients from local markets in our pre-planned meals.

Tap water in Mexico is not safe to drink. While in the city, use bottled water for drinking and brushing teeth. While climbing, Alpine Ascents guides will sterilize all water and climbers will fill water bottles at breakfast and dinner.

Health Tips

You may want to consult your physician for advice on treatments for gastrointestinal upsets that you may encounter on your trip. In the past, climbers have relied on antibiotics such as Ciprofloxacin. Your doctor may recommend medications such as Lomotil or Imodium to stop diarrhea, and Compazine to prevent nausea.

Leave No Trace

Alpine Ascents International practices Leave No Trace principles on all expeditions. We believe that given the proper information most people will do all they can to help protect and maintain the environment. Before your climb, please become familiar with Leave No Trace:

7 Principles of Leave No Trace

As guides, we spend time teaching the environmentally appropriate Leave No Trace principles and practices. There is nothing more rewarding than working hard to get high into the mountains, reaching a pristine campsite, witnessing incredible views, and having the feeling that no one has been there before.

Conversely, there is nothing more disheartening than working hard to climb a mountain, reaching a site and encountering trash, food waste, and toilet paper. Please read the seven LNT principles, and call the office if you have any questions about what you can do to plan ahead.

COVID-19 Protocols

Please note that Covid protocols, both best practices and entry requirements, are changing frequently. While we cannot eliminate the risk of exposure to COVID-19, we do carry out a variety of measures designed to mitigate the risk of illness for climbers and staff. It is important we work together with the same team-oriented perspective we rely on in climbing, and we greatly appreciate your partnership. 

Vaccinations and PCR Testing for Entry and Exit

All climbers must be vaccinated show proof of vaccination on arrival.

All climbers must arrive with negative PCR test 72hrs or less before departure.

Please check with your airlines to note if further documentation required.

**All climbers must fill out a health declaration form before flying to Mexico.** This form takes less than 5 minutes to complete.

Mexico City Airport Testing Information:

  • The first is located at Door 6. Testing service is available 24 hours. The antigen test costs $700 MXN, with results available in 1 hour. The PCR test costs $2,300 MXN, with results delivered in 24 hours.
  • The second module is located at Gate F3 and testing services are available from 3:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Here, the PCR test is $2,000 MXN, with results delivered in 24 hours. The antigen test costs $750 MXN, with results in 20 minutes.
  • The third module is located near the entrance to the Camino Real Hotel (through tunnel 1, door B ). Testing services are available from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Here, the PCR test costs $2,900 MXN, and the antigen test costs $695 MXN.

Masks

Climbers will be asked to wear proper facemasks in all public places while not on the mountain. This includes while in towns, while being transported and while in hotel premises, group gatherings, or during meals.

Transportation

Based on recommendations and factors at time of departure we may opt to use multiple vehicles for transport to and from airport and to and from the mountain to maintain better social distancing.  

Lodging

Lodging for vaccinated climbers will be in shared rooms and tents unless a single room is requested.  Unvaccinated climbers will need to purchase a single-room supplement and will be housed in a single occupancy tent on the mountain. 

 

Screening

If you experience fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea please immediately contact Alpine Ascents. Anyone experiencing these symptoms within 14 days of their trip date will be asked to reschedule their trip. All climbers may be verbally screened for these symptoms on arrival in Mexico City.

Mitigation Measures

Hand sanitizing facilities are provided throughout the program. We encourage you to regularly clean or sanitize your hands while on this journey, especially after touching your face, sneezing, coughing, using the bathroom, eating, or drinking. 

Guides may opt to have outdoor dining and not use a dining tent on the mountain should circumstances warrant.

During the trip we encourage social distancing, especially when meeting other hikers or climbers who are not part of our group

I thought it was great! Our guide was patient, encouraging and an excellent leader.

High camp on Izta at the Otis Mcallister hut
Final push on the summit ridge of Orizaba
Looking over the Valley of Mexico and Mexico City from high camp on Izta
Alpine Ascents Mexico Volcanoes
Photo: Mario Simoes
Alpine Ascents Mexico Volcanoes
Photo: Mario Simoes
Summit ridge of Izta
Street artist in Cholula, Mexico
The Aztec calendar on display at the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City
Climbers on a day hike to acclimate near Izta
High camp on Izta at the Otis Mcallister hut
Summit ridge on Izta with Popo in the background
Early morning sunrise with Orizaba castings its shadow
Looking down the summit ridge of Orizaba
Architecture in Mexico City
Mesoamerica artifacts at the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City

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