With the Avenue of the Volcanoes at your disposal, you can explore the uncharted backcountry of some of Ecuador’s most notable mountains. Alongside Chimborazo, Cotapaxi, and Cayambe, you can ski tour Fuya Fuya, Imbabura, and other peaks exceeding 4,000 meters with great snow quality and beautiful scenery.
Ecuador is a South American country that sits on the equator, but its mountains are a great place for ski touring and backcountry trips. Many of the volcanoes rise to high altitudes, so you can ski through a few great obstacles on one trip. The highest climbs include Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, and Cayambe, and while they aren’t particularly technical, you should be prepared for some challenging climbs. Acclimatization is a large part of these trips, so planning extra days for these backcountry trips is vital. Ambitious backcountry skiers may have the opportunity to include rock climbing and hiking onto their programs.
The weather varies mostly according to altitude. The mountains and volcanoes will be cold, enough to keep a snow cap on Cayambe. The rest of the country can be hot in the summer around Quito, the coast, and in the rain forest. Dry season lasts from May to December, while the other months constitute the rainy season.
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Flying into Quito is the best way to start a backcountry skiing program. It is within 100 kilometers of Cayambe to the northeast, and within 70 kilometers of the gateway to Cotopaxi. There is also an international airport in Guayaquil to the southwest.
The best time to go backcountry skiing in Ecuador is November and December. Some October and January programs can be safe, fun, and all-around satisfying as well.
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