Cayambe (5,790m) is one of the best climbs in Ecuador and the Andes. You should be in good physical shape to undertake the journey, even on the popular Standard Route. This ascent generally takes two days – one to reach the mountain hut and the next to reach the peak. The Cayambe Hut is located at 4,600 meters and provides accommodations to climbers on their way to the top. The volcano can usually be summited within a day, an exhilarating six-to-eight hour challenge. The Hermoso Glacier is nearby, offering a useful area to practice ice climbing and glacier travel. Along with snow, ice, and mixed climbing to the top, hiking and trail running are also popular activities in the region.
Cayambe has notoriously volatile weather. Snowstorms and high winds are common, creating substantial hazards for summit ascents. Plan accordingly by coming prepared for adverse weather.
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Reaching Cayambe is best done from Quito, roughly 70 kilometers to the south. Quito has an international airport that allows you relatively seamless entrance into the region.
This is a year-round objective for ambitious mountain climbers, but the conditions during autumn from October to January are the most accommodating for an excursion.
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