Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov
We’ll meet in Quito, Ecuador’s beautiful capital city. At an altitude of 2865 m/ 9400 ft it is the world´s second highest capital after La Paz, Bolivia.
We’ll start with our acclimatization program as soon as you step out of the plane. Then, we’ll have a gear check and afternoon briefing at the hotel.
The main purpose of our second day is to continue with the acclimatization process.
This is a great occasion to visit Otavalo, famous for its colorful sweaters.
Hike up Rucu Pichincha as part of our acclimatization program before tackling Ecuador’s giants.
Drive towards Cayambe, Ecuador’s third highest peak. Cayambe offers spectacular snow and ice climbing and intricate glacier travel.
We will stay in a mountain hut located at (4660 m /15,290 ft)
During this acclimatization day, we’ll work on glacier travel techniques.
The route isn’t technical but we will encounter many very large crevasses on our climb.
We start our climb with headlamps very early in the morning, a standard procedure of tropical high altitude climbing in Ecuador for firm snow conditions during our ascent and descent.
An exciting day, we’ll walk through some challenging glacier terrain that will take us to the summit, culminating with an exciting line along the glaciated edge of the volcano’s crater.
Finally, we will descend to our hut and possibly drive south to our next objective.
Our next objective will be Cotopaxi, Ecuador’s second highest peak and one of the most beautiful peaks in the Ecuadorian Andes, a perfect cone covered by glaciers and snowfields.
We will stop to rest at a 17th Century Hacienda on our way to Cotopaxi, a beautiful place to relax and enjoy views of Illiniza Sur and Cotopaxi.
Drive east into Cotopaxi National Park. Travel through pine forest to above treeline for a spectacular drive and a wide open view of Cotopaxi. The four wheel drive road is quite exciting taking us as high as 4572 m/15,000 ft.
From there, we’ll do a short hike that will take us to the Jose Ribas Hut, located at 4794 m/ 15,729 ft.
Again we will leave for the summit shortly after midnight for firm snow conditions. Challenging glacier terrain will take us to the base of the 400 foot wall Yanasacha, meaning “large black rock” in the native Quechua language, from were we head west up Cotopaxi`s upper glacier on 35 to 40 degree slopes to finally coronate the summit with striking views of Cotopaxi`s summit crater at sunrise.
The changes in color as dawn approaches will be a memorable experience of this day’s climb.
Return to hut.
Another rest day at the Hacienda before heading towards our last objective, Chimborazo. At an altitude of 6268 m/20,703 ft, it is Ecuador’s highest point.
Drive towards Chimborazo.
We will stay at the Whymper Hut at 5000 m/16,405 ft.
It will be a long summit day.
Climbers should be well acclimatized by now after several days above 4572m/15,000 ft and well conditioned after climbing two of Ecuador`s highest peaks. Chimborazo is a great challenge and a major peak. Lately the standard Whymper route has been out of shape due to dry seasons, so most likely we will take a more challenging line, located left of the Whymper.
Exciting ice and snow climbing will take us to the summit.
Down to the hut.
Drive back to Quito. Next day fly back home, at the earliest, or continue traveling in South America.
This itinerary is intended to be a guideline only and is subject to the weather conditions on the mountain.
Porters are available, but they aren't included in the price. Please let me know if you would like one and we'll arranged it for you.
Porters cost from $160 to $300 per load carry depending on Altitude they carry to. You will need a maximum of 5 to 6 load carries from Base Camp to High Camp and back down to Base Camp again (about $1,000 USD), if you choose to have a porter for each carry, and move, and for the descent of the mountain.
Porters will be available at Base Camp. The final number of estimated load carries may be decided at Base Camp.
An Internationally Certified UIAGM / IFMGA Mountain Guide, Rodrigo has been a guide for 30 years. He has led 24 expeditions to Denali and 28 expeditions to Aconcagua — the highest peaks in North and South America, respectively. He has been a member of expeditions to Shisha Pangma and Cho Oyu in the Himalaya, and his climbs in Patagonia include the North and Central Towers of Paine, Agujas Guillaumet and Poincenot, as well as Cerro Torre attempts. He’s made Patagonian Ice Cap explorations including the first east-west traverse of the northern Ice Cap. He holds first ascents in Antarctica, the Andes and Alaska; speed ascents of Denali, Aconcagua, and Juncal. He’s guided the Ellsworth Mountains and Mt. Vinson in Antarctica and has extensive climbing and guiding experience in Yosemite and the Alps, including Frendo Spur and the Grand Jorasses. He’s a former Technical Committee member for the American Mountain Guides Association and a Senior Guide at Exum Mountain Guides in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Rodrigo speaks fluent English, French and Spanish.
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