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Iliniza North 2-day guided climb in Ecuador

Climb up to Iliniza North, one of the two summits of the Iliniza Volcano in Ecuador, along Pablo, an IFMGA certified guide.

Mountain RangeAndes
Duration2 days
Offer periodFeb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov
Type of tripNot specified


Iliniza is a volcano located in the southwestern face of Quito, in Ecuador. It has two peaks, Iliniza North (5126 m) and Iliniza South (5248 m).They are the result of a massive eruption that split the mountain thousands of years ago. And today, I want to invite you to climb Iliniza North with me!

Iliniza North is an excellent acclimatization climb for high altitude peaks in Ecuador. Also, it has some exciting scrambles, perfect for the adventurous hiker! It is an intermediate to advanced level program.

It is possible to reach the summit in one long day. Although, if your goal is to acclimatize, I think it is better doing it over 2 days and spending a night at a refuge.

A one kilometer wide saddle separates the two peaks. And while the South peak is windier and more humid, Iliniza North holds a rocky peak. Besides, its slopes are only eventually covered with snow, in December and January.

The ascent of Iliniza North begins with an easy climb to the saddle that divides the two peaks. From there, we will find cairns marking the path.

Then, near the saddle we will start following the ridge called La Ensillada. And midway up Iliniza North we will find many easy scrambles up rocky hills and some large rocks. This climb is rock class rating of 5.3 or less. Then, we will end up with a challenging climb to the summit, where we will find a small iron cross.

Besides, at the top we will enjoy amazing views of the Avenue of the Volcanoes and the peaks of Cotopaxi, Iliniza South and Chimborazo.

If you want to join me in this 2-day exciting climb to one legendary volcano in Ecuador, get in touch with me! I will be happy to guide you up to Iliniza North. And when you are ready for the challenge, you can check my Iliniza, Altar and Chimborazo 15-day expedition!

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Meeting point

I always do my best to adhere to the itinerary, but unforeseen circumstances may require last minute changes. Weather conditions, road conditions, vehicle breakdowns and the health of climbers can all contribute to schedule alterations. Please be prepared to be flexible when necessary.




Day 1: Iliniza base camp

We will drive to the Iliniza Ecological Reserve entrance. Then we will hike to the base camp at 3900 metres high. It is located near “La Virgen”, in the foothills of Iliniza. Then we will have dinner and turn in early for the night.

Day 2: Iliniza North Summit

Today we will begin our five hour ascent at 600 am. We will hike up to the saddle where we will meet the trail that follows the ridge (La Ensillada) up to the summit. Once there, we will enjoy spectacular views. Then we will start our 3 hour descent.

About the guide

guide profile img

UIAGM/IFMGA Mountain Guide from Ecuador.

I fell in love with the mountains at a young age while climbing Ecuador’s volcanoes with my father. I guided in the Andes for 8 years and have been guiding for the past four years in the Northwest United States. In 1997 I expanded his adventure skills by taking on rock climbing. I represented Chimborazo province three times as the Ecuadorian National Rock Climbing Champion.

I completed his UIAGM certification with the Bolivian Mountain & Trekking Guide Association, accredited by the National School of Ski and Alpinism of Chamonix (ENSA), and completed Advanced Alpine and Rock Guides Courses with American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA).

I usually spend some months every year in Ecuador (from October to January, but it varies every year). The rest of the year I am based and guide in Europe.

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