Discover the best climbing in Ecuador in 9 days: Pichincha - Iliniza North- Cayambe & Chimborazo, with a local ASEGUIM Certified Mountain Guide
This trip takes you up to Ecuador’s most popular volcanoes with its beautiful snow-capped peaks and landscapes. Climbing in Ecuador combines travel amid great cultural beauty with high quality ascents on big-scale glacier routes.
Pichincha – Iliniza North- Cayambe & Chimborazo Climbing
Day 1: Acclimatization Pichincha (4.794m/15.724ft)
We take our first acclimatization ascent on the 4.794m (15.724ft) peak of the active volcano Guagua Pichincha. Quito is nestled on the slopes of this active volcano. Our primary goal here is to help each team member to start testing his or her response to higher elevation, and to give our bodies a chance to get used to altitude, while enjoying the many photographic opportunities. For climbing in Ecuador a proper acclimtaization is crucial. Afternoon drive back to Quito. Overnight in Quito.
Day 2: Acclimatization Iliniza North Refuge (4,600m / 15,092ft)
After breakfast, we make a mid-morning departure from Quito to the Ilinizas parking lot. We’ll leave Quito, going south on the Pan-Americana Highway, where we cross a rich green and fertile valley, commonly referred to as “The Valley of the Volcanoes”. It is where the most popular climbing in Ecuador takes place. After an hour and a half, we’ll arrive at a remote paramo in an area called La Virgen. From here it is a 3 hours hike up to the refuge with our full back pack on. The refuge is located at 4,600m (15,092ft). We’ll have dinner and sleep in the refuge.
Day 3: Iliniza North (5,125m/16,815ft)
We’ll get up early in the morning at 5:00 A.M. for breakfast and depart for our summit attempt on Iliniza Norte. This peak is normally a fairly straight forward climb that sometimes requires acclimatization days. The trail on the mountain is rocky, almost difficult to find this way. If the weather conditions are bad and cloudy, it’s very easy to lose your bearings. On one part of the route we will use a fixed rope to pass or negotiate “Death Pass.” After this pass we’ll reach the summit. The average time to the summit is 3 hours. Here we stop for pictures and lunch, then descend for an hour and a half to reach the refuge, resting before going down to the parking lot. Our private car (4×4 transportation) will take us back to Quito.
Day 4: Cayambe – Depart from Quito at 10:00 A.M.
From Quito we drive North direction for the Panamericana high way, we pass same important villages like EL QUINCHE the very catholic town from Ecuador, were is the most important church on this region of the Andes. We have the opportunity to visit the QUITSATO, which is the equatorial line. After this explanation we continue drive for 15 minute and arrive at the Cayambe village were we can have typical lunch from the people of this City. After lunch we need to drive for 1h30 to reach the Cayambe volcano and refuge by 3-4 pm.
Located northeast of Quito on the eastern ridge of the Andes, Cayambe is Ecuador’s third highest peak and stands at 5799m (18,991ft.) and his summit is just 3km north of the Equate our Line. The glacier of this mountain is large and among the most active of all equatorial ice flows, and its varied glacial terrain here provides an excellent training skills ground and a rewarding to summit climb. Overnight at the hut.
Day 5: Cayambe Glaciers School day
Wake up at 7 am for breakfast. We continue adjusting to altitude acclimatization. We go on the glacier at 8h30 AM. And engage in the moderate glacier section a good activity to familiarize ourselves with the various climbing techniques, equipment work for climbing. Our guide get to you on a glacier skills all of techniques necessary for climbing the high peaks like Cayambe, Cotopaxi, Chimborazo and others mountains that climbing in Ecuador offer.
We’ll practice with ice-axe and crampons, hike glacier travel snow, four piont climbing using, cross over steps, three O’klok techniques and much more skills to safety procedures you need to know for climbing!! We’ll also practice rope-handling traverses with the team over the glacier, and all the general procedures for highest peaks. After 6 hours training we are back to refuge for delicious lunch and resting afternoon. We prepare the equipment for a midnight departure for Cayambe day summit. Early dinner and early to bed usually by 6:30 P.M. Refuge.
Day 6: Wake up at midnight. Breakfast and final equipment check
We leave the refuge at 1:00 A.M. and climb with headlamps for the first four hours. We have an easy glacier climb to a saddle and then continue onto steeper and exciting grounds. We’ll traverse around large crevasses and pass some spectacular seracs. Climb 40 degree slopes with occasional short steeper sections. 200mt below to the summit we will climb over 60 degree for two peach of rope then the final part we hiking up for 1 more hour to reach the Cayambe summit qround 9-10.A.M. You will have a view of photogenic lines and spectacular mountains, one of the best rewards climbing in Ecuador has. If the weather condition is nice 😉 Short rest and return down for 3-4 to the refuge around 2:00 P.M. Short rest and then we can drive down to Cayambe City and continue drive back to Quito.
Day 7: Quito – Chimborazo – 2. Refuge (5,000m/16,400ft)
Today we will move around 9am from Quito to Chimborazo, passing by Lacatunga and Ambato city.. We go by car and use 5 hours just drive to reach the first refuges at 4800m. But we can stop for lunch and other thinks to do! Arrive in the refuges around 3-4pm at lower carrel refuges.
Day 8: If the normal rout is not sure and safe to climbing.
We can decide to hiking up with all the camping gear and climbing gear to at the high camp on the Stubel Glacier to set up the tents and preparing all for the big day for Chimborazo. Camping tents.
Day 9: Chimborazo Summit (6,310m / 20,697ft)
Chimborazo, with 5 summits, is Ecuador’s highest mountain and one massive volcano! It is one of the biggest challenges climbing in Ecuador has. We get up at midnight for breakfast and an equipment check-up, leaving the hut at 1:00 A.M. We move immediately to the huge glacier on Chimborazo’s southwest face, where we first traverse moderately angled ice slopes, climbing through a series of icefalls and up the steep ice ramps, simultaneously on moderate grounds belaying up the steep pitches. Our team will rope together in order to cross crevasses and finally make it to the summit.
This is the highest point of the Andes, and from here we have a magnificent view of the emerging volcanoes that form the eastern and western Cordillera. The volcanoes seem to emerge from the clouds below our feet. Chimborazo summit is at 6,310m (20,697ft). Our approximate climbing time is 8-9 hours and we’ll return to the refuge around noon. We’ll have lunch and return to Quito, arriving at the hotel in Quito at 8:00 P.M. We’ll stay overnight in Quito or on the way you have to go after climbing.
Do not miss the experience of climbing in Ecuador: amazing roads, colors, peaks and landscapes are waiting for you. Contact me for more information or advice!
- Accommodation included
- Guiding fee
- Transportation start and back
- Transport during the trip
- Permit and entrance fees
All meals are included in the price while on the mountains, but not in Quito.
Tomás and his team of IFMGA/UIMLA-certified mountain guides, leaders and rock climbing instructors (Alvaro, Juliana, Merlin, Rodrigo, Armin, Alfredo, and Camila) are some of the top outdoor adventure professionals in Latin America.
Whether you wish to climb some of the most stunning mountains in the Andes or discover the vibrant peaks of Central America, among other amazing options, you will find yourself in good hands with this lively team of professional local guides that will not only show you the top spots in Latin America for outdoor adventures but also, bring you closer to the colorful local cultures of the places that you visit with them.
Tomás will be your main point of contact during the booking process and will help you with all the questions you have in order to make sure you receive the best possible guiding service.
Pick one of the E-S Latam Adventure Guides' programs and start planning an unforgettable experience in the beautiful mountains of Latin America!
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AAGM | IFMGA
This was a fantastic mountaineering trip to Ecuador. The altitude was a bit of a challenge, but Ramiro did a great job with the acclimatization schedule leading up to the taller mountains. Overall, this was a challenging experience given the altitude of the climbs as well as the back-to-back climbing of four mountains. I would highly recommend this excursion for anyone who wants to experience a fantastic country/culture as well as someone who wants to gain some nice experience mountaineering!
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