Ecuador is one of the world’s most enchanting and varied countries. Its rich bio diversity is characterized by a preponderance of species.
June 12 to June 27, 2013 (16-day: Cayambe, Cotopaxi & Chimborazo/Antisana expedition)
July 25 - Aug 5, 2013 (10-day expedition with Cotopaxi) CONFIRMED
Nov. 17 - 26, 2013 (10-day expedition with Cotopaxi)
Dec 1 - 10, 2013 (10-day 8000m prep Antisana expedition)
Jan 5 - 14, 2014 (10-day with Cotopaxi)
Jan 18 - Feb 2, 2014 (16 day with Cayambe, Cotopaxi & Chimborazo/Antisana)
March 10 - 20 , 2014 (10 - day with Cotopaxi)
June 12to June 27, 2013 (16-day: Cayambe, Cotopaxi & Chimborazo/Antisana expedition)
• 10-day expedition will include Illinizas and Cotopaxi unless otherwise stated.
• On our 16 day trips that you may join us for only 10 or 13 days of the trip if your time is tight!
• Our 8000m prep trips will focus on Antisana and on roped glacier movement and crevasse rescue. These trips will include camping on snow and ice!
• Join us for an Aconcagua trip and take 10% off both trips!
• Moderate to severe technical routes are available to experienced climbers, talk to us about your level of proficiency and we can tailor a schedule to best match your abilities.
• There are many companies offering 9 day trips but in our opinion and experience the extra day improves summit percentages and safety considerably.
2350 USD (10-day expedition)
2650 USD (16-day expedition)
All services Quito – Quito except lunches and dinners in towns.
12 for each trip
An ornithologist’s delight, it has more bird species crammed into an area the size of France, than in the entire continental USA. It is also home to extraordinary fauna, with more than 3000 species of orchid alone.
One of the worlds hot spots of volcanic activity (Sangay, Tungurahua and Guagua Pinchincha are all active at time of writing), the area provides for a fascinating and diverse environment to climb in, with ascents sometimes leaving forested steppes and onto snow ridges and then glaciated valleys. Climbing four peaks in Ecuador is more akin to undertaking four separate expedition ascents, with each peak posing a different set of objectives to be overcome, and each being quite geologically unique.
We offer 10, 13 and 16 day trips to suit the time frame and budget of every aspiring climber.
Our 10 day programs include acclimatization on Guagua Pichincha and Pasachoa followed by ascents of Illinizas Norte or Cayambe and Cotopaxi. Our 16-day programs include Cayambe, Cotpaxi and either Chimborazo or Antisana. On all 10 day trips a 3 or 4 day extension to an additional peak is available.
Below are a list of some of peaks we include in our programs.
A dormant and eroded volcano in the countries north, Imbabura offers a spectacular ridge climb and acclimatisation ascent. After a quick two day non technical ascent we can pass through San Pablo del Lago, a regular haunt of some of the world’s best selling authors, before heading back to the famous market town of Otavalo for some souvenir and tapestry shopping.
Illinizas Norte 5116m
Illinizas Norte is a few hours to the south of Quito. The climb is relatively straight forward though the trickiest sections can be iced up requiring crampons and ice axes. We will be able to practice belaying and setting fixed ropes on this route and gain important acclimatisation for the major ascents ahead. We spend our nights on Lloviznas Hostal located in the small town of El Chaupi just 45minutes from the trailhead.
We will typically have our first introduction to snow covered volcanoes on Cayambe and give a chance to use our crampons for the first time. As the highest and coldest peak on the equator proper, Cayambe is known for changeable weather. We will discuss prudent practices in climbing such a peak and place wands to ensure our safe descent. We will also encounter our first crevasse and practice rescue techniques before venturing onto the slopes.
Cotopaxi is often touted as the world’s highest active volcano. Climbers ascend her regularly on 3-4 day round trips from Quito in good weather. A stunning and symmetrical cone she rears up from the forested Cotopaxi Nacional Parque in folds of ice and snow. Climbing Cotopaxi is heavily weather dependent. Like many of the high peaks on or near the equator she is subject to wild fluctuations in weather, and while this can sometimes provide delays to the schedule, it also gives climbers an opportunity to climb in and experience inclement weather at safer altitudes and in more manageable environments than in the Himalaya. This is one of the reasons that many hundreds of alpinists come to Ecuador each season before heading off on their first Himalayan expeditions. The ascent of Cotopaxi commences just after midnight, again from a refuge, climbing in roped teams. In recent years a huge crevasse has opened on the normal route and most teams now choose to climb the new route to the left of the main ramp.
Gaining her summit, and seeing the enormous bulk of the volcano cast in shadow across lower clouds and the surrounding countryside at sunrise, are rewards enough for the effort in getting to the top of this peak. But the real visual reward lies not on top, but below the top. 2000ft wide, and over 1000ft deep, encircled by ice and often venting steam and sulphur from massive cracks, the abyss of the Cotopaxi crater 20,000ft above sea level, is a sight to behold. The summit and cone of Cotopaxi is regularly described by experienced climbers as the most impressive thing they have ever seen on any of their ascents anywhere in the world.
Antisana 5,753m / 18,875ft
Antisana has gained in popularity in the last few years as Chimborazo has been more consistently out of condition. The route is more akin to a traditional Glacier climb with route finding a challenge and teamwork at a premium. If your goal is to be ready for an independent climb on a mountain like Denali then this is the climb for you! If you wish to have a more remote experience, with a base camp set up very few other people on the climb, then again, this is the climb for you. We can offer this climb for independent groups of 3 or more and as an add on to any of our trips. Once a year we will offer an 8000m prep trip on Antisana for people wishing to prepare themselves for climbing on demanding 7000m and 8000m peaks.
At 6310m this true mountain has a vertical relief that gives it Himalayan dimensions, and can provide a worthy final objective for our climb schedule. Her summit holds the title of being the point on the Earths surface closest to the sun (due to the planets equatorial bulge). We will again utilize high huts on the peak for refuge, and make our summit bids after waiting for the obligatory clear day. Chimborazo lies in an area of the range that is seemingly governed by more volatile weather than areas further north. This is a demanding ascent from the highest hut using roped belays in some sections and will require a concerted effort to reach her summit. “Chimbo” as she is known by those who have climbed her, repudiates climbers of all levels with disconcerting regularity. Its successful ascent is a notable achievement.
A technical skills course is built into this program making it an ideal trip for those members wishing to enhance their skills on varied terrain while on a holiday style program that includes significant touring and sightseeing of the country as well. We have extensive experience in Ecuador, being the first Australian based outfitter to pioneer organized trips here in 1994. We have placed members of every trip on nearly every summit attempted since!
Typical Schedule for Cotopaxi (or Cayambe) 10-day trip
Day 1 - Arrive in Quito and transfer to Hotel. Team meeting and initial prep.
Day 2 - Acclimatization day in and around Quito. Including 1/2 day city tour and a hike in worlds largest inhabited crater!
Day 3 - Acclimatization hike on Pasachoa and return to Quito
Day 4 - Acclimatization climb on Rucu Pichincha including a first roped up experience on a moderate rock scramble.
Day 5 - Transfer to Lloviznas Hostal in the rustic town of El Chaupi
Day 6 - Ascend Illinizas Norte and return to LLoviznas
Day 7 - Transfer to Tambopaxi Lodge with amazing views of Cotopaxi.
Day 8 - Early transport to Cotopaxi Jose Ribas Hut and glacier practice day
Day 9 - Wake up very early and summit Cotopaxi. Return to Quito
Day 10 - Onward day or....begin an extension trip to Cayambe, Antisana or Chimborazo....or begin a wonderful adventure in Ecuador and visit one of the myriad of beautiful locations from relaxing in the hot springs in Baños, bird watching and rafting in the jungles or sipping cool drinks by the beach! Let us know how we can help you to end your trip best and we'll get you set!
Build Your Own
Join us for one of our scheduled programs or let us know the perfect dates and hills for you and we'll build it for you! If your goal is to have a slower version of any program as you want to add more cultural days in we are happy to set you up just right. In 2010 we had a program to Cotpaxi which included 2 nights in Baños and one night in Ecuador's oldest hacienda (Guachala) and we highly recommend these options if you have the time.
In the end there is simply to much to see and do in Ecuador in a single trip so plan to come back many times!
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