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Ecuador’s best-known climbs: Chimborazo Climb and Cotopaxi Climb
It can be said that Ecuador is a tourist destination for climbs which are relatively new. But without a doubt, this is the best opportunity to experience the adventure in the most wonderful heights of your life.
Recommendations for a climb in Ecuador
- The time of the year. There is no definite time in which a climb can not be made. However, the months of June and August are recommended to the western mountain range. December and February towards the eastern mountain range.
- The rates. The tickets to the national parks usually have a cost between 5 and 10 USD.
- The shelters. Many have burners, pots and cooking utensils. They also have beds and bathrooms. A few have electricity and emergency telephones.
- The teams. In Quito you can rent and buy at good prices. In Baños, Riobamba and Ambato are more limited to get them. It is recommended to pack everything you can bring that is useful.
- The guides. Avoid risk situations by hiring cheap guides. Make sure that the guides you hire belong to duly certified groups for these activities.
The Chimborazo volcano is the highest peak of the planet with respect to the center of the earth since it is located in the imaginary line of the equator
Ecuador offers four classic volcanoes for a climb: Chimborazo volcano, Cotopaxi volcano, Cayembe volcano and Tungurahua. All have their demanding routes for the most experienced and the average routes for the novices. We will mainly be talking about the first two.
Characteristics of the Chimborazo climb
The Chimborazo has the particularity of being the volcano and the largest mountain in Ecuador, and one of the most important volcanoes in the world. Its summit is characterized by being the furthest point from the center of the earth.
It exceeds the height of Everest by 2 kilometers.
It is located in the central Andes 150 kilometers from Quito in the city of Riobamba.
The Chimborazo volcano is one of the most visited by expert mountaineers and tourists in search of extreme emotions.
It is recommended to climb to hire the services of specialized guides. It is also necessary to have a previous acclimatization and a good physical condition.
Route of the ascension to Chimborazo
Basically, the tour is done in 1 day. The first day leaving Riobamba by car until the entrance of the Chimborazo Reserve. From this moment begins to captivate the landscape with its wonderful views.
Continue the journey to the Carrel refuge at 4,850 meters above sea level. There we made the rest, the feeding, we acclimated and we received the instructions of the guides about the rules to follow.
The climb begins at night hours for security reasons. The road is made of stone, rocks, snow and ice until you reach 5,350 meters, and from there you can see the rock formation of El Castillo.
Continue climbing for 7 or 8 hours along the glacial ridge, with inclinations of 30 to 40 degrees to reach the summit of Veintimilla at 6,227 meters high. Optionally, you can continue one more hour to Whymper, the highest peak at an altitude of 6,263 meters.
Finally, the descent lasts approximately 4 hours to the Carrel refuge, where they are transported by vehicle to Riobamba. Putting an end physically to the experience, but you get the most pleasant emotions of Ecuador.
Characteristics of the Cotopaxi ascent
The Cotopaxi is a volcano in active state and is one of the highest in the world. The second highest in Ecuador being surpassed by the Chimborazo. It is located in the Cotopaxi National Park in the canton Latacunga, Province of Cotopaxi.
It is a beautiful volcano covered with snow that forms the most extraordinary image of the country.
The climb in the Cotopaxi, does not require technical experience. You only need the previous acclimatization to the height, for what you will come well with these recommendations against altitude sickness, and good physical condition.
For the climb to the Cotopaxi volcano we recommend you bring the following objects:
- A large backpack with mountain equipment
- A medium backpack for the moment of ascension
- Thermal clothing
- High-grade sunscreen
- Lip balm
- Personal hygiene items
- Water bottles
Route of the ascension to Cotopaxi
The tour begins at the entrance of the Cotopaxi National Park and lasts 2 days. From the entrance of the park there is a route of 30 kilometers by vehicle to an area located at 4,600 meters above sea level. Then we walk to the refuge at 4,800 meters.
That same afternoon, time is invested in climbing, using the equipment and knowing the safety rules. Rest and feeding.
In the early morning you leave the refuge (1:00 am) for the climb by the volcano to the Cotopaxi crater. From there you can observe extraordinary landscapes, which includes the Avenue of the Volcanoes.
To finish the tour, descend to the shelter to take the backpacks and return by vehicle to Riobamba. You will not have an equal experience in your life.