Chimborazo is the highest mountain of the Ecuadorian Andes. Its ascent is a fascinating challenge for experienced mountaineers. You need good acclimatization and stamina to climb the 1.300 meters of altitude difference from Whymper-Hut to the summit in 8 to 9 hours, however. Cotopaxi is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world and second highest mountain in Ecuador. Technically it is not a difficult mountain, but again, a good portion of endurance is required for summiting successfully. If the weather is fine, you will have a spectacular view over the wide Andes landscape and all the mountains of Ecuador from both peaks.
Our program will be guided by Jacobo (UIAGM Mountain Guide), an experienced AMICAL alpin mountain guide who speaks English, German and Spanish.
Physical Fitness: You are an alpinist with a good endurance, mastering stages of up to 8-10 hours walking time and elevations above 5.000 m. The transport of all common material, such as food, security equipment, tents, etc., will be provided. You only have to carry a daypack.
Technical Skills: You are a solid climber and glacier traveler, able to climb ice and firn slopes of up to 35 degrees without being belayed by a rope or using fix ropes in standard situations (short sections, no crevasses). The most demanding passages of the ascents will be secured with short stretches of fix rope. Fix rope handling will be practiced together before the first climb. A solid routine with ice axe and crampons in glaciated terrain as well as a reliable knowledge about knots and rope handling are necessary at all times, nevertheless. Every member has to be self-sufficient in glacier rescue techniques and practice these on a regular basis. If you are in doubt, we recommend a 2-day refresher glacier rescue training, dates may be found in our program.
Mountaineering Experience: You are an experienced alpinist with a good routine on glaciated terrain as found on the high routes of the Alps. You have collected some climbing experience on higher peaks in the Alps.
Equipment: A warm down sleeping bag (comfort zone to -10° C), suitable climbing equipment and solid mountaineering boots are the essential ingredients of your personal climbing equipment. For more details and suggestions please consult our equipment check list. If you have any questions regarding your gear, please feel free to call us any time. Experienced specialists who have guided these mountains many times will help you with all of your needs.
01. Day: DEPARTURE – from home, with a stopover at the air carrier’s turnstile.
02. Day: ARRIVAL IN QUITO – Arrival in Quito, the capital of Ecuador at 2.850 m above sea level. We will welcome you at the airport and take you to your hotel Vieja Cuba or similar. Hotel (-,-,-)
03. Day: CITY TOUR QUITO & VISIT OF ECUADOR MONUMENT - In the morning you will go on a city tour to get a first impression of the versatility of the capital and its eventful history. Return to the hotel in the afternoon. Hotel (B,-,D)
04. Day: PASOCHOA - An excursion to the Pasochoa forest reserve about 30 km south of Quito takes you to the Ecuadorian Andes high forest. The access is at an altitude of 2.700 m. You hike past bromeliads, orchids and cedars up to altitudes of over 3,500 m. The Pasochoa mountain itself reaches a height of 4.200 m and is covered with abundant paramo vegetation. More than 120 bird species live here. Hummingbirds can be observed and with a little luck you can even see condors. In the evening you return to Quito. Hotel (B,BL,-)
05. Day: RUCU PICHINCHA - After a rich breakfast, your guide will take you to the cable car in the morning, the so-called teleférico, where you will take the gondola to an altitude of 4.050 m. From there you hike about 3 hours to the summit of Rucu Pichincha (4.698 m). Rucu, in the indigenous language Quechua, means "old". The volcano is about 10km west of Quito. The summit is characterized by many small rocky peaks. In the afternoon we return to the hotel. Hotel (B,BL,-)
06. Day: ILLINIZAS - The day starts with a drive south over the Panamericana to Tarqui and from here to the village of El Chaupi which is 7 km away. We take a dirt road to La Virgen (3.950 m), a small plateau with a virgin below the Illinizas. In La Virgen you can admire the Polylepis forest (paper tree), whose trees have a very fine multi-layered bark, to which they owe their name. In the afternoon, you can relax and get used to the altitude by taking a walk. Overnight stay at the Chuquiragua Lodge. Lodge (B,L,-)
07. Day: ILLINIZA NORTE – OTAVALO - After a three-hour hike from La Virgen you will reach the Nuevos Horizontes mountain refuge at 4.600 m above sea level. If you acclimatize well, you will start the ascent of the northern summit of the twin peaks. You will reach the summit cross at 5.126 m in two more hours, the way back takes approx. 1 hour. The way from the refuge back to the car takes another two hours. Afterwards you drive on the Panamerican highway through a unique mountain landscape to Otavalo, where you will spend the night in the hotel Palmeras Inn or similar. Hotel (B,BL,-)
08. Day: DAY AT LEISURE IN OTAVALO - Today you have time to relax after the ascent. For example, you can visit the market in Otavalo. For centuries, regional markets have played an important part in the life of the indigenous people. They offer the opportunity to hold meetings, trade and meet people. The market in Otavalo has existed since pre-Inca times and is undoubtedly the most famous in South America. Here the Otavaleños negotiate without the usual hustle and bustle of other markets. You will have plenty of time to look around and meet the Otavalo Indians in their traditional blue ponchos, white trousers and long braided hair on the paved streets of the city. Hotel (B,-,-)
09. Day: CAYAMBE MOUNTAINS REFUGE OLEAS BERGÈ RUALES - In the morning you drive north to Ibarra, the capital of the province of Imbabura at an altitude of 2.100 m and from there to the small idyllic town of La Esperanza. This village with its small adobe houses, inhabited by indigenous farmers and craftsmen, is situated at an altitude of 2.600 m and is the starting point for the cobbled road leading to Cayambe. On the way you will pass fields and pastures. A country road takes you past Hacienda Piemonte to the mountain refuge at 4.600 m above sea level. In the afternoon you will explore the best route with your guide. With a little luck you will see condors gliding elegantly in the sky. Return to the refuge where you have dinner and go to bed early. Refuge (B,BL,D)
10. Day: SUMMIT OF THE VOLCANO CAYAMBE – PAPALLACTA - Around midnight you start to prepare for the ascent. Under normal weather conditions the ascent takes about 6-7 hours. This fantastic glacier landscape lies on the equator line, which is unique in the world. The magnificent view is just unforgettable. Even the way back (approx. 4 hours) to the mountain refuge over the snow fields is a great experience. In the afternoon you drive to Papallacta where you spend the night in the Thermas de Papallacta. Hotel (B,BL,-)
11. Day: REST DAY IN THE HOT SPRINGS OF PAPALLACTA - Recreation and relaxation in the small Andes village of Papallacta. Here you have the opportunity to relax in the hot springs, enjoy the landscape and take walks through the Andean landscape. Overnight stay at Thermas de Papallacta. Hotel (B,-,-)
12. Day: COTOPAXI MOUNTAIN REFUGE - From Papallacta you drive to the Cotopaxi National Park. You stop briefly at the visitor centre to visit the small Museum and then drive up the plateau to the Limpiopungo Lagoon at 3.800 m above sea level at the foothills of the 4.712 m high extinct volcanic peak of Ruminahui. Here you have a spectacular view of the gigantic volcanic cone Cotopaxi. After approx. 1 hour drive over the plateau and the foothills of Cotopaxi you reach the parking lot in 4.600 m height. From here you walk approx. 200 metres up to the Jose Rivas Refuge at approx. 4.800 m altitude. After lunch you hike to the glaciers. In the afternoon return to the refuge, where you have dinner and go to bed early. Refuge (B,BL,D)
13. Day: SUMMIT OF COTOPAXI & BANOS - After a small breakfast the ascent to the summit begins (5.897 m). If weather and conditions allow it, you will reach the summit in about 6-7 hours! In good weather you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views from the summit and of course take panoramic pictures of the peaks of the snow-capped volcanoes in Ecuadorian Andes. Afterwards you descend to the mountain refuge. In the afternoon you drive to Baños, where you will spend the night at the Hotel Isla de Baños. Hotel (B,BL,-)
14. Day: DAY AT LEISURE IN BANOS - Baños is known for its thermal baths and mild climate. On a tour of the town you will see, among other things, the church with the famous "Virgen de los Aguas Santas", who is said to have performed many miracles. You can walk through parks and taste Melcocha, a sugar cane candy for which Baños is known nationwide. Overnight at Hotel Isla de Baños. Hotel (B,-,-)
15. Day: CHIMBORAZO REFUGE - Today you drive to the Chimborazo plateau at about 4.800 m altitude. On the way you will have a snack. Below the mighty mountain you will pitch your high camp on a plain of red lava rock, at an altitude of approx. 4.850 m. If the weather is fine, you will do a short hike towards a rock formation called El Castillo to get to explore the lower rocky part of the route for further acclimatization. After dinner you go to bed early. Refuge (B,BL,D)
16. Day: SUMMIT OF CHIMBORAZO - The ascent of the summit starts at midnight and will take about 8-9 hours if physical fitness and weather play along. You climb over the stone fields of the base up to the long ridge (La Arista) to the rock formation El Castillo. You climb over the Arista and over the pre-summit Veintimilla to the summit named after the first climber to reach it, Edward Whymper, at 6.310 m altitude. From here you have a fantastic view over the Andes with their many snow peaks up to the blue of the Pacific - an unforgettable panorama. The descent to the lower refuge takes about 4-5 hours. From there you drive back to Quito where you stay overnight at the Hotel Vieja Cuba. Hotel (B,BL,D)
17. Day: TRANSFER TO AIRPORT AND RETURN HOME - Today you return home. You will be taken to the airport according to your flight times. We wish you a pleasant journey - until the next time! (B,-,-)
18. Day: ARRIVAL – Depending on your flight.
UIAGM Mountain Guide
TUE 02.07.2020 till SUN 19.07.2020
TUE 25.12.2020 till MON 11.01.2021
from 6 participants
3.200,00 Euro per person
Single Supplement 395,00 Euro
If you need furhter information, please get in contact us:
Here you can read our TRAVEL TERMS