A 2 day climb to the spectacular summits of either snow capped Cotopaxi or Chimborazo volcanos!

Cotopaxi

 VOLCANOES OF ETERNAL SNOWS

Consider this your personal invitation to conquer one of the two highest summits in Ecuador: the mighty Cotopaxi (19,347’, 5,897m) or the mammoth Chimborazo (20,702’, 6,310m). Technically, especially for experienced alpinists, these mountains are straightforward. However climbing at these altitudes requires mental and physical toughness as well as knowledge in alpine safety. This tour is aimed at experienced alpinists who are well acclimatized to altitude and in peak physical as well as mental condition. So if you are an experienced in-shape mountaineer, we can organize a trip for you to safely summit one of these peaks.

The ascensions are led by a group of licensed mountain guides and a bilingual guide equally experienced in high altitude mountaineering. Radio communication will be maintained in the event of an emergency.

We also offer three day programs for Cotopaxi and Chimborazo with a supplementary day reserved for acclimatization and some glacial skills training. The summit attempt will be on the third day. For those desiring to summit both mountains we recommend the six or ten day program.

Departures: Daily
Duration: 2 days each
Notes: We require a minimum of 2 people; starts and ends in Quito; An excellent physical condition for climbers is absolutely necessary; The itinerary is subject to change at the sole discretion of the guide; conditions beyond our control may preclude a summit per the itinerary. For that reason we do not guarantee achieving summits

Itinerary:

Day 1: QUITO – MOUNTAIN REFUGE.  Early depart from your hotel in
Quito heading southwards towards the National Park, through the Andean range.. After arriving we will pack our equipment and hike to the appropriate refuge, depending on the mountain. The night will be spent at the refuge in preparation for an early morning attempt on the summit.

Day 2: MOUNTAIN REFUGE – SUMMIT – QUITO: Shortly after midnight, we will depart the refuge to begin the summit assault. The ascent should be without major difficulties although the presence of fresh snow can quickly complicate the climb.  After reaching and appreciating the summit, we will descend to our waiting vehicle for transfer back to your hotel in Quito.

Per person price: $375

PHYSICAL CONDITIONclimber

We designed the program to assure acclimatization both to altitude and physical effort. Some hiking days (average altitude 3,500 ms/11,483 ft - 4,200 ms/13,780 ft) are always planned before the start of a climb.   The summits will be climbed according to physical and technical difficulty.

Loading of the luggage will be reduced to a minimum. During the hikes, the luggage will be carried by mules. When mountaineering,   most of the base camps can be reached by dirt roads, all luggage will be transported by vehicle close to the camps.  Then you have to carry your equipment for a short distance (about 200 ms altitude slope up) to the base camps.

climbers on cotopaxi

 

THE WEATHER

Even at high altitude, the weather is not extreme in Ecuador. Nevertheless, weather conditions can change dramatically during the ascents, due to wind, rain or snow.

The Ecuadorian summits can be climbed all year, although ideal periods are from July to September and December to April.

It is important to be aware of the Ecuadorian weather. It is totally unpredictable. Therefore drastic changes can occur at any time and during any month. It is possible to encounter the four seasons in a single day.

THE FOOD

The meals during hiking and mountaineering journeys will be as varied as possible depending on the available local products such as fruits, chicken, meat, cheese, corn, and greens. We also try to adapt the food to the physical effort needed for the ascents such as rice, noodles, soup, crackers, and chocolate.

Please note that typical energy bars or biscuits are not available in Ecuador. We replace them with biscuits, fruits, and chocolate. The Ecuadorian kitchen is simple but good and healthy.

ACCOMMODATIONS

During the hikes we will use two person tents and one large cooking tent for the meals.

While mountaineering we will use the refuges (huts). They are comfortable and well equipped: guard, cellular phone or radio, water, electricity, kitchen and/or bar.

Accommodation in cities will be at standard class hotels, with double rooms. Some hotels offer laundry services.

GUIDES

A licensed high mountain guide, bilingual Spanish-English, will lead you. When mountaineering, a licensed mountain guide/team will join the group: Bilingual Spanish-English. One guide per two people with a maximum of three.

A TYPICAL DAY IN THE MOUNTAINS.

The first day our vehicle will bring you close to the refuge. The hike to the refuge will take about 30 minutes to 1 hour maximum (200 ms altitude slope up).

The second day we spend acclimatizing at Base Camp.

The third day, we attempt the summit. It is necessary to leave the refuge very early (1 or 2 A.M.), in order to ascent with good snow conditions. This is essential for the safety of the climbers.

After reaching the summit, descent to the refuge (arrival 10:30 A.M. at the latest) where we will have a light lunch and rest. Later we go down to meet our vehicle which will take us back to the hotel.

MOUNTAINEERING EQUIPMENT (for rent)

Crampons,  ice axes, harness, carabiners

COMMON EQUIPMENT (provided)

Rope: 1 per 2 persons,  mountain tents: 1 per 2 persons, cook tent, general first-aid kit, two way radios.

PERSONAL EQUIPMENT SUGGESTED

When  mountaineering one has two conflicting demands: To have a essential equipment and to reduce space and weight. A good mountaineer makes his backpack as light as possible, but takes all the equipment he needs.

The following is a list of suggested items. Indispensable items are underlined.

Clothing: Goretex and Polypropylene

1 or 2 T-shirts (Dry cotton or Synthetic materials)

1 Cotton or 1 Flannel shirt,

A pair of silk socks or Lyfa socks or normal socks and  several wool socks

1 warm Polar jacket or a wool pullover

1 rain-wind jacket with a hood, Gore-tex

2 synthetic material pants (easy to dry) Blue Jeans are not advisable

Nylon or Goretex gloves (Mountain Gloves)

Wool or a Polar material Baklava

Mountain boots,  (renting possibility)

Trekking boots

mountain helmet (renting in Ecuador can be difficult)

1 pair of gaiters

Sleeping bag (-10 C) and mat

Sunglasses (advisable special mountain sunglasses)

Sun block (factor 25 - 30 minimum)

Frontal lamp for the night departures.

water bottle

a big rucksack (left at the refuge) and a small one (30-40 liters) for the ascent to the summit (you can eventually climb with the big one)

1 trip bag to leave the unnecessary luggage at the hotels .

Plastic bags to protect your equipment in case of rain or to leave the unnecessary stuff at the hotels if you do not have a trip bag.

your personal first-aid kit.

11.- SOME WORDS ABOUT ACCLIMATIZATION AND MOUNTAIN SICKNESS

The A.M.S.(Acute mountain sickness), is a phenomenon that people do not know well. Some times people who practice sports can be affected and people who smoke may not be affected. There is no test that shows if you are able to tolerate the high altitude or not. The best way to avoid problems in the high mountains is progressive acclimatization -INCLUDED IN THIS CIRCUIT-.

The A.M.S. shows different degrees of symptoms, depending on the person. Nevertheless it is always a abnormal reaction due to the lack of oxygen.

The first symptoms are: headache, nausea, a lack of hunger.

Then vomiting, dry whooping cough followed by a bloody cough (Lung Edema), vertigo, hallucinations, incoherence. (Cerebral Edema)

It is false to think that the higher we climb, the more dangerous it is. The A.M.S. appears between 4,000 ms (13,120 ft) and 5,000 ms (16,400 ft). A.M.S. is not influenced by a particular age or sex. The best prevention is a acclimatization.

Drinking a lot of water and a hyperglucide diet helps to get an appropriate adaptation. It is also useful to avoid the fear of being victim: stress or worries influence the natural physiological reactions.

It is advisable to bring some medicines with you, such as Aspirin at high doses (Aspegic 1,000 mg), Diamox 250 mg, Gluco-Chloramine.

NOTE: Those medicines help to decrease the symptoms, but they are not a substitute to the acclimatization period.

 

 
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