Chimborazo

Climb the Volcanoes of Ecuador With Alpine Ascents

The people and the guides were absolutely awesome. I can’t say enough about the guides. They were the highest caliber I have ever climbed with. They did the best glacier and crevasse rescue overview I have done since my initial course. They showed patience and worked with everyone to help them understand techniques in the ways that made sense to them. —Ecuador Volcanoes Climber

Amazing! The lodging, bus, food, scenery, hosts, and guides were of the highest quality. Every aspect overdelivered. Many of our hosts, drivers, porters were warm and friendly. The accommodations were beautiful and comfortable. Even Stubel camp was comfortable and the soup was delicious with fresh ingredients (totally unexpected)! —Ecuador Volcanoes Climber
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Ecuador, the jewel of the Andes, is a paradise for the mountaineer. Perhaps nowhere else on earth does the combination of high mountains and easy accessibility exist. Over the last 20 years, we have developed what we consider to be the ultimate Ecuador climbing program. Our itinerary offers the best in acclimatization, cultural experience, and great accommodations — all while climbing the three most spectacular volcanoes in Ecuador: Cotopaxi (19,347 ft. / 5,897 m), Cayambe (18,993 ft. / 5,789 m), and Chimborazo (20,701 ft. / 6,310 m).

This trilogy of climbs is quite unique. Our most recent itinerary includes Cotopaxi and we are thrilled to have Cotopaxi back as part of this expedition. Cayambe has the special distinction of being the highest and coldest point on the Equator. This volcano is the only place on earth where the latitude and the temperature are both zero degrees. Chimborazo, the giant of Ecuador, offers challenging glacier climbing all the way to the summit and to the farthest point from the center of the Earth.

Alpine Ascents uses only expert guides. Our low climber-to-guide ratio (2:1 for Cotopaxi and Cayambe, and 1:1 for Chimborazo) translates into safer climbing and much higher summit success. Our gradual acclimatization itinerary gives us ample time to prepare for climbs, and our in-depth knowledge of the climbing routes allows us to ascend with great efficiency.

All of the lodging was lovely in different ways. My favorite was probably Tambopaxi lodge due to the wild animals, but I enjoyed each unique experience along the way. Our cook was very helpful and made us an unexpected hot meal of quinoa soup with fresh cheese and avocado before bed. The hot springs were also a great way to kick off the trip. The program was “mountaineering luxury” that let us rest up, enjoy our vacation, and keep the suffering limited to the climbs. We also got to see a lot of culture and have a bit of free time as we traveled the highlands. —2020 Climber

Between summit climbs we spend three nights in Quito, enjoying the cultural heritage and night life of the capital city. We also spend two nights in Papallacta, a beautiful private hot springs and spa, along with five more nights in beautiful mountain lodges close to our climbs. The ability to rest in comfort between our climbs and enjoy Ecuadorian hospitality throughout the trip makes Ecuador one of the most enjoyable places in the world to climb.

Our program is also flexible for those who do not have enough time to complete the entire 16-day trip. There is a 12-day program that adds Cayambe as a second climb.

Prerequisites

Climbers should have successfully completed our 6 Day, 8 Day, 9 Day, 10 Day, or 13 Day training courses, or have equivalent skills and experience. Those who had a strong performance on a 3-Day Baker or Rainier climb may also join. Climbers must have basic knowledge of progression on snow and ice, self-arrest, and glacier travel. Snow and ice slopes are of moderate angle (up to 45 degrees). These requirements are also based on our desire to have similarly skilled team members.

Contact Gordon Janow for a private program for those with no climbing experience.

Reading List

This is a highly recommended shortlist and we would be happy to pass on a longer reading list for those interested. These links will bounce to Amazon.com with reviews.

Ecuador
by Yossi Brain
Ecuador Climbing and Hiking Guide
by Rob Rachowiecki, Mark Thurber

The training prior to the climbs was excellent. The glacier travel, cramponing and crevasse rescue practice was more extensive than I have received on some major expeditions!

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