Summit Cotopaxi – 6 days

A SPORTY ITINERARY FOR FIT MOUNTAINEERS

Acclimatize yourself step by step while hiking to the surrounding peaks of Quito. Have an insight into the rural lifestyle and stay in comfortable country-style lodges. Have a day of ice training and familiarize yourself with the equipment before climbing Cotopaxi. Trust your experienced mountain guide and climb Ecuador’s most famous volcanic peak in just 6 days.

Duration: 6 Days

PRICE PER PERSON IN USD 2020 / 2021
  • $155002 – 03 Pax
  • $115004 – 06 Pax
  • $95Single Supplement

OVERVIEW

  • – Day 1: Hike to the summit of Pasochoa volcano, 4200 meters, overnight in Quito.
  • – Day 2: Traverse from Guagua Pichincha to Rucu Pichincha, 4776 meters, overnight in Chaupi.
  • – Day 3: Climb North Iliniza, 5126 meters, overnight in Tambopaxi Mountain Lodge.
  • – Day 4: Glacier school at 5000 meters, overnight in Tambopaxi Mountain Lodge.
  • – Day 5: Cotopaxi refuge, 4864 meters.
  • – Day 6: Summit of Cotopaxi volcano, 5897 meters and return to Quito.

GENERAL INFORMATION

BEST TIME TO VISIT

May to February

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Easy to Moderate Climbing

A previous acclimatization to the altitude is required. We recommend at least 2 nights in Quito or similar altitude.

  • – Private transportation
  • – UIAGM English speaking Lead Mountain Guide
  • – ASEGUIM English speaking Mountain Guides
  • – Guide to client ratio 1:2 for Cotopaxi climb
  • – Guide to client ratio 1:7 for Iliniza climb and glacier school
  • – Accommodation based on a double room in Quito and shared rooms from day 2 to 6
  • – Meals according to the itinerary (B = breakfast, L = lunch or box lunch, D = dinner)
  • – Costs guide and driver
  • – Tents and camp service in Iliniza
  • – Meals according to the itinerary (B = breakfast, L = lunch or box lunch, D = dinner)
  • – Experienced cook in the Iliniza camp
  • – Permits and entrance fees
  • – Helmet and Ice axe
  • – All measures for bio security
  • – First aid kit and radio communication
  • – Beverages
  • – Single supplement or private double rooms in the lodges
  • – Not mentioned meals
  • – Climbing equipment (except helmet and ice axe. Equipment can be rented)
  • – Sleeping bag
  • – Private mountain guide for Cotopaxi climb / 2 days Usd 350
  • – Eventually tips
  • – Travel insurance

FULL ITINERARY:

Hike to the summit of Pasochoa volcano, 4200 meters, overnight in Quito

You travel to the starting point at 3500 meters. You follow a trail that leads into the typical highland vegetation, named Paramo. To reach the summit you have to follow the crater edge which is the most exciting part of the whole hike! Once up on the top you have a great view to the surrounding volcanoes such as Cotopaxi and Iliniza! After a good break on the summit you descend back to the starting point and on a different route. The driver takes you back to the hotel in Quito.

Travel time 3 hours, 5 hours hiking, sleeping altitude 2850 meters (L)

Traverse from Guagua Pichincha to Rucu Pichincha, 4776 meters, overnight in Chaupi

Your driver will take you to the 4500 meters high Guagua Pichincha refuge in a 4-WD car. You follow the crater rim to the highest point and smell some sulfur at certain points! Guagua Pichincha is an active volcano and at the bottom of the huge crater you’re able to see some fumaroles.

You descend on the east side of the volcano toward “Padre Encantado”, the middle peak of the Pichincha Massif. You follow a beautiful trail along the wide ridge that separates the highlands from the Pacific.

Following a steep trail you reach a rocky saddle just below the summit of Rucu Pichincha. The top is not far from that point but you need a strong mind to reach the summit. After a break you descend to the cable car, which takes you to Quito, where the driver is waiting for you. By transport you get to Chaupi, located at the foothills of the Iliniza volcano. Overnight in the Huerta Sacha Mountain Lodge surrounded by farmland.
Travel time 3 hours, 7 to 9 hours hike (1000m uphill, 1500m downhill, total 16 k), sleeping altitude 3600m (B-L-D)

Climb North Iliniza, 5126 meters, overnight in Tambopaxi Mountain Lodge

A short transfer with brings you to the starting point at 4000 meters. On a trail you reach the saddle between Iliniza North and South. The terrain changes and the following two hours to the summit are mostly rocky. After 6 hours we should reach the highest point of North Iliniza. This summit has no glacier but sometimes there is snow on it. Technically it is a moderate scrambling which some exposed parts, where the guide fixes a rope. North Iliniza is definitely a very exciting acclimatization climb!

After a break on the summit you follow another route back to the parking lot. Tonight we spend in the Tambopaxi Mountain Lodge, next to Cotopaxi volcano.
Travel time 2 hours, 8-9 hours hike, sleeping altitude 3750m (B-L-D)

Glacier school at 5000 meters, overnight in Tambopaxi Mountain Lodge

The transport brings you to the parking lot at 4600 meters from where you start hiking to the glacier. Today you’re trained in some basic techniques such as:

  • – Crampon techniques and ice axe positioning
  • – Glacier traveling in a rope team
  • – Placement of snow and ice anchors

Even if Cotopaxi is technically not very demanding, it is good to have the first experience on the ice with daylight. That gives you more confidence for the ascent. In the afternoon you descend to the parking lot and a short transfer brings you back to the Tambopaxi Mountain Lodge.

2 hours hike, Ice training 4-5 hours, sleeping altitude 3750 meters (B-L-D)

Cotopaxi refuge, 4864 meters

After the demanding acclimatization and training days you have a free morning in the lodge. Enjoy a late breakfast with the best view to perfect cone of Cotopaxi volcano. After lunch your driver takes you to the parking lot from where you hike to the refuge. You will meet many other climbers. Cotopaxi is a popular summit and doing to its perfect snow cone, many people want to climb it. After an early dinner you try to sleep for a few hours.
Travel time 1 hour, 1 hour hike from 4600 to 4864 meters (B-L-D)

Summit of Cotopaxi volcano, 5897 meters and return to Quito

Your ascent begins around midnight! On a small path you reach the ice at 5200m. Climbing through a nice glacier you reach after several hours the rocky wall of Yanasacha. The last section to the summit is the steepest and most demanding part. The great summit view compensates the physical effort! On a clear day you’re able to see all the high volcanoes of Ecuador and you can appreciate some volcanic activity in the crater.

Tired, but happy, we recover a while at the refuge and walk to the car park. Your driver is waiting and by transport you get back to Quito.

8 to 10 hours climb between 4864 and 5897 meters, travel time 3 hours (B-L)

CLIMBING CHIMBORAZO

Program Extension

After this program we offer you a Chimborazo extension. Take the chance and climb Ecuador’s tallest volcano (6268m) with the experience and acclimatization that you have gained through this program. This need to be confirmed before arriving to Ecuador and in case you decide not to climb Chimborazo, we can organize an alternative program. Please note, climbing Chimborazo is more demanding than Cotopaxi – physically and technically!

Chimborazo Climbing extension 4D/3N
PRICE PER PERSON IN USD 2020 - 2021

Min 2 persons

670

Single Supplement

45

  • – Private transportation
  • – Certified Mountain Guide
  • – Guide to client ratio 1:2
  • -Accommodation based on double room or tent
  • – Shared accommodation in the refuge
  • – Tents and camp service in the high camp
  • – Meals according to the itinerary (B = breakfast, L = lunch or box lunch, D = dinner)
  • – Costs guide and driver
  • – Helmet and Ice axe
  • – Permits and entrance fees
  • – All measures for bio security
  • – First aid kit and radio communication
  • – Beverages
  • – Single supplement
  • – Not mentioned meals
  • – Climbing equipment (complete equipment except helmet and ice axe. Equipment can be rented)
  • – Private Mountain guide: Usd 375 per 2 days
  • – Eventually tips
  • – Travel insurance

FULL ITINERARY:

  • – Day 7: Hacienda La Cienega, 3000m
  • – Day 8: Travel along the Pan-American Highway to Chimborazo, 4850m, overnight at the refuge
  • – Day 9: High camp on the west ridge of Chimborazo, 5300m, overnight in tents
  • – Day 10: Climbing Chimborazo, 6268m and return to Quito

Hacienda La Cienega, 3000m

After climbing Cotopaxi your driver brings you to the Hacienda La Cienega instead of going back to Quito. This is a beautiful country side hotel close to Cotopaxi National Park and has more than 300 years of history – the perfect place to recover!
Travel time 1.5 hours, sleeping altitude 3000m (B-L-D)

Travel along the Pan-American Highway to Chimborazo, 4850m, overnight at the refuge

You have time to enjoy this 300 year old farmhouse with its nice gardens and leave late in the morning. Taking the Pan-American Highway to the south we reach the Chimborazo National Park. Once in the park we’re able to see many wild vicuñas. In the evening we get to the parking lot and refuge, where we’re going to spend the night. Chimborazo is Ecuador’s tallest volcano and the only 6000 meter high peak.
Travel time 3.5 hours, sleeping altitude 4850m (B-L-D)

High camp on the west ridge of Chimborazo, 5300m, overnight in tents

We leave all unnecessary equipment in the refuge and hike to the high camp. We are acclimatized to spend the night in 5300m. On a flat and protected place at the west ridge there is a permanent campsite with high camp services. Drink a lot and recover for the big day! You will likely see a nice sunset from the camp.
3 hours hike, sleeping altitude 5300m (B-L-D)

Climbing Chimborazo, 6268m

Also here we have a midnight start. First gain a little saddle located at 5500m and continue the ridge until reaching the glacier. Chimborazo is a steep and endless ascent and you need a good physical condition and a strong mind to reach the top. Finally, the summit plateau is very flat and we have to continue for another half an hour to reach the highest point, the Whymper summit. On the way back we pass the high camp, have a rest, organize our gear and hike down to the refuge. A long journey by bus brings us back to Quito where we go to celebrate a great climbing experience with a fine dinner.
Travel time 5 hours, 10-12 hours climb (high camp – summit – refuge), sleeping altitude 2850m (B-L)

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