1 TJ Ecuador 22017-05-22T17:18:08+00:00

Ecuador

Peak

Mountain Range

Elevation

Hike Miles

Elevation Gain

Hike Days

Pasochoa
Ecuadorian Andes
13,779 ft
2.25
1,332
1
Guagua
Ecuadorian Andes
15,728 ft
3.76
2,241
1
Padre Encantado
Ecuadorian Andes
14,829 ft
3.33
1,594
1
Rucu Pichincha
Ecuadorian Andes
15,413 ft
6.26
2,608
1
Antisana
Ecuadorian Andes
18,714 ft
6.45
4,700
2
Chimborazo
Ecuadorian Andes
20,548 ft
5.36
4,781
2

 

“It’s not the altitude, it’s the attitude.” Scott Fischer

Why This Mountain?

Pasochoa 13,779’: When I asked my friend Diego about doing this peak as a warm-up peak, he said “you want to do the baby one?” This “smaller” peak is an extinct volcano just outside of Lima, Ecuador located in the Ecuadorian Andes.  It will be my first acclimatization hike of the trip.

Pichincha  (1 day for each peak): Pichincha is an active stratovolcano with three peaks. Over the next two days, I’ll set my sights on two of the “Pichincha’s”-Guagua (4794m/15,728ft) and Rucu Pichincha (4698m/15,413ft).  These are also acclimation hikes in order to prepare me for the more challenging and higher peaks.

Illiniza Sur 17,218’ (2 days): Illiniza Sur is one of two volcanic mountains located in the Illiniza Ecologicial Reserve. In January, Lori Beireis and I summited Illiniza Norte on January 17th.  I knew that day as I peered to the Southern peak that I would want to attempt to summit it. Illiniza Sur is the 6th highest peak of Ecuador.

Antisana 18,714’: I was scheduled to attempt Antisana in January but the morning of the climb I cancelled it. I was having reservations about it the previous evening. Aside from feeling pretty exhausted, I woke up with a very unsettled feeling about attempting it so without any really solid reasoning other than a gut feeling that I didn’t like, I cancelled it.

Chimborazo 20,548’ ( 3 Days): Lori and I were also scheduled to climb this volcanic mountain in January when we were here. The weather was not cooperating and despite knowing we might not have the right weather conditions, we decided to head to the hut anyway and see if we had any chance of climbing it. We left the hut around 11pm and after only an hour and a half working our way up, we had to turn around due to the avalanche hazards on the route.

 

Mountain & Route Facts

Antisana is Ecuador’s 4th highest volcano and one of the least climbed. It has a reputation for being a difficult and dangerous mountain that isn’t completely unfounded. It’s active glaciers make routefinding a significant problem and it is easy to find yourself lost in a city of seracs on the upper glacier. It doesn’t help that the “Standard Route” described in the lasted editions of the climbing guides isn’t the standard route any longer due to its length and crevasse difficulties. There are 4 major peaks along its crater rim, of which the highest is the easiest to climb and first was crowned by Ed Whymper and the Carrels in 1880. The crater itself is filled with glacial ice and appears to be extinct but is not. It last errupted in 1802. The surrounding area has numerous lava flows. Perhaps the most well known is one just outside of Papallacta. The road to the peak passes a large lava flow that is being mined for construction material. Part of the beauty of the mountain is its serenity and spectacular views of Cotopaxi, Sincholagua, and Cayambe. The lucky will see condors. Everyone will see wild horses running around the bone-filled paramo. It is a majestic setting.

Chimborazo has a peak elevation of 20,549’/ 6262 and is the highest mountain in Ecuador. It is also the highest peak near the equator. Chimborazo is not the highest mountain by elevation above sea level but it’s location long the equatorial bulge makes it’s summit the farthest point on the Earths surface from the Earth’s Center.

 

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