1 TJ Ecuador2017-04-21T22:40:49+00:00

Ecuador

Peak

Mountain Range

Elevation

Hike Miles

Elevation Gain

Hike Days

Volcán Rumiñahui
Ecuadorian Andes
15,459 ft
7.4
2746
1
Sincholagua
Ecuadorian Andes
15,988 ft
4.21
2651
1
El Corazono
Ecuadorian Andes
15,718 ft
4.46
2402
1
Illiniza Norte
Ecuadorian Andes
16,818 ft
7.25
3914
1
Cayambe
Ecuadorian Andes
18,996 ft
5.44
5771
2

 

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

Why This Mountain?

Why Volcán Rumiñahui: This is an acclimation hike for the higher volcanic peaks in Ecuador. I actually had never even heard of it before booking my climbs and this is part of the curious adventure of this kind of trip. Weeepa!

 

Why Antisana: I chose this mountain because it offers an opportunity for a more  technical climb. My love for hiking has taken me along a progression from hiking, trekking and backpacking to adding a component that requires  technical skills such as that used in rock & ice climbing and mountaineering which can combine all of these in one terrific trip. Many professionally organized trips to climb  mountains involve guides “doing” much of the technical set up of equipment and leaving the climbers number one job to physically get up the mountain with basic or no mountaineering skills at all. While this is great for the novice climber, my goal is to become proficient as a climber and to develop the knowledge and skills to truly know and understand the gear,  techniques and reasoning for using said things for specific technical terrain.  I believe Antisana will give me the opportunity to learn and participate in a climb requiring the use of more detailed skills on the mountain. Aside from this, Ecuador is a beautiful country and seeing the views from these high points is sure to be intoxicating!

 

Why El Corazon: This another acclimatization hike to prepare for the upcoming higher (and often more difficult) climbing peaks. I’m excited about this next section of the trip because my great friend Lori will be joining me again for the rest of  the Ecuadorian Peaks. Lori also joined me in Peru for two beautiful glaciated peaks. Trouble and Double Trouble  on the mountain again and I can’t wait!

Mountain & Route Facts

Volcán Rumiñahui is located in Cotopaxi National Park. Like Los Ilinizas across the Pan American Highway, it is long extinct. Unlike the Ilinizas, the major peaks on what is left of the crater rim are not considered separate mountains. The three highpoints are Rumiñahui Norte (4712 m), Rumiñahui Central (4631 m), and Rumiñahui Sur (4696 m). Because this mountain has no permenent snow and the route up Norte is no harder than a scramble, Rumiñahui is assured plenty of foot traffic. However because it is dwarfed by Cotopaxi just on the other side of Laguna Limpiopungo it is just as assured of never being a popular international destination. This of course is a shame. It is an excellent acclimatization climb with an exciting finish and epic views of El Corazón, Los Ilinizas, Sincholagua, and Cotopaxi.

 

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.

 

El Corazón is located on the western side of the Avenue of Volcanos south of Quito. It is a common acclimatization climb for mountaineers preparing themselves for ascents on 5000 – 6000+ meter peaks. It is named such because some claim to see the shape of a heart on the mountain in two gullies from the northwest. It is located south of Atacazo and north of the Illinizas. Clearly visible from the Panamerica highway it is often ignored by those with their eyes on the more popular and higher climbs on Iliniza Norte and Cotopaxi which flank the highway just a short distance away. There is only one common route which is a direct ascent from Aloasí. The summit is guarded by a the occasional class 3 jumble of rocks that must be scrambled over. The summit itself is right on the crater rim. The actual highest point appears to be the southernmost portion of the rim accessible by a flat walk with fairly steep drops on either side. Be careful in poor conditions. Unlike other acclimatization mountains here in Ecuador. This one has un-excavated, pre-columbian ruins on it’s northeast slopes.

 

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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