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3 volcanoes: Pasochoa (4164 m), Iliniza (5126 m), Cotopaxi (5897 m). Ecuador

Climbing volcanoes: Pasochoa (4164 m), North Iliniza (5126 m), Cotopaxi (5897 m)

Cotopaxi (5897 m) is the tallest active volcano in the world, easily recognizable by its cone shape. It is located in the eastern ridge of the Andes, between the valley known as the "Avenue of the Volcanoes" and the Amazon Basin. Due to its location, on clear days the views of the neighboring valleys and volcanoes are stunning. An experience not to be missed!

In the program you have 3 ascents, the first two, to the volcanoes: Pasochoa (4164 m), Iliniza (5126 m) were added specifically for two reasons:

  • getting a smooth acclimatization, checking equipment, working out mountaineering equipment,
  • visiting new places with amazing views and nature
Article:
359
Country:
Ecuador
Tour type:
Expeditions and ascents
Directions:
Ecuador
Complexity:
Medium
Number of participants:
From 1 people
Maximum height:
5897 m
Season:
November 15 to March
Start of the program:
Quito
Finish program:
Quito
Duration:
5 days
Price:
915 USD
Count:
Tours dates
  
01.05.202231.12.2022
01.01.202331.12.2023
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Day 1
Meeting at the hotel in Quito, transfer (2 hours) to the start of the trail located at an altitude of 3848 m. From this place we begin our acclimatization hike to the Pasochoa volcano (4164 m). A well-marked trail leads through agricultural land to the paramo zone. Here the trail heads south, gradually climbing up to the base of the crater. The last section is the steepest, along the mountain path we climb to the edge of the crater. The last meters to the summit of the Pasochoa volcano pass along the rim of the crater with a beautiful view of the Machachi Valley, also known as the "Volcanoes Avenue", and the highlands to the west. On clear days, there is a beautiful view of the volcanoes Cotopaxi, Sincholagua, Ruminahui and Artisana. Descent along the same path to our starting point. Next, the group will be transferred (2 hours) to a mountain lodge Ilinizas near the town of El Chaupi (2930 m).
Night at the mountain house.
Ascent: 516 m / Descent: 516 m / Maximum altitude: 4164 m / Activity duration: 5 h.
Meals included: picnic, dinner
 
Day 2
In the morning, a short drive (1 hour) from our mountain lodge to the parking lot located at an altitude of 3680 meters. From here the group will follow the paramo trail (Andean Highlands), which turns into a rocky moraine as it climbs. The terrain becomes steeper when we reach a clearly visible ridge that rises into the valley that separates the two peaks, where the hut of Nuevos Horizontes (4677 m) is located. Upon arrival at the hut, the mountain guide will give appropriate instructions for the next day's ascent and help prepare all the necessary equipment. The Nuevos Horizontes hut is a very basic apartment with one large area containing both bunk beds and a kitchen.The hut has basic amenities such as a kitchen, dining tables and toilets.
Overnight at the hut.
Ascent: 817 m / Maximum altitude: 4677 m / Activity duration: 3-4 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 3
Today we make an ascent to the North Iliniza Volcano (5126 m), one of the two peaks of the Iliniz massif. The North Summit is technically easier, but still requires physical strength. The ascent starts immediately from the Nuevos Horizontes hut (4677 m). First, we head to the saddle, and then we go north to the summit of North Iliniza. The climb itself is very panoramic as it follows the southern ridge of the mountain with breathtaking scenery on both sides. Depending on the weather conditions and the physical condition of the team, the descent can be carried out along the same path or along the northern ridge, along a large talus, turning into a circular route. Back at the parking lot, the team will be transported (3 hours) to Cotopaxi National Park for a good rest after the ascent.
Overnight at the hut.
Ascent: 449 m / Descent: 1266 m / Maximum altitude: 5126 m / Activity duration: 8 h.
Meals included: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 4
Morning breakfast, 2-hour transfer to the Cotopaxi’s Parking area (4587 m). From here we have an hour trek to the Cotopaxi mountain hut (4847 m). Here we have a short rest, then we still go for about 40 minutes to the lower part of the glacier (4990 m). There will be brief instructions from the guide on the use of crampons, ice ax, rope and all the necessary technical equipment for the ascent. Being here will improve our acclimatization for a successful ascent. After training, the team will return to the hut for the night. The rest of the day is preparation for the ascent. The guides will provide detailed instructions on all aspects of the ascent and help with all the equipment. An early dinner will be served and then rest until the guides call for breakfast, usually around midnight.
Overnight at the hut.
Ascent: 403 m / Descent: 143 m / Highest Altitude: 4990 m / Distance: 1.2 km one way / Activity duration: 4-5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 5
We'll have an early rise. The departure time will be determined by the mountain guides depending on the physical condition of the team and the weather forecast, usually in the range from 23:00 to 2:00. Breakfast will be served 1 hour before our departure. The group will begin their ascent from the hut along a well-marked trail that climbs smoothly along a shallow stone moraine for about 1 hour. Once on the edge of the glacier (4990 m), the group will gather and split, in the case of a large group, into smaller teams at the rate of 2 participants per 1 guide. Climbing Cotopaxi requires endurance and considerable mental strength. The Cotopaxi Glacier is fairly safe and the climb is not technically difficult, but there are several crevasses and a few ice slopes that make the route dangerous. The first part of the glacier is a gentle slope that gets steeper as you climb, there are a series of places known as the "Heartbreaker" which are quite difficult parts of the ascent due to the steepness and duration. Thereafter, a very beautiful ridge gradually gains height, passing near the protruding rock known as "Yanasacha", at an altitude of about 5630 m. From here, a relatively long traverse to the right before another series of return roads leading to the edge of the crater, and a few meters later - to the main summit of the Cotopaxi volcano (5897 m). The ascent takes an average of 7-8 hours. The summit of Cotopaxi is one of the most impressive peaks, overlooking a crater with a double edged and on clear days you can see most of the neighboring volcanoes: Antisana, Kayambe, Ilinizas, Chimborazo, El Altar and the active Tunguragua. The descent is carried out along the ascent path and takes from 3 to 4 hours. Returning to the hut, as soon as the whole group is reunited, a short descent (20 minutes) to the parking lot, return to Quito (3 hours).
Ascent: 1050 m / Descent: 1315 m / Highest Altitude: 5897 m / Distance to the summit: 2.47 km and distance from the summit to the parking spot: 3.22 km / Activity duration: 10-12 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Picnic.

Quito - Pasochoa volcano (4164 m) - mountain lodge Ilinizas - Nuevos Horizontes hut (4677 m) - North Iliniza Volcano (5126 m) - ice classes on the glacier (4990 m) - Cotopaxi hut (4847 m) - Cotopaxi (5897 m) - Cotopaxi hut (4847 m) - Quito

The cost of the full package of services -  from 915 USD*
* cost for a group of 6 people 

Included:

  • Local English speaking mountain guide during the entire program
  • Local English speaking assistant mountain guide during the entire program from 5 PAX
  • Private transportation throughout the entire program
  • 1 night in shared double rooms in the Mountain lodge at Iliniza’s Park
  • 1 night in shared dormitory at Iliniza’s mountain hut – Nuevos Horizontes
  • 1 night in shared dormitory at Cotopaxi’s low mountain hut – Tambo-Paxi
  • 1 night in shared dormitory at Cotopaxi’s high mountain hut – Jose Rivas
  • Entry fee to the National parks and natural reserves
  • Group common climbing equipment
  • Climbing assistant guides: for Pasochoa ratio 1:5, for Iliniza ratio: 1:4 and for Cotopaxi ratio: 1:2
  • Meals as specified in the day to day itinerary

Not Included:

  • Domestic and international flights
  • Personal porter to/from Cotopaxi’s high hut
  • Personal camping and climbing equipment
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Everything not mentioned in the “Included” list

Ecuador is a wonderful country for activities such as mountain climbing, trekking and hiking.
Ecuador has programs to suit all experience levels, from beginners and amateur enthusiasts to professionals.

Mountaineering. In Ecuador, you can climb all year round, but there are seasons:

  • High season: June to August / December to January
  • Low season: February to May / September to November.

Trekking and walking tours. In Ecuador, the best months to do this are June through November, when you're almost guaranteed to get great views of the country's spectacular volcanoes and Andes mountains.

There are: 11 national parks, Inca trails, craters, volcanoes, mountain lakes, and one of the best traks in the world - the Condor Trek, which runs in the Antisana Reserve
 

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