My experience climbing Cotopaxi was amazing. For the longest time, my dream has been to climb Cotopaxi. I have hiked Kilimanjaro in 2018 and trekked to Everest Base Camp in 2019 and was very comfortable with the altitude but knew I needed the climb these peaks. Ian showed me videos from Cotopaxi and I knew I had to do it.
Kilimanjaro’s Number 1 Guide
Firstly, I must recommend Ian’s teams. The Dream team on Kilimanjaro were exceptional. The service, itinerary, acclimatization was excellently planned out. The difference in the service and staff was noticeable on the mountain and the team are world class. They all spoke so highly of Ian and Laura, and they made it a lifechanging experience.
Trekking in Nepal
My only regret in Nepal was not training up and going for Island Peak. From the Sherpa people, the culture, mountain viewing and challenge it was truly unique. I really enjoyed this experience trekking amongst some of the highest mountains in the world.
I did a mountaineering course in Colorado with Ian’s team and started working towards my goal and set 2020 for this challenge. As you all know 2020 was a disaster for international travel. This only gave me more time to prepare. I decided to join a trip going in June 2021.
The Best Service on Cotopaxi
Straight up the itinerary and service and attention to detail for the Ecuador trip was first class. The mixture of culture, tourism, hiking, terrain and choice of accommodations and food where all first class. I enjoyed every day from hiking to a stunning waterfall, hiking Ruminahui, mountaineering training on and off the mountain. What an experience!
One of my favorite days was in Banos, you will have to see for yourself. I felt very comfortable with the guides leading our team, they covered crevasse rescue using prusiks, alpine style movement, using ice axe, crampons and moving across steep terrain.
Cotopaxi is a Challenging Climb
I can tell you Cotopaxi is tougher and steeper than Kilimanjaro and you need more training than you think. Our team consisted of six climbers from the UK, Australia and US and two team members underestimated this mountaineering challenge. Cotopaxi is steep all the way up over 1,000m/ 3,200 feet to the summit. The glacier terrain to the summit was a vary of mixed terrain, some steep as we moved our way through the crevasse fields. Some of the steep sections are tough. I trained six days a week for months in preparation for Cotopaxi and it was still tough.
Reasons for a Successful Cotopaxi Summit
I will never forget the light hitting the stunning ice formations high on Cotopaxi, truly magnificent. I have to put my enjoyment and experience down to three things.
1). The Itinerary
2). The Acclimatization
3). The Training Advice
We were well acclimatized for the summit attempt. In saying this walking on snow, ice and mixture of steep and challenging terrain, Cotopaxi is more challenging than Kilimanjaro and you need to be fully prepared.
Looking down into the crater of one of the world’s most active volcanos is entrancing and unforgettable. The journey down was amazing with great views of the terrain we had climbed up.
Mountaineering Experience is Needed
I highly recommend doing previous mountaineering training as this really helped me feel comfortable high on Cotopaxi. Cotopaxi is not easy and requires serious training and preparation
The terrain on Cotopaxi was steeper than Kilimanjaro it made for a more challenging adventure. I personally was so glad of the added acclimatization, for sure this gave us the chance to reaching the summit. It was a long night with some high wind, but we took our time and made the summit at 6am and what a sunrise. I will never forget it.
It was a long day but what an experience. The summit were only a small part of the overall learning experience. This trip had it all and I encourage you to pick Ian’s itinerary it made my experience life changing. I think I will be back; Ecuador was a really amazing place to visit. I will be back.
If you are looking to climb Cotopaxi contact Ian Taylor Trekking.