Cotopaxi and Chimborazo

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Dreaming of climbing on one of the world’s highest active volcanoes in Ecuador. We have the team, service and set up to climb two in one trip.  The volcanoes of Ecuador are well known among mountaineers. The country’s highest, Chimborazo 20,702 feet, was first climbed in 1880. Due to our planet’s equatorial ‘bulge’, it is the furthest point from the center of the earth. The same expedition also climbed Cotopaxi 19,347, famously sleeping on its summit. Get in touch and find out more about these two exciting mountaineering adventures. Read some REVIEWS from our trips.
Glacier travel on Chimborazo The trail to the summit of Chimborazo
Chimborazo from the road in The stunning Cotopaxi

Join us on Cotopaxi

Ecuador’s second highest peak is one of the world’s highest active volcanos and an easier climb than Chimborazo. Packed with activity and variety, this expedition enables you to experience the landscape, culture and people of the smallest Andean country in two weeks. During this expedition, you will have time to explore Quito and its enchanting native Ecuadorian markets, as well as the famous hot springs at Baños.

Glacier Training

Having previous glacier experience is not required. We do require that you have joined one of our courses in Scotland or Colorado as Chimborazo required previous mountaineering training. Is also important that you try out your mountaineering gear prior to joining this adventure. Our courses and our Mountaineering training courses provide good skills preparation for this expedition. We also recommend climbing Kilimanjaro prior to joining this trip.

Training Advice

Other than your doing a mountaineering training course, you do need take your physical training seriously. We highly recommend training 5 days a week building up to 1 hour 30 minutes per day in the gym on the Stairmaster and treadmill. Along with building up to carrying 25lbs in your training sessions. You will also need to build up you hiking from 3 to 6 hour hikes with weight. You will also need to consider, weight training and flexibility training. We can help you have a fantastic climbing adventure

On signing up we will send you an itemized kit list for this trip. Over the years, we have gained an incredible amount of experience and expertise in outdoor equipment and clothing. We have applied this to each trip that we offer and recommend what we believe to be the most suitable items for your trip.

Additional Information

You only need to carry a light daypack each day (apart from the 45-minutes walk to Cotopaxi hut when you’ll need to carry your sleeping bag/mat) As for the Cotopaxi 19,347 feet it is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. During the expedition, we will also summit North Iliniza 16,784 feet, a mountain that works perfectly as an acclimatization peak before Cotopaxi and Chimborazo.  You will get to see a great variety of wildlife and plants as well as beautiful landscapes and snow-covered peaks.

High on Chimborazo Hot springs in Banos Cotopaxi from Tambopaxi lodge The summit of Chimborazo

Why Climb With Us

After climbing Kilimanjaro with us you will be hooked. Some people gravitate towards Island Peak and bigger Himalayan Mountaineering trips. This trip is for people who want an introduction to glacier travel at high altitude without some of the more technical challenges. Ian Taylor Trekking have been running trips to this region for a decade and developed unique itineraries with acclimatization and safety at the forefront of the trip. We always have more guides on all our mountaineering trips and only run high quality adventure trips.  Our unique itinerary offers you a safer and better chance of successfully reaching your goal. Finally we had 100% success on our last 5 trips.

Ian has climbed Everest to the top, Chimborazo and Cotopaxi numbers times to date and recommends picking our unique itinerary.  Prices start from USD $4,350.

What People Said About our Chimborazo and Cotopaxi Climbs

“In November last year, I joined a team of 10 people climbing Chimborazo and Cotopaxi. Three of us did one the Colorado mountaineering training courses and the training was very valuable in preparation for going on this trip. The training advice prior to the trip was spot on. On arrival in Ecuador it was fascinating to Quito and we were so glad of the additional acclimatization. On the mountains, the weather was very pleasant with some pretty cold summit days. The landscape is unique and glaciers are pretty amazing. Safety was always the guides number one concern. After an incredible two weeks,  the whole team summited both peaks. Thanks to Ian for his generosity with his time and knowledge. It was truly a trip of a lifetime.” Martina Ganders, Climbing Chimborazo and Cotopaxi 2019

“This has to be on your list of trips. The glacial travel is really amazing and only possible with Ian’s approach to high altitude. The western guide and local guides were world class and they really took great care of us. I might be back with my son in years of come.” Jane Sharpe, Climbing Chimborazo and Cotopaxi 2019

“I am from US and was great to have team members from around the world. Some of my Kilimanjaro team mates from the UK, Ireland, France and Australia were up for the challenge. It was an amazing adventure.  I took on Kilimanjaro and had the experience of a lifetime. The service on all these trips were amazing.  Ian has developed a professional team, set up which was much better than other teams we saw on the mountain. A very professional operation. Looking forward to taking on Everest Base Camp and Island Peak with Ian Taylor Trekking in 2022.” Rich Johnson, Climbing Chimborazo and Cotopaxi 2019

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Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Quito. We recommend flying in as early as possible to start the acclimatization process. You will be arriving into 9,350 feet. We will pick you up from the airport and transfer you to our hotel.

Day 2

Acclimatization day. We will take you on a half- day Quito city tour and relax and enjoy this laid back city. Some years ago Quito was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Quito has an ancient Incan foundation, but you can clearly see the European impact and our city tour offers you a glimpse at this ancient city. We have the afternoon at leisure to relax or, alternatively, you may elect to recommence the exploration of this fascinating city by yourself or with other members of the team. This may take you to the old quarter or to the more modern shopping areas in search of something unique to take home. In the evening, our Ecuadorian Guide will give a presentation on climbing in the Andes. Night in Quito at Hotel Reina Isabel. Meals provided B,L.

Day 3

Today we drive of one hour before we start hiking from the village of Rumipamba located in the Valley of Los Chillos at 3,000m/ 9,842 feet. The trek follows a cobble stone roads on the side of the Pita River, which comes from Cotopaxi National Park. We will visit the majestic water falls of Rio Pita Close to the Hacienda Cotopaxipungo we will pass in front of a Shrine, a small religious place where locals come to worship the “Virgen de la Piedra”, the Virgin of the Rock. Today’s hike will take around 5 hours. You will spend
your first night at an altitude of 3,150m/ 10,335 feet . Night at Cotopaxipungo. Meals provided B/L/D

Day 4

Today we leave in the morning around 8am for a 6 hours hike to the Pasochoa volcano. We will be crossing the fields of Hacienda Santa Rita. Pasachoa is an ancient and heavily eroded volcano which has been inactive since the last ice age. When the weather permits, from the summit, we will be able to take a good look at the crater. Inside you will see the Pasochoa Protected Forest Reserve, a humid Andean Forest with more than 110
species of birds and 45 spices of trees, located between 2,700m/ 8,858 feet and 4,200m/ 13,780 feet. On a sunny day you normally can see condors ( the largest flying bird) flying. As we come down from the hike and will do a short drive to Chilcabamba lodge 3,500m/ 11,483 feet, our next Lodge for the night. Meals provided B/L/D

Day 5

From our lodge we do a short drive to Limpiopungo lake and start hiking towards the central ridge of Rumiñahui, leading to the middle summit. The volcano is located
only 13km North West of Cotopaxi. Rumiñahui is named after a very well known Inca General who fought against the Spanish when they were looking for the Inca treasure This was around the year 1520. We will spend the night at Los Mortiños Lodge 3,600m/11,811 feet. Meals provided B/L/D

Day 6

From our lodge we drive to the car park of Cotopaxi 4,600m/ 15,091 feet. From there we walk for 45 minutes to the hut 4,800m/ 15,748 feet and later we reach the start of the glacier 5,100m/ 16,732 feet to acclimatize and get familiar with the glacier. After lunch at the hut we hike down to Tambopaxi Lodge for the night. Meals provided B/L/D

Day 7

Drive to Hacienda Guachala/Otavalo Market.  There are a few colorful Indian markets on the Cotopaxi province, depending on the day of the week we will be able to visit one of them, otherwise we will do a day-trip to visit Quilotoa lake. In the afternoon you can visit a stunning market. It sells woolens that make Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors look monochrome! You’ll overnight in a local hacienda, and can enjoy an evening of local folk music and dance. Return to Tambopaxi for the night.  Meals provided B/L/D

Day 8

After breakfast we repeat the short drive to the car park, have lunch at the hut, in the afternoon we will have the chance to review the glacier skills needed for the ascent and go through the basics of glacier travel prior to the climb. Night at the hut 4,800m/ 15,748 feet. Meals provided B/L/D 

Day 9

This is it summit night on Cotopaxi. We leave the hut at around 1am and climb to the top of the triangular scree slope directly above. A route, well marked with footprints and wands, is followed up the large featureless glacier, weaving between large, open crevasses. After passing below a large black rock we cut back left up a steep section to reach the ice encrusted crater rim. The summit lies a little further along the crater rim to the right. Ropes will be used throughout the climb to protect the team from hidden
crevasses and protect the steeper sections. Cotopaxi’s crater is a spectacular feature and the mix of ice and steam vents make an unusual combination. After the climb we drive to Baños for the night. Night at Isla de Baños. Meals provided B/L/D

Day 10

Today is a recovery day in Baños. Baños is known for the hot springs and subtropical
climate, in Ecuador is known as the gate of the jungle We spend the day in Baños enjoying the hot springs. Night at Isla de Baños. Meals provided B/L/D

Day 11

Return to Quito after breakfast. We will be back in Quito at around 12pm and you can go straight to do your covid-19 test.  We will have the afternoon for some last minute shopping. The Chimborazo team will get back into climbing mode. In the morning the team will drive south along the Pan American Highway to the Carrel Hut on Chimborazo. From here you will traverse in a westerly direction for about two hours, We then have to hike up to high camp 5,350m/ 17,552 feet.  You will need to carry your equipment to the camp. Porters will help carrying the tents and water.

Day 12

You will start the climb at about midnight following the Stübel glacier until it joins the Castle Saddle 5,500m/ 18,044 feet. This new variant to the normal Castle Ridge route, free from rock fall, makes it a much safer line to the top. From Camp it normally takes seven hours to get to the Whymper summit, from where you will enjoy one of the most impressive views in Ecuador. The descent to Camp takes three hours. After returning to
the camp, you pack and descend to Plaza Roja, and drive to the valley. Return to Quito (4 hours drive). We will do our COVID test (12-24 hours needed for results) Overnight hotel.

Day 13

Depart from Quito. It is best to book a late flight to allow time for covid test. We will bring you back to the airport for your return flight home.

Ready to go?

All our guides are AMGA or IFMGA guides that will be leading these trips. We hope our unique itinerary is of interest to you. Our team prides ourselves in making sure that our clients have every opportunity to succeed on the mountains, including professional training advice, gear lists and video links on how to pack your bag, and much more. We are always available 5 days a week to answer any questions you may have by email, phone or skype, so contact us today!