- Climbing in Ecuador
For a small country, Ecuador
is very well endowed with major peaks, with 25 over fifteen thousand
feet, many within a days drive from Quito. Most of the big volcanos
are to be found in the 'Avenue of the Volcanoes' with the Eastern
and Western Cordilleras running either side of the high central
The classic snow capped cone
shaped volcanoes are much in evidence, for example Cotopaxi (above),
Chimborazo, Cayambe and Tungurahua. A number are active, with
Cotopaxi being alledgedly the worlds highest active volcano -check
the status locally before you climb. Chimborazo, although by
no means the tallest peak in South America, does have the distinction
of being the closest place on earth to the sun, due to the earth's
bulge at the equator (the earth's shape is that of an oblate
For the more experienced climbers
there are other more complex peaks that give a greater challenge,
including Antisana, El Altar and Iliniza Sur, and in the east,
away from the Cordilleras there are three peaks, Reventador,
Sumaco and Sangay, that give a very different experience, being
set in dense jungle.
There are numerous non glaciated
lower peaks that can be used to aclimatise - Pichincha and Imbabura
for example. They look straightforward, but they are nonetheless
not just an afternoon stroll -take advice first -there are a
number of very good websites listed below. Be careful of robbers
on the slopes of Pichincha.
There are climbing huts at Cotopaxi,
Chimborazo, Cayambe, Ilinizas, and Tungurahua (however due to
volcanic activity Tungurahua is no longer safe to climb).
- The highest peaks (volcanoes
with possible activity marked red):
- Chimborazo 6,310m
- Cotopaxi 5,897m
- Cayambe 5,790m
- Antisana 5,704m
- Altar 5,320m
- Illiniza Sur 5,263 m
- Sangay 5,230m
- Illiniza Norte 5,120 m
- Carihuairazo 5020 m
- Tungurahua 5,016m
- Cotacachi 4,944m
- Sincholagua 4,893m
- Quilindaña 4,878m
Guagua Pichincha 4,794m
Ruco Pichincha 4,680m
- Sara Urco 4,676m
- Imbabura 4609m
- Hermoso 4,571m
- Quilotoa 3,840m
- Pululahua 3,356m
- Cuicocha 3,240m
-mountain guide climbing school -expeditions in Ecuador.
- Andean Trails
-climbing and mountaineeering courses in South America.
Handbook -mountain climbing
in Chile and South America -so far includes Cotopaxi only in
- Alpine Ascents -organised climbs of Chimborazo, Cayambe, Cotopaxi
Ecuador -organizes and
leads mountain climbing trips to the Andes Mountains of Ecuador,
Bolivia and Peru.
Information -the site
of Ismael W. Janisch - Mountain guide -in German and oddly arranged
but some beautiful images.
- Cotopaxi Cara Sur
-specialise in climbing the south face of Cotopaxi with their
own adobe cabañas at 4000m.
- Ecuadorian Alpine Institure -a mountaineering company specializing in ascents
of Ecuador´s highest volcanic peaks and trekking across
the country´s wildest high-altitude landscapes.
- Ecuador Mountain Guides -ten years experience in delivering climbing programs
in the Andes -all levels from beginner to the advanced.
- High Summits
-tour operator offering ascents in the Andean mountain range
with its important summits, such as Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, Cayambe,
Ilinizas, Altar and Sangay.
Vallejo -personal page
of a leading Ecuadorean climber (Spanish only)
- Jean Pavillard -JP's guide to climbing Cotopaxi and El Altar.
Climbing -climbimg and
adventure tours run by Mogge, a viking and his Ecuadorian wife
- Mountain Madness -international expeditions to the great peaks
in the avenue of volcanos -Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, Cayambe, Antisana,
-loads of information on the geology and volcanos of Ecuador.
- Pardoe's Cotopaxi -Steve and Judy Pardoes climb to the summit in
- Rockclimbing.com -guide to the rock climbing sites in Ecuador.
- Snowcaps and other mountains of Ecuador -some nice pictures and description
of some of the major peaks.
- Summit Post -guide to climbing the great peaks -includes Ecuador's
- Volcanoland -climbing, riding and trekking in the
- Volcanos of Ecuador -images and data from volcano world.
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