Chimborazo is the highest mountain in the Ecuadorian Andes and due to its close proximity to the equator it is also the furthest point from the centre of the Earth. Chimborazo was first climbed in 1880 and the impressive shape of this extinct volcano still attracts numerous climbers. Climbing Chimborazo will offer a challenge to even the most experienced mountaineer; it is a technically climb, and the long approach to reach the peak will certainly push your physical limits. In addition to proper acclimatisation, excellent physical condition is required to cover the 1300-meter altitude difference between the Whymper Refuge and the summit, a 8 to 12 hour climb over never-ending glaciers. Challenge yourself and be one of the few who have left their footprints on the most distant point from the earth’s molten centre. This is a physically challenging and technical climb.
Day 1: Quito – Ambato – Whymper Refuge
You leave Quito in the morning and driving south on the Panamerican highway through the “Avenue of the Volcanoes” pass the Andean towns Latacunga, Salcedo and Ambato and from here drive up towards the huge Volcano Chimborazo ( 6310m ). Through a picturesque landscape the road winds itself up, passing fields, valleys and the volcano Carihuayrazo (5020m), to the wide high plain at the slopes of Chimborazo. Every now and then you see lamas, which are still common useful animals in this region. With a little bit of luck you also might see some Alpacas and even Vicuñas, the latter ones live in a wide reserve at the Chimborazo. You continue your journey crossing the Chimborazo high plain to the lower mountain refuge “Hermano Carrel” at about 4800m (ca. 16000 ft). From here a first hike will bring you ca. 45 minutes another 200m (800 ft) to the higher mountain refuge, called the "Refugio Whymper" (Whymper hut). The refuge is named after Edward Whymper, a famous English climber who came to Ecuador in 1880 and made first ascents of several mountains, including Chimborazo. If the weather permits you have the possibility to go on a short acclimatization walk. After dinner you will go to bed early tonight. -/L/D
Day 2: Chimborazo climb - Quito
At about midnight you get up and prepare for an early start to take advantage of hard snow conditions during the colder nighttime and early morning hours. Setting out from the Whymper refuge, you will head northwest up a loose scree slope until the glacier below a huge rock known as Castillo (The castle). Here you will put on your crampons, tie into your rope, take out your ice-axes and gradually climb up this glaciated slope. At about 5.500m you reach a broad ridge that leads you up to the Veintimilla summit (ca. 6270m). From here it is ca. 45min. to the Whymper summit (6310m/20,703 feet). On a clear day you can enjoy spectacular views from the blue of the Pacific Ocean over the white peaks of the snow capped volcanoes of the Andes to the green of the Amazon rainforest. The ascent usually takes ca. 8-9 hours and the descent back to the hut another 4 hours. Once back in the refuge, you will pack your gear, hike back down to the lower parking area and drive back to the Pan American highway and onto Quito. B/L/-
B= breakfast; L= Lunch; D= Dinner
Note: The itinerary of the adventure tour can be changed by the guide due to security reasons (climate, conditions etc) as well as by the national park administration due to changing national park rules. Nevertheless the security and the interest of the participants will always have first priority.
USD 290,- per person (Minimum 2 People)
USD 460,- per person (1 Person)
Services included in the price
Private transportation, one qualified mountain guide for every 2 climbers (English/Spanish speaking), accommodation at the mountain refuge, meals as mentioned above. For climbing: mountain boots, ice axe, crampons, harness, rope, ice screws, National Park entrance fee, first aid kit.
Not included in the price
sleeping bag, personal equipment, tips, travel insurance, mountain equipment: gaiters, warm and waterproof clothes, sunglasses, headlamp with batteries, gloves etc.
What to Bring
Sleeping bag, personal equipment, travel insurance, mountain equipment: gaiters, warm and waterproof clothes (Fleece and Gore-Tex), sunglasses, headlamp with batteries, gloves, sun block, torch, hat, trekking shoes, warm and water–proof clothing, canteen, camera.
Please note that steep ice slopes of up to 50° and the high altitude complicate the ascent and therefore climbing experience is absolutely necessary for this mountain. Ideally you climb another less technical peak like Cayambe, Cotopaxi or Antisana before climbing Chimborazo, anyway a good acclimatization is essential for a successful ascent.