"Hiking and Climbing Around Cotopaxi Volcano" Provincia de Cotopaxi by VA_Dave
Provincia de Cotopaxi Travel Guide: 266 reviews and 1,404 photos
Of all the volcanoes in Ecuador, Cotopaxi (19,348 ft or 5897m) has caused the most death and destruction, completely destroying Latacunga three times in 1742, 1768 and 1877. It was first climbed by Wilhelm Reiss and Angel M Escobar in 1872. Today it is the most visited and climbed volcano in Ecuador.
The climb is not technically difficult, but ropes, ice-axes and crampons are absolutely necessary. The climber must be in good physical condition and have the proper acclimatisation time. The climb may be attempted year round.
The Cotopaxi area has the highest number of clear days per year in the Ecuadorian Andes and has an average nightly temperature of -15° C. The crater has a circumference of about 800 meters.
2 days is all you need for this climb. I rented all the equipment I needed in Quito. Your guide will give you the hour of training in the use of crampons and ice axe and rope that you need for the climb.
The adventure started at midnight. We reached the glacier in about 45 minutes after leaving the hut. After roping up we began the glacier climb towards the large rock band known as Yanasacha (Large Black Rock) in Quechua, and then on towards the summit with an ascent time of 7 hours. The descent time was 3 hours. YMMV!
- Pros:Beautiful mountain and surrounding paramo
- Cons:The weather and altitude can be a problem
- In a nutshell:An adventure awaits you only 2 hours from Quito
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