by PROJECT CORDILLERA
Avenida de los Volcanes, Ecuador
The Chimborazo Expedition gives travellers the chance to touch the sky.
Standing at a whopping 6,310m, Chimborazo is the highest volcano in Ecuador's famous "Avenue of the Volcanoes" region.
If you are measuring from the Earth's center, Chimborazo is the point on Earth closest to space. Simply put, because of the equatorial bulge, it is in one way at least the highest mountain in the world! A monumental 3,597m higher than Everest.
Chimborazo's lofty summit looms over the highlands, and the other volcanoes surrounding it. This makes for incredible views from the volcano's summit as well as much of this challenging, often cold and windy climb.
This expedition is not for the faint-hearted or inexperienced, but it is also not overly technical. It definitely requires previous climbing experience, but above all it is the altitude that makes reaching the summit of Chimborazo such a challenge.
The summit climb takes around eight hours on average. It's very steep, but more of a extreme cold weather hike than a technical climb. The final push starts around midnight from Refugio Whymper, reaching the summit in the early hours just in time for what some have described as a life changing sunrise above the clouds.
The normal route through “El Castillo” is the most popular way to climb Chimborazo. Moreover, this route leads you to two of the highest summits: Veintimilla (6,267 m) and Whymper (6,310 m) including a magnificent ridge.
Most expeditions last around 12-days all in. Your time will be spent acclimatizing with hikes to the spectacular high altitude lakes of Cuicocha and Mojanda and summiting smaller volcanoes in the area, including Fuya Fuya, Illiniza North, and Cotopaxi.
These stunning hikes showcase Ecuador's famously biodiverse landscape. They are also great warm up show for the big climb Chimborazo.
This is an extremely rewarding challenge that giving you a once in a lifetime opportunity to climb what some still believe is the world's highest mountain.
Quito - Cuicocha - Otavalo
Trek around the Cuicocha lagoon for 3-4 hr with with spectacular scenery. Return to Otavalo and spend the night in a comfy hotel.
Fuya Fuya - El Lechero - Otavalo
Head to the lagoon of Mojanda, the starting point to hike to the top of the Fuya Fuya (4,265m). Return to Otavalo and visit the Peguche waterfall.
Imbabura - Otavalo
Very early in the morning you'll visit La Esperanza and climb the Imbabura volcano (4,630m.) Head back to Otavalo for dinner at the hotel.
Otavalo Market - Quito
Visit the most popular market in Ecuador, and find crafts like ponchos and tapestries, etc. After lunch return to Quito.
Quito- Guagua Pichincha- El Chaupi
Leave Quito in the morning and continue to Lloa. Continue your journey to climb Guagua Pichincha. Stay in a comfy hotel in Machachi.
Iliniza North (5,120m) - Machachi
Start very early and your ascent of Iliniza North. Head back to our hotel in Machachi.
Machachi - Cotopaxi Refuge
After breakfast, walk to the José Rivas refuge (4,800m). After lunch, practice basic techniques and review the climb for the next day.
Cotopaxi Summit - Baños
Get up at midnight and after a light breakfast and get ready for the summit of Cotopaxi! Return to the refuge and head to Baños.
Well deserved rest day in Baños visiting waterfalls and hot springs. Oh, yeah!
Baños - Chimborazo refuge
Leave Baños and make it to the Hermanos Carrel refuge (4,800m). Then, the Whymper Refuge (5,000m), where you'll review the climb, have dinner and prepare for the ascent to Chimborazo!
Chimborazo Summit – Riobamba
Get up before midnight to climb Chimborazo and after 8 hours you'll first reach the Veintimilla summit (6,270m) and then the Whymper peak (6,310 m). Descend head to Riobamba.
Riobamba - Quito
After a celebratory breakfast return to Quito.