Mountaineering School in Ecuador
Climbing school with ascents of Cayambe and Chimborazo. Includes Ecuador's finest haciendas, hotels, food, and instruction from certified lead guides ASEGUIM/UIAGM.
On this expedition we focus on education, building technical skills and experience, while our team attempts to summit Cayambe, the third tallest peak in Ecuador. At 18,996 feet (5,790 meters) Antisana and Chimborazo the high´s poin in this planet.
Day 1 — Arrive in Quito
Day 2 — Travel in Quito and Prepare for first climb
Day 3 — Acclimatization Climb
Day 4 — Travel to Otavalo & Acclimatize
Day 5 — Skills Practice
Day 6 — Skills check and Rest
Day 7 — Summit Day
Day 8 — Recovery Day
Day 9 — Drive to Antisana
Day 10 — Antisana, Practice Rescue Skills
Day 11 — Summit Day - Antisana
Day 12 — Drive to Chimborazo
Day 13 — Hike to High Hut
Day 14 — Summit Day - Chimborazo
Day 15 — Weather Day
Day 16 — Depart for Home
Day 1: Arrive in Quito
Leave your home for Ecuador, arriving into Quito (9,500 feet/2,800 meters) in the evening. Our guides will pick you up and bring you to our hotel, a local family-run place close to excellent restaurants and the tourist center of the city. (Friday-Saturday)
Day 2: Travel in Quito and Prepare for first climb
Explore the colonial section of Quito. The old city is famous for its beautiful churches, president’s palace, and ever-present views of the glaciated peaks that surround it. After touring for half the day, we spend the afternoon preparing for our climb of Pichincha, practicing fixed line techniques, and organizing gear.
Day 3: Acclimatization Climb
After breakfast at the famed Magic Bean (a gringo-owned restaurant with strong coffee, fresh fruit smoothies, and huge pancakes—the perfect pre-climbing meal) we ride the telepherique from the center of the city to 14,000 feet (4,267 meters) on Rucu Pichincha. Two hours of hiking brings us to the rock ridge which we climb, conditions permitting, to Pichincha’s 15,700 foot (4,785 meter) summit. This climb is a proud peak on its own; it is also important for our acclimatization.
Day 4: Travel to Otavalo & Acclimatize
We move to the town of Otavalo. Otavalo has some of the best food in Ecuador and is renowned for its local markets. We will spend part of the day climbing Fuya Fuya, a non-technical 14,000 foot peak, and then spend the evening at the Hacienda Pinsaqui, an incredible local farmhouse with excellent food, beautiful gardens and an iconic view.
Day 5: Skills Practice
After a quick grocery store stop for mountain snacks, we drive 2 hours through high altitude farmlands to the refuge on Cayambe, at 15,000 feet (4,572 meters). After settling in, we hike about an hour to the toe of the glacier on Cayambe. We spend the day practicing skills, including self arresting with an ice axe, climbing in crampons, traveling on rope teams, and crevasse rescue. We also take time scouting our summit route. After a full day, we descend back to the refuge for the evening.
Day 6: Skills check and Rest
Today we'll take the morning to continue practicing our skills and letting our bodies further acclimatize before our summit push the next day. We spend the afternoon resting, hydrating, eating, and getting to bed early for the summit of Cayambe.
Day 7: Summit Day
After a midnight wake-up call, we begin our climb scrambling a rock ridge to the upper glacier. From there moderate slopes lead to another steep headwall. Often icy, this slope will require all of our climbing techniques to make it to the top. From the summit, we descend to our van and drive return to Otovalo.
Day 8: Recovery Day
Today we sleep in, eventually waking to the sound of hummingbirds and the smell of fresh coffee and waffles. The Alishungu hotel in Otavalo has some of the best food in Ecuador, and we will have earned it. When we are ready, the hectic Saturday market will be waiting for us, where we can buy everything from grilled guinea pig to hand-woven textiles to handmade silver jewelry. We return to Quito for dinner, and those flying home head to the airport for flights scheduled after 11pm or the following morning. The rest of the team spends the night in our hotel in Quito.
Day 9: Drive to Antisana
Any remaining Cayambe-only team members depart Quito for home. After breakfast, climbers staying on for the extension head up to the flanks of Antisana and set up camp for the night.
Day 10: Antisana, Practice Rescue Skills
We spend the morning scouting our route, and continuing to build advanced glacier travel and rescue skills low on Antisana. In the afternoon we pack for the climb and rest.
Day 11: Summit Day – Antisana
Waking up around 1am we’ll have some coffee and set out for the summit of Antisana. This climb will use all the skills we learned on Cayambe as we travel on snow and ice up to the rim of the volcano. The final section of climbing will be the most difficult before we are rewarded with a stunning summit. After descending and packing up camp, we drive to the famed hot springs of Papallacta.
Day 12: Drive to Chimborazo
After a morning in Papallacta, we drive south to a wilderness lodge below Chimborazo. The lodge is owned by one of Ecuador’s original mountain guides – his stories, home, and excellent food will prepare us for our final climb.
Day 13 : Hike to High Hut
Move to a camp at the base of Chimborazo’s glacier, 2 hours hike from the car. We scout our route, and get to sleep early ready for our summit push.
Day 14: Summit Day – Chimborazo
Our final, and most challenging, climb. The route quickly climbs the glacier, on which the ice is often broken by many crevasses as well as almost vertical ice steps. Eventually we reach the ridge and follow it over moderate ground to the summit. After taking photos and enjoying the views from the tallest point in Ecuador, we descend to our van and return to Quito for a final celebration dinner.
Day 15: Weather Day
Built in weather day. Due to the unpredictable nature of mountain weather in Ecuador, we build in an extra day into our itinerary.
Day 16: Depart for Home
Depart Quito for home. Flights are generally late the night before (after 10pm) or early in
Tour Does not include
- Acclimatization Climbing Program
- Ecuadorian qualified and experienced local Mountain Guide (ASEGUIM/UIAGM) ratio 2 climbers -1 guide)
- A registered and fully licensed Tour Operator
- Technical mountain equipment (crampons, ice axe, harness, helmet)
- Land transportation and transfers
- Accommodations: 4 nights in Hotels; 1 night Ruales oleas Refuge; 1 night Hermanos Carrel Refuge:
- All meals during the hikes and climbs (shown above with B: Breakfast, BL: Box lunch and D: Dinner)
- Personal mountain gear (warm cloths, sleeping bags, sun glasses, head lamp, etc.)
- International flight tickets
- Meals and drinks in hotels (lunch, dinner)
- Insurance of any kind
- Travel accident and health insurance
- Luggage insurance and trip cancellation
- Other non-specified expenses
Necessary Equipment (NOT INCLUDED):
- polar pants
- plastic climbing boots
- polar jacket
- outside gloves
- waterproof pants/ jacket
- sleeping bag comfort zone -5°C (41°F) (rent for $10)
- big and small back pack (rent for $10)
- camelback type vessel for water
- inside polar gloves
- energy drinks and snacks
- sun cream
- head lamp (rent for $10)
-warm walking trousers
puffer jacket or similar
- wool hat
-Large rucksack (50-70 liter)(only needed to transfer gear from the bus drop off at the Cotopaxi base up to the refuge)
- Reasonably day pack (35 liters) (needed from the refuge to summits to accommodate plenty of water, crampons, warm gear including puffer jacket etc)
The renting of equipment should be confirmed in advance with your agent.
- It is important that you have current travel insurance including personal medical insurance. Please inform us of any known medical conditions you have.
- Mountain climbing can be a high risk activity which can expose your physical ability to extreme conditions. For this reason we highly recommend to realize a previous appointment with your doctor for a general physical checkup. We also recommend to not be taking any medication during your climbs, but in case you have to, you must previously ask your guide for authorization to take those medications during the tour.
- We put all our effort into organizing the tour, therefore cancellations require minimum 24 hours’ notice. 50% refund will be given back. Cancellations will not be refunded with a shorter time notice.
- Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances (such as weather conditions or health risks), there may be a chance that you will be unable to reach the summit of Cayambe. That being said, however, we do promise not only a fantastic but unforgettable experience, complete with fully qualified and highly experienced guides, fresh and hearty meals, lots of laughter, and of course good cold beers!
Please note tips for our guides are not included in the price.
Prices & Dates
1 person.... $
2 people.... $
3 or more...$