Volcanoes of Ecuador

Antisana (18,874ft/5,752m), Cotopaxi (19,347ft/5,897m), Chimborazo (20,701ft/6,310m)

The guides are first rate. Jose Luis, Renee, Javier and Pepe all had strong mountain skills and good people skills, the combination I feel makes for a great climbing trip. I can not say enough about Jose Luis! I have climbed Rainier, Orizaba, Denali, Aconcagua and trekked to Everest Base Camp, using various companies. In my 11+ years of experience, Jose Luis is the best guide I have had! His experience is extensive, his skills on the mountain are solid and he has a wonderful way with people, which is sometimes hard to find. I enjoyed his company greatly and felt totally comfortable climbing with him at all times. His choice of rope teams was always on target. His strategy for reorganizing teams when some members decided to turn around was also excellent. There were a couple of occasions when one or more group members was sick and Jose Luis made great decisions on the fly which allowed the group to keep going, the sick members to get better and then continue with the trip. I was impressed with his decision making. - Rich C. Read More

Unique Itinerary
While our Ecuador program has been touted as one of the finest expeditions we offer over the past 20 years, we are thrilled to say, it just got better - with the addition of Antisana, a more gradual acclimatization, and a visit to a local spa and hot springs.

Overview
Ecuador, Jewel of the Andes, is a paradise for the mountaineer. Perhaps nowhere else on earth does the combination of such high mountains and easy accessibility exist in such close proximity. Over 20 years, we have developed what we consider to be the ultimate Ecuador climbing program. Our itinerary offers the best in acclimatization, cultural experience and great accommodations, all while climbing the three most spectacular volcanoes in Ecuador, Antisana (18,874 ft/ 5,752m), Cotopaxi (19,347 ft/5,897m) and Chimborazo (20,701 ft/6,310m).

This trilogy of climbs is quite unique. Few people venture to Antisana because of its remoteness and logistical requirements (we bring in an entire base camp staff and equipment), but Ecuadorian climbers consider it the best climbing and most beautiful volcano in all of Ecuador. Cotopaxi, the most climbed volcano in Ecuador, is thought to be the world's highest active volcano. It is beautifully symmetrical and heavily glaciated with the most incredible crater we have ever gazed into. Chimborazo, the giant of Ecuador, offers challenging glacier climbing all the way to the summit and to the farthest point from the center of the earth.

Alpine Ascents uses only expert guides and our low climber-to-guide ratio (2:1 for Antisana and Cotopaxi, and 1:1 for Chimborazo) translates into safer climbing and much higher summit success. Our gradual acclimatization itinerary gives us ample time to prepare for the climbs and our in-depth knowledge of the climbing routes allow us to ascend with great efficiency.

Between the summit climbs, we spend three nights in Quito, enjoying the cultural heritage and night life of the capital city. We also spend two nights in Papallacta, a beautiful private hot springs and spa, along with five more nights in beautiful mountain lodges close to our climbs. The ability to rest in comfort between our climbs and enjoy Ecuadorian hospitality throughout the trip makes Ecuador one of the most enjoyable places in the world to climb.

Our program is also flexible for those who do not have enough time to complete the entire 16-day trip. There is a 12-day program that adds Cotopaxi as a second climb.

Alpine Ascents also offers excursions to the Galapagos, Amazon rainforest and to a magnificent hacienda for horseback riding, biking and hiking. It is a great way to have the rest of the family join in or just relax after the climb. Contact us for details.

PREREQUISITES
We require prior mountaineering experience including experience with ice axe, crampons, and glacier travel. During the expedition, we will spend a full day on Antisana doing a glacier climbing skills review. Here is a chance to improve your alpine mountaineering skills while climbing at high altitude.

Climbing Skill Level
Climbers should have successfully completed a multi-day training course such as one of our 6-Day Training course, 8-Day, 12-Day, 13-Day or have equivalent skills and experience. Those who had a strong performance on a 3-Day Baker or Rainier climb may also join. You must have basic knowledge of progression on snow and ice, self arrest, and glacier travel. Snow and ice slopes are of moderate angle (up to 45 degrees). These requirements are also based on our desire to have similarly skilled team members.

Physical Conditioning
In the best interest of personal safety, success and team compatibility, adequate training and excellent physical condition are required. Prior experience carrying a heavy pack for multiple days serves as excellent preparation for this climb. Climbers must be able to carry an average of 20lbs or more and be physically and mentally prepared to deal with strenuous situations at high altitudes. Climbers need to be in excellent physical condition for both personal enjoyment and to be an integral team member. We encourage you to contact us so that we may assist you in developing a training program that meets your particular needs. Comprehensive training information can be found here.

Private Groups
We regularly organize private climbs for corporate groups, families and friends. We encourage you to book these climbs early as we are often able to cater these climbs to group-specific desires. Please contact our office to further discuss the benefits of private climbs.

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