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Ecuador - Cotopaxi Climbing tour

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Ecuador - Cotopaxi Climbing tour

Postby socal_ck » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:25 pm

Greetings all,

I have been thinking about/planning a trip down to ecuador to do some climbing in the fall (August - September). I have read a couple of threads on here about previous trips, but would like to see if anyone has had a specific experiences with guiding companies. At this point I am going alone, but am also interested in seeing if anyone wants to join on this forum.

I am single, 23 y.o. male, with moderate climbing experience. Let me know if you have any interest.

Chris

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Re: Ecuador - Cotopaxi Climbing tour

Postby Haliku » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:33 pm

If you need anything (guides, cooks, transport, hotel) you can contact Freddy at Sierra Nevada. He speaks several languages and can assist with anything you need. I use his services when planning trips to Ecuador. Cheers!
"You step onto the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to."

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Re: Ecuador - Cotopaxi Climbing tour

Postby cheeseburglar » Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:57 pm

We used Freddy when we were there in December. He is a pretty cool guy.
He and Astrobassman exchanged about 10,000 emails before we got down there. He seemed pretty happy to answer any questions we had. Ask him about that time frame for the weather.

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Re: Ecuador - Cotopaxi Climbing tour

Postby JB99 » Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:02 pm

cheeseburglar wrote:We used Freddy when we were there in December. He is a pretty cool guy.
He and Astrobassman exchanged about 10,000 emails before we got down there. He seemed pretty happy to answer any questions we had. Ask him about that time frame for the weather.


How much did he charge you? We are looking at making this trip 1/2010...
"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not."

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Re: Ecuador - Cotopaxi Climbing tour

Postby MtHurd » Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:20 pm


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Re: Ecuador - Cotopaxi Climbing tour

Postby cheeseburglar » Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:24 pm

JB99 wrote:
How much did he charge you? We are looking at making this trip 1/2010...


I could tell you that if I'd payed attention. I think it ended up being about $500 each for the guiding, transportation, and food on the mountain. That didn't include hotels or food in Quito. We also went to Banos to relax and that hotel was included.
And as Freddy told us, that also doesn't include the alcoholics.
We did the N. Illiniza and Rinchincha acclimatization climbs on our own.

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Re: Ecuador - Cotopaxi Climbing tour

Postby socal_ck » Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:29 pm

Thanks to all who have responded. Sounds like you all had good experiences with freddy through Sierra Nevada.

Chris

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Re: Ecuador - Cotopaxi Climbing tour

Postby Bullwinkle » Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:23 pm

My son will be on Cotopaxi tomorrow. Will get a TR from him when he returns.
As a mountain more fully reveals itself to a man, so the true nature of the man will be more fully revealed

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Re: Ecuador - Cotopaxi Climbing tour

Postby cheeseburglar » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:26 pm

Bullwinkle wrote:My son will be on Cotopaxi tomorrow. Will get a TR from him when he returns.

I'm wishing him luck. That is an incredible mountain. Looking forward to the TR.

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Re: Ecuador - Cotopaxi Climbing tour

Postby Bullwinkle » Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:02 pm

Bullwinkle wrote:My son will be on Cotopaxi tomorrow. Will get a TR from him when he returns.


Here is the abridged version of my son's ascent of Cotopaxi (5,900m/19,347') yesterday. He has only done a half dozen 14ers with me before, so this was quite a step up for him. Living in Cumbaya for the past month, a rigorous training regimen, and strong perseverance obviously helped.

We met at 8 A.M. at terminal terrestre in southern Quito. Alexis, my Ecuadorian friend and guide, and Chris from Boston College, set out for Cotopaxi. Got a truck to take us to the refuge for $20. That is pricey by local standards, but the same ones usually go for $32. The refuge was just a bit more than a shack, but a welcome sight. We had soggy noodles topped with ketchup, then I ate the first of about 8 PBJs this weekend. Before hitting the sack at dusk, we were talking about a well-known Ecuadorian climber who lost all of his toes while trying to do something on the order of 60 mountains in a month. And just then, there he was coming down the hill to us.

We tried to sleep in a bunk room, but people were clunking around all night in and out--including a group of Ecuadorian soldiers who were climbing the next day. So there was about 10 minutes of silence the whole night--10 minutes in which I did not sleep. We got up at 12:30 A.M. instead of 2:00A and headed out. It was one of the most stunning scenes I have ever seen. I couldn't get a good picture, but it was a cloudless sky with a full moon. The countless stars were beaming brightly. The mountain could be perfectly seen. It was brisk and silent. We headed out feeling pretty good--no headache, but my breathing was somewhat labored. The refuge is at 4,723m (15,491 ft).

On the way up everyone's head lamps could be seen...which was another really sweet view. We were roped together because the entire ascent was snowpack and ice. It was a long and steep hike. It was completely new to me to climb at night with crampons and ice axe. At times I did feel a little fearful as we scaled up or across uncertain snow pack hoping we didn't cause a slide, but we were roped together and safe. We could see all the surrounding mountains and at night we could see the lights of Quito. It was very beautiful...and COLD! At the summit it was about 20 degrees. And...that wasn't factoring in the wind chill with huge wind gusts. I would estimate it was below zero wind chill. Needless to say my hands were the coldest, especially the one holding the axe. Anyways, at 6 AM we reached the summit and were rewarded with a stunning sunrise. It felt good to have everything go well.

We walked part of the way down and then we decided to glissade for awhile because it was much more fun, faster, and easier.
Then we spent most of the morning looking for a ride back to the park entrance. We waited about 5 hours or so to get back to entrance. I even began to make a 5 mile walk to the entrance, but then finally picked up a ride. Took a bus back to south Quito, then the trolley with Chris, then we got on the ecovia (another bus), and then I went from the ecovia to another bus back to Cumbaya. I rewarded myself with McDonald's because I was starving, then walked home. My total return costs from Cotopaxi $1.75, though I would have gladly paid more to speed up the process. Needless to say, it was a long weekend. I haven't really slept since Friday night. I am still going though. :)
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Last edited by Bullwinkle on Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
As a mountain more fully reveals itself to a man, so the true nature of the man will be more fully revealed

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Re: Ecuador - Cotopaxi Climbing tour

Postby socal_ck » Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:56 pm

Thanks for the TR, sounds successful minus the hut noise. I was curious to see what those places were like. I have also been in contact with Freddy from Sierra Nevada (Thanks to previous poster for suggesting him). He seems to be on top of things and anxious to help. Also reasonable prices.

Chris

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Re: Ecuador - Cotopaxi Climbing tour

Postby Haliku » Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:49 am

socal_ck wrote:sounds successful minus the hut noise. I was curious to see what those places were like.


Ear plugs are worth their weight in gold when in the huts. Never expect to sleep real well at 15+k unless you are on a long trip. The key is to just lay down, be still and rest till the alarm goes off. Any sleep you do get is a bonus. Cheers!
"You step onto the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to."

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