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Cotopaxi and Chimborazo Advice

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Re: Cotopaxi and Chimborazo Advice

Postby JB99 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:57 pm

Thanks for all the replies. Glad to know I don't need to find another couple hundred dollars for plastics before this trip. Hopefully it will be warm. [-o<
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Re: Cotopaxi and Chimborazo Advice

Postby snake » Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:57 am

Everyone is right on about Coto. Mass crowds and if you've done a good job of staying healthy on your trip so far...nothing like a night or two in the Cotopaxi hut will be better at jeapordizing that. Mice poop, super close quarters, etc... I would recommend staying at Tambopaxi, its a short drive from the base of Coto, its clean, great people and food, wine bar, plus you'll sleep much better at the lower alt. And its true about local guides pushing clients way past their limits. Really frustrating to watch. Avoid them.

On Chimborazo things are different. Castillo was our route. You may even have the mountain to yourself as most 'commercial' trip stopped going here a few years ago. As everyone here said, rockfall is a problem. When we were there the lower route was barron, frozen mud. Very poor. An hour onto the ridge massive serac fall caused 2 in our party to turn around, later avy conditions did the same for us. Castillo conditions were so poor, we decended via the Vista del Sol route. I went with a American UIAGM guide (who had lived in Ecuador, and climbed Cotopaxi 30 times) as well as a local guide (100+Coto summits) he had worked with for years and trusted. I'm basically echoing all they had to say about climbing in Ecuador. Oh, I would recommend double plastics and middle weight down parka. Everyone has a different trip but ours was a cold one. Enjoy it!
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Re: Cotopaxi and Chimborazo Advice

Postby djbritton » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:10 pm

I'm thinking about trying to get down to Ecuador in the next couple years as well and was wondering if anybody has any opinions on some of the US guide companies that offer trips there? Or just overall experience with that type of setup vs. arranging your own transportation and accommodations...

RMI, IMG, and Alpine Ascents all have fairly similar programs:
http://www.rmiguides.com/international/?id=24
http://www.mountainguides.com/ecuador.shtml
http://www.alpineascents.com/ecuador.asp

Thanks for any feedback!
Dan

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Re: Cotopaxi and Chimborazo Advice

Postby Haliku » Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:09 am

Best advice I can offer is book locally with an Ecuadorian company and save a ton of money. They have quality guides and logistics already. My choice is Sierra Nevada--they also have a hostel in Quito. Cheers!

djbritton wrote:I'm thinking about trying to get down to Ecuador in the next couple years as well and was wondering if anybody has any opinions on some of the US guide companies that offer trips there? Or just overall experience with that type of setup vs. arranging your own transportation and accommodations...
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Re: Cotopaxi and Chimborazo Advice

Postby djbritton » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:14 am

Haliku wrote:Best advice I can offer is book locally with an Ecuadorian company and save a ton of money. They have quality guides and logistics already. My choice is Sierra Nevada--they also have a hostel in Quito. Cheers!


Do they have their prices published on their website? I couldn't find them... And I know a lot of people have used their hostel, but didn't realize that they offered guide services as well, so thanks!!

Cheers,
Dan

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Re: Cotopaxi and Chimborazo Advice

Postby snake » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:29 pm

Highly recommend Climbing Life Guides. You would be climbing with a fully certified IFMGA and AMGA guide who has lived in Ecuador (fully fluent in Spanish, knows the sites, resturants, etc...) as well as a local guide who is just one of 2 Ecuadorian guides to be IFMGA certified. Speaks for itself. Had an A+ time with them a few years ago, and am planning a Peru trip with them too. Give the site and trip a real look over.

http://guide.climbinglife.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=29&Itemid=52
http://climbinglife.com/
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Re: Cotopaxi and Chimborazo Advice

Postby Haliku » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:49 pm

Best to request a price based on your objectives and what you want. I used their transport and hotel for my trip. Next time I'll consider hiring the driver to also be a cook while we're on the mountains.

djbritton wrote:Do they have their prices published on their website? I couldn't find them... And I know a lot of people have used their hostel, but didn't realize that they offered guide services as well, so thanks!!


I'll also second the use of Eli's services. He's a great guy and guide with lots of experience in South America. But if cost of the trip is a concern don't forget to look locally when climbing in SA. Cheers!

snake wrote:Highly recommend Climbing Life Guides. You would be climbing with a fully certified IFMGA and AMGA guide who has lived in Ecuador (fully fluent in Spanish, knows the sites, resturants, etc...) as well as a local guide who is just one of 2 Ecuadorian guides to be IFMGA certified. Speaks for itself. Had an A+ time with them a few years ago, and am planning a Peru trip with them too. Give the site and trip a real look over.
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Re: Cotopaxi and Chimborazo Advice

Postby akiggins » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:52 am

Does anyone know who easy it would be too pick up a climbing buddy down there? I'm going on a volunteer work camp for a few of weeks near Quito there in May/June, and will have 5-6 days at the end for tourist type stuff. The difficulty of the climb doesn't bother me, but I've no interest in glacier travel unless there's someone else on the end of the rope.
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Re: Cotopaxi and Chimborazo Advice

Postby cheeseburglar » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:02 pm

akiggins wrote:Does anyone know who easy it would be too pick up a climbing buddy down there? I'm going on a volunteer work camp for a few of weeks near Quito there in May/June, and will have 5-6 days at the end for tourist type stuff. The difficulty of the climb doesn't bother me, but I've no interest in glacier travel unless there's someone else on the end of the rope.
thanks
Andrew


With that amount of time down there you should be able to find someone. Quito has some pretty active mountaineering clubs. When Astrobassman and I were down there we ran into a couple guys from one of the clubs in a small pizza joint. They offered to take me rock climbing on my extra day, but the schedule didn't work out. You could look up a club when down there and might find someone who wanted to go up.
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Re: Cotopaxi and Chimborazo Advice

Postby ShaunLaws » Sun Jul 11, 2010 4:27 pm

hi all,

I'm heading to Ecuador to do a climb on Chimborazo this August and I've got a few questions.

1) Insurance - can anyone recommend a good US-based company through which to get travel insurance (including rescue)?
2) I'm interested in peoples thoughts about taking avalanche safety gear on Chimborazo. It's not mentioned on any gear lists I've seen recommended.
3) Anyone been there very recently - i would like latest info on the condition of the routes, particularly on the danger of rockfall on the normal route and the potential for serac collapse on the whymper route

Re: Cotopaxi and Chimborazo Advice

Postby jimlup » Sun Jul 11, 2010 8:03 pm

ShaunLaws wrote:hi all,

I'm heading to Ecuador to do a climb on Chimborazo this August and I've got a few questions.

1) Insurance - can anyone recommend a good US-based company through which to get travel insurance (including rescue)?
2) I'm interested in peoples thoughts about taking avalanche safety gear on Chimborazo. It's not mentioned on any gear lists I've seen recommended.
3) Anyone been there very recently - i would like latest info on the condition of the routes, particularly on the danger of rockfall on the normal route and the potential for serac collapse on the whymper route

Shaun, I'd recommend starting with the American Alpine Club. They offer a membership rescue services (they say it isn't "insurance"). They give members a $5000 coverage for evacuation to the nearest hospital. You can get more coverage through them:

https://www.americanalpineclub.org/pt/globalrescue

http://www.globalrescue.com/affinity/AAC/AAC.html

Anyway, that's were I'd start.
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Re: Cotopaxi and Chimborazo Advice

Postby Scott P » Sun Jul 11, 2010 8:28 pm

2) I'm interested in peoples thoughts about taking avalanche safety gear on Chimborazo. It's not mentioned on any gear lists I've seen recommended.


The two standard routes on Chimborazo are prone to icefall and/or rockfall. Avalanche gear won't do you that much good, unless you are there after a fresh snowstorm. In that case, it might be a good idea, but otherwise it won't be needed.

3) Anyone been there very recently - i would like latest info on the condition of the routes, particularly on the danger of rockfall on the normal route and the potential for serac collapse on the whymper route


Just in case no one has more updated information, I can relate my experience, but it is from 2007, so take it with a grain of salt.

In 2007, the best route to avoid the rockfall on the Castillo route and the icefall on the Wymper route was to climb the Wymper route to below the section that is prone to icefall and then traverse laterally (with steep slopes and some large crevasses) to the Castillo route and then to climb that to the top.

The dangerous part of the Wymper route is in the photo below:

Image

We came up the right side of the photo and traversed the slopes between the two ice cliffs over to the Castillo Route which is left of the photo. Inquire locally to see if this is still the best route.
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