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Cotacachi
Mountain/Rock

Cotacachi

 
Cotacachi

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Ecuador, South America

Object Title: Cotacachi

Elevation: 16204 ft / 4939 m

 

Page By: Mblue01

Created/Edited: Feb 26, 2004 / Sep 25, 2005

Object ID: 152370

Hits: 10832 

Page Score: 81.56%  - 14 Votes 

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Overview


For the adventurous tourist and the lover of mountain climbing, this climb offers an opportunity to ascend to the top of the volcano at 4,939 meters above sea level. This climb crosses volcanic rock and snow as well as the flora and fauna that is native to the highlands, offering the visitor a spectacular view of the “Avenue of the Volcanoes” and of all the province of Imbabura.

Not many people climb the mountain.

Getting There


The volcano is near Otavalo in Imbabura province, 68 miles northeast of the capital Quito. It's part of the Cotacachi/Cayapas Ecological Reserve.
You start climbing at 3200m. After a 5 hour climb you reach 4200m were we camped. The next morning we went up till 4750m where we had to stop because we didn't carry crampons with us and it became too dangerous.

Red Tape


You don't need a permit.

The Cotacachi stems from the Pleistocene and is heavily cut due to past glacial activity. This makes climbing a long and relatively difficult task.

We climbed the mountian with Runa Tupari Native Travel (http://www.runatupari.com) and payed 60US for 2 days (native Guide, food, transportation, tents, mats). Very cheap and good service altough they don't have the equipment to go all the way to the top (final 50-100m).
This is also the reason I can't give a detailed route description.

When To Climb


Summertime (June - September).

This mountain is often covered in clouds and frequently has poor weather.


Camping


Camping is allowed (free), no huts.

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Mblue01Untitled Comment

Mblue01

Hasn't voted

We climbed the mountian with Runa Tupari Native Travel (http://www.runatupari.com) and payed 60US for 2 days (native Guide, food, transportation, tents, mats). Very cheap and good service altough they don't have the equipment to go all the way to the top (final 50-100m).
Posted Feb 26, 2004 12:27 pm
Cloudwalker757climbing info

Cloudwalker757

Hasn't voted

Just a few notes that may provide more info on climbing Cotacachi. One can hire a caminetta (2wd pickup) from Otavalo or the small town before the lake for about $50 one way. It will take you to the antennas and cut off about 1000M of climbing on a badly washed out road. The climb from antennas (about 4000M)to top is close to 1000M. The route is marked very well with cairns down lower but is difficult to follow higher up. A helmet is a necessity due to constant rockfall. Some guide books call it scrambling to the top but others call it class 5. We did not get that high due to rockfall hazard. There are several ok campsites at antennas and further up that are large enough for a small tent or two. The cabinas at the crater lake inside the National Park are very comfortable with hot water showers and fireplace for $12 per night in 2006. There is also a 4x4 at these upper cabinas that will take you to the antennas for $50 one way. The government run cabins on the shore of lake are nicer and include dinner and breakfast for $25/night. Govt cabinas accept credit cards. The lake is at about 3100M and the trail up Cotacachi starts as a dirt road to the right of the toll booth when entering park.
Posted Dec 22, 2006 4:03 pm

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