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VivyenneHasta la vista normal route

Vivyenne

Hasn't voted

Almost all teams are now using the "rompecorazones" as the regular route; several of the guides I spoke to said that the crevasse on the normal route is now impassible (as of july 2013 there were some metal ladders installed).
Posted Dec 12, 2013 9:32 pm

crybabyCotopaxi climb Jan 2014

Hasn't voted

Made the summit of Cotopaxi Jan 2, 2014. The refugio is currently being expanded and there are no bathrooms for the climbers or other public. No bathrooms, with 30-70 people a day coming through there. Not good. There are two portapotties for the construction guys and the portos are a mess. We went the normal route up, which is redirected around the "ladder crevasse" mentioned above; we had no such difficulty. Success rate for climbers is 50-60% due to non-aclimatization, so best work this into your plans. Consider diamox. Don't underestimate this climb, as it's no walk in the park. It's steep, long, cold, and exhilarating, and way worth the effort.
Posted Jan 6, 2014 12:00 am

VivyenneRefugio closed

Vivyenne

Hasn't voted

starting 19 January, the José Ribas refugio is closed for repairs. http://www.ambiente.gob.ec/cierre-de-refugio-jose-ribas-ubicado-en-el-parque-nacional-cotopaxi/
Posted Jan 27, 2014 11:02 pm

DlthummerApril 2014

Hasn't voted

Refugio was closed so you start from the parking lot which adds 75 min or so of slogging up 250 vert meters of pumice , then the heartbreaker is the only route being used now ... So this was much more grueling than it was a year ago , do not underestimate not being able to acclimate a night at the Refugio .. I climbed illiniza 2 days before and had been above 3000 meters for weeks but still got sick at 5500 meters ... I would not climb this until the Refugio reopens again.. Will be much more enjoyable
Posted Jul 18, 2014 9:44 pm

EthanMoscosoRe: April 2014

Hasn't voted

Another option is to use the Original "South Face" route. While it's not as popular, it's definitely becoming more popular and there is a great camping spot at 4,800 meters above sea level (the same height as Jose Ribas refugio on the northern side.) Additionally, I know people have been complaining about the rompecorazones route, but the South Face route is easier as there are fewer seracs on it allowing the route to wind up easily. Although there was a report of a bergschrund a few years back. Anyway, I am climbed the normal north face route in 2010 (to yanasacha) and in 2012 (to the summit,) I'm climbing the South Face in 1.5ish weeks so I will let you know how it is with a trip report (but don't expect it until after because I will be climbing chimborazo too possibly by the new tortillas valley marco cruz route.)

Posted Jul 22, 2014 11:23 pm

GenevieveRefugio still closed as of October

Genevieve

Voted 10/10

Hi all, just summited Cotopaxi on Weds-Thurs. The refugio is definitely still under construction and though it was supposed to be done by November, it doesn't look as though it will. There is a great little place called the Rinconada within tbe park where people can stay, sleeps about 15. Good luck to anyone coming down to climb - it's an awesome challenge.
Posted Oct 25, 2014 4:50 pm

deliaCotopaxi late December

Hasn't voted

Hi, I was wondering if anyone on the forum is going to Cotopaxi in late december.
Also, does anyone have suggestions on how to organize the climb if the refuge is still closed? Does one camp at the parking lot or is it better to camp near the refuge oreven higher? And, should I hire a guide, or is the path very clear? We have little experience with terrains where crevasses can be hidden by snow bridges. Thank you!
Posted Nov 21, 2014 12:52 pm

VivyenneRe: Cotopaxi late December

Vivyenne

Hasn't voted

1) Refugio - still closed. Lots of dark looks and disgruntled muttering; word on the street is that it will be finished some time between March and Never.

2) Camping - most people, and most commercial trips, end up in one of two spots: "La Rincondada" near Limpiapungo lake, which has beds (10 USD for nationals, 20 USD for foreigners, not sure if includes dinner/breakfast). But there are about 15 bunks and they fill up quickly. We camped next door, for free, but there is no use of the kitchen. Other option is Tambopaxi, which I think has camping facilities - no idea how much they charge. Some people camp in the parking lot (very windy); others camp up in the building site of the Refugio, or else up a little bit behind it. There is no camping at Limpiapungo itself.

3) Red tape - restrictions about climbing unguided are still technically in place, however, the park entrance seems not to care much. Last several times I have been in there, they have just asked everyone to register, didn't ask what we were doing there, and if they decided I looked foreign enough (I am, but have ECU residency), made me sign a disclaimer. There were quite a number of teams climbing without guides, including ours.

4) As of last weekend, the route is VERY clear. There is a large crevasse at around 5,400m, which has a very solid snow bridge (something like 60 - 80 people crossed it last weekend, so it seems to hold). It's a straight shot all the way up and otherwise nothing tricky.

Happy climbing...
Posted Dec 10, 2014 10:28 am

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