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Cotopaxi Climber's Log

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Miguel Angel PerezRoute Climbed: South Route and Normal Route Date Climbed: April, 2002

Miguel Angel Perez

The south route was nice but no better than the north side (normal route). We had to turn around because of an inmense crevease that blocked the route.

On the normal route 2 of the 6 of my group reached the summit. I got sick and turn around at 5.700 m.

Going there again in December 2003 and going down on skis!!!
Posted Aug 22, 2003 11:08 am

Jerry LNormal Route / February, 1976 & February, 2003
Date Climbed: Feb 8, 1976

Jerry L

My first attempt was on February 8, 1976 when I was working there with the Peace Corps. We made it to 17,000' and turned back. I'd forgot about this but was looking through some of my old letters and found several references to our failed attempt.

My next attempt was with my son in February, 2003. We left the refuge at about 1:00 a.m. The weather was terrible with sleet and high winds. It was evident that I had not completely recovered from a virus which I had several days earlier and I felt very weak. I decided to turn around at about 16,500' , short of the glaciers, as I knew I didn't have the energy to summit. My son made it to the glaciers with our guide and then they turned back.
Posted Mar 6, 2003 4:49 am

miztflipRoute Climbed: Normal Route Date Climbed: 15-16 February 2003  Sucess!


Bad luck with the weather as 20 people summited the day we arrived at the hut followed by7-8 inches of snow. We attempted to summit on both days following with both attempts ending around 19,000 due to the avalanche conditions. Tons of other parties climbing with the same results. The day after we left the weather improved and several teams made the summit. It just wasn't my trip.
Posted Feb 25, 2003 9:20 am

tonybell1Route Climbed: Normal Route Date Climbed: January 16, 2003  Sucess!


Good weather and great snow conditions
Posted Feb 23, 2003 8:12 pm

mtnman455Route Climbed: normal Date Climbed: January 2003  Sucess!


we camped just to the right of the hut; too cheep to pay to stay. sumit took 5.5 hours. wicked weather. visibility was about 5m at best. covered in ice. no view at the summit but I still love the summit pic.
Posted Jan 30, 2003 11:42 pm

Zhenya77Route Climbed: Normal Route Date Climbed: December 30, 2002  Sucess!


Once we finished our acclimatization on two Illinizas we moved to Mt. Cotopaxi. From the base camp our team started to climb at around 2:30 am. It was a short hike to a glassier. Being in the dark we did not see the path. So i decided to go vertically up on the glassier. After 3 vertical meters the glassier become less steep. We roped up and continue to climb. Finally i saw a group of German alpinists ahead of us. I followoed there path and finally we were on the right trail. Some of our member was not acclimatized well. Thus they could not keep up with the tempo. At around 6:00 am i decide to continue summit "SOLO". Once i get out of rope i started to move up much more faster. At 9:00 am i reached the summit. I spent there about and hour, and then came back to the base camp. Unfortunatly i had to come back when the sun was way up. Thus it was enormous heat. I ran out of water, which forced me to eat snow. I return to camp safe, however i have to sdmit it was quite a stranious walk for a total of 9 hours
Posted Jan 23, 2003 7:56 pm

El Tigre ValderramaRoute Climbed: Normal Date Climbed: January 11 2003  Sucess!

El Tigre Valderrama

With my wife Annica Carlsson, I summited the Cotopaxi at about 7:30 AM, after about 6.5 hours. We had light rain and ice showers at the beginning of the climb, and higher on the mountain we had strong wind. We could not see the crater! Once down at the Cotopaxi refuge the mountain was absolutely clear-typical....




Posted Jan 11, 2003 2:39 pm

philtowerRoute Climbed: Normal Route Date Climbed: 30 September 2002  Sucess!
Hiked to Cotopaxi in a couple of days after acclimatisation climb of Iliniza Norte, going through El Boliche entrance to national park from El Chaupi.

Left Jose Rivas refuge at 1am and reached summit at 5.30am, so hung around there for 30 minutes to get pictures of sunrise. Back at refuge at 8am. The only difficulties I found were making sure you pick the right entry point to the glacier to get the path to the top (follow a guided party if unsure - I reccied this the day before the climb) and the last crevasse before the summit. This crevasse used to have a metal bridge, but there is now a narrow snow bridge immediately followed by a short steep pitch where care is needed (especially on the descent).

Fantastic views from the top (and indeed on the way up, due to clear starry night with half moon).
Posted Oct 1, 2002 1:41 pm

chiRoute Climbed: Normal Route Date Climbed: 1 August 2002  Sucess!


Nice climb, no real technical difficulties. beware of numerous crevasses. approx. Alpine PD+

Acclimatise well and wait for the weather. The sound of the wind inside the hut can be demoralising but it's worth going up to the top the scree and reassess conditions.
Posted Sep 16, 2002 8:04 am

Erik Van GenechtenRoute Climbed: Normal Date Climbed: July 1998

Erik Van Genechten

We climbed with six people, led by three guides in three rope teams. Weather conditions were excellent.

My buddie Koen and myself took of like a rocket from the refugio. The speed appeared way to fast. It was my first time above 5000m (or even 4000m for that matter) and the lack of experience killed me. Koen and I had to split. Koen continued with the guide while I waited for the second team. I was able to hook up to the second team, but finally had to give up at about 5700m.

One day I will return to conquer this beautiful mountain.
Posted Aug 22, 2002 4:11 am

jpdoumeyrouRoute Climbed: normal route Date Climbed: feb 2002  Sucess!


First high altitude experience for my partner (I wasn't so hot myself). Ugly weather ( http://www.geocities.com/jpdoumeyrou/ecuador2002/gallerie2.html ) Lack of training. Turned around at the level of the black rocks. Lost my seeing glasses on the way down. Very tired. Loved it.
Posted Aug 9, 2002 6:12 am

BicRungeeRoute Climbed: Normal Date Climbed: January 2001  Sucess!

Climbed with Matt "dad" Sherman and Linda Josephson after spending one night in noisy refugio. Cold & windy on glacier with some frozen precipitation. Several crevasse bridges (more apparent descending) and a traverse of moderately steep terrain - maybe 40 to 45 degrees. Sunny & warm on summit. Impressive crater. Routine descent though snow conditions had softened, of course, and anti-balling plates might have been helpful on crampons.
Posted Jul 10, 2002 3:30 pm

Henning LegeRoute Climbed: normal Date Climbed: 4-January-1998  Sucess!
A very smooth climb with an Ecuadorian guide.

Before visiting Ecuador, I had not even tried to summit any of Europes 4000m peaks! Thus, when I had to abandon my ambitions of observing Mountain Tapir or Spectacled Bear in the wild, I certainly was the amateur on any summit attempt to follow.

It turned out, however, that others were prepared even less. Several tour groups (especially from my home country) failed the same day predictably, because they had not bothered enough to acclimatizise.
Posted Jun 13, 2002 6:30 am

tiefenthalerRoute Climbed: Normal route Date Climbed: 25 April 1987  Sucess!


Start at the hut at 4 am. Summited 9:30 am. We were lucky with the weather since the clouds started to come in after 10 am.
Posted May 19, 2002 5:11 am

thomas.schmeidlDate Climbed: April 1986  Sucess!


Summitted with Wolfi and Schol after reaching the crater rim NOT at the highest point.
Posted Mar 19, 2002 4:53 pm

Bernhard SauerRoute Climbed: Standard Date Climbed: January 1988  Sucess!

Bernhard Sauer

Intended to fly with the paraglider from the summit...unfortunately it was far to windy and I carried the paraglider back to the hut
Posted Jan 25, 2002 2:39 am

ZekeRoute Climbed: Standard Date Climbed: Jan 2001  Sucess!


Left the hut at 1am... reached the top in 6 1/2 hours.. what an awsome summit. Great views or our next peak, Chimobrazo and other volcanoes...

route does get steep in sections. Roped up toward the top near the Yanasacha Black Band.

Great next step after Orizaba and Ecuador was a great country.

we got caught in the middle of economic uprest and were also robbed at gunpoint by 3 bandito's in Quito. there were 4 of us and they attacked us anyway. i would try to take mace in your luggage or better yet, buy some while your over there as a precaution. This was not fun but we did fight back and fought them off.

recomend carrying mace and only the money you will need at the moment on you. do NOT carry all your cash. Also, carry a copy of your passport, not the original.
Posted Nov 28, 2001 12:44 pm

ElwoodRoute Climbed: Normal Route Date Climbed: 1/21/99  Sucess!


We spent 2-nights in the hut, which I highly recommend. Summit day was quite windy, cold, & with variable clouds. There were a few steep sections higher-up, although the last 150 yds. was quite gradual to the summit. Caution! is advised on the way down, as it warms-up, & due to your close proximity to the equator. You'll experience increased balling effect upon your crampons. We stayed the night in Latacunga, which worked-out well, except for some unknown reason, this town wasn't too friendly. I don't have an answer, because the rest of Ecuador was very hospitable. Overall, I would say this is a good mountain, & also a good country to step-up the altitude!
Posted Oct 21, 2001 7:34 pm

jasonconnellRoute Climbed: Normal Date Climbed: NOV/99  Sucess!


My friends and I Summited in NOV/99 after quite an ordeal. Brian (middle in yellow) (Jason on left) and (Galen on right)

We Summited the Illiniza's about two weeks before for acclimatization, the plan was to head out to Cotapaxi straight away, that was the plan :-)

The 4X4 taxi got us up to the hut with no problem, we made a early summit attempt along with 20-30 other climbers, after only an hour and a half or so Brian had burned through 3 sets of fresh batteries in his borrowed headlamp, It was 3AM with no Moon light so we decided to descend. We waited the rest of the day for our 4X4 taxi to haul us dejectedly back to Quito.

After recouping for a couple of days (drinking beer all day) we hired another taxi to take us to the hut, we were assured that his 4 door Korean sedan would make it all the way. Wrong! it snowed while we were away and we had no chains, it was Midnight and we were stuck at 14000' in a midsize sedan. The driver tried to convince us we were only a couple of minutes walk away from the hut, my altimeter and knowledge of the road (having been there 2 days before) told us otherwise.

The trip back is when the fun really began, our driver was either drunk, very tired or both, he began swerving and driving very erratically, we made it all the way back to Old Town "Quito" before he fell asleep and high sided the car on a foot and a half high divider. The little accident blew out both his front tires and bent his front struts.

We managed to flag down a Taxi (now being 3AM) and get back to our Hotel.

Finally we rented a mini SUV and drove ourselves up to the mountain, this is a another story in itself but we ended up climbing Cotapaxi that night without to much more excitement.

Jason Connell

Posted Jul 10, 2001 8:24 pm

JoshRoute Climbed: Normal Date Climbed: 12/99  Sucess!


During late December 1999 and early January 2000, I spent some time traveling and climbing in Ecuador. While I was there, I climbed Cotopaxi and a couple other smaller peaks. On Cotopaxi, I overestimated how long it would take me to get from the Refuge to the summit. This put me on top about an hour-and-a-half before sunrise. I was the last person to start from the Refuge, but the first to summit. I passed about 30 people along the way. I didn't feel like hanging out at 19K ft for 90 minutes, so I headed down without really getting any good views. I did the climb solo (not recommended). The snow bridges over the crevasses seemed pretty stable, and the route was so well-traveled that I felt pretty safe. I was dubbed "gringo loco" back at the Refuge.
Posted Mar 30, 2001 9:26 pm

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