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Anybody ever climbed Chimborazo or Cotopaxi??!!

Regional discussion and conditions reports for South America. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the South American Climbing Partners section.
 

Postby mstender » Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:06 pm

I have not been to Ecuador, but I have been to Peru and no vaccination was needed there as long as stay in the mountains. It might be a good idea though to pick up a prescription of Ciprofloxacin (a braod spectrum antibiotic). I have seen several Americans and Europeans (myself included) go down big time with an intestinal bug in Peru. It is not a lot of fun to sit at basecamp at 14000ft, you are about 4-5 drive on a bad dirt track away from civilization and you have liquids shooting out of all your body openings. Seriously, at the first sign of a diarrhea it's a good idea to pop Cipro down there.
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silly shots

Postby wickedgood » Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:30 pm

Yeah, the health department in this county recommended about 5 different shots including hep A and B, tetanus, yellow fever shots, etc. Seemed a bit crazy since i will spend most of my time surrounded by all things frozen...
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Re: silly shots

Postby Haliku » Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:52 pm

wickedgood wrote:Yeah, the health department in this county recommended about 5 different shots including hep A and B, tetanus, yellow fever shots, etc. Seemed a bit crazy since i will spend most of my time surrounded by all things frozen...


Hep A would be good even for the USA. You'll be in plenty of places that aren't frozen. The only snow/ice is right on the peak. Getting there is dirt, trees, etc. Cheers!
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Re: silly shots

Postby mstender » Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:05 pm

[quote="Haliku]Hep A would be good even for the USA. You'll be in plenty of places that aren't frozen. The only snow/ice is right on the peak. Getting there is dirt, trees, etc. Cheers![/quote]
I totally forgot now that Haliku mentioned it. I actually did get the Hep A shots.
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Postby ropes0410 » Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:01 am

I took a trip to Ecuador this past January with a friend on mine. We spent 5 days in Quito and acclimated on pasachoa, Illiniza Norte, made it to 18,000 on Cayambe before turning around due to fatigue and weather, then summitted Cotopaxi in brutal conditions. The winds at and just below the summit almost brought us to a standstill. We were also completely covered in Rime Ice within the first hour of the climb. The slopes also got lightly windloaded which made getting solid crampon purchase pretty much impossible. it required a tremendous physical effort to complete the climb. we stayed on the summit for about 30 seconds before heading down. I seemed to acclimate a bit slower than most, Cotopaxi was the first climb i actually felt strong on and if i hadn't acclimated like i did i would not have been able to make it up in those conditions. it was like half a step backward for every step forward for the last 800ft or so. Only to be hit by a windgust that felt like someone was trying to push you over. in short, everything i love about alpine climbing :) As far as gear we used mostly synthetic layers and insulation but brought some lightweight inner down 800 fill jackets which proved to work awesome! We also both wore single boots and both got cold toes on Coto, but by just concentrating on flexing our toes every other step or so we were able to keep them pretty comfortable. I think the 7 day plan in ambitious, but you could probably squeeze at least two of the big ones in. just remember, especially if you are going unguided, the logistics are pretty tough. Ecuador is a small country, but with mountains all around it takes a while to get around.
Anyway, this is probably to long, but i would suggest getting more time there at least to just take sometime to explore the country. i found the Ecuadorian people to be warm and of a beautiful culture. I can't wait to go back! And the new years celebration was one of he most impressive things i have ever seen. Definitely recommended. Just be careful of the Pilsner, that stuff sneaks up on you at altitute :)
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sun block

Postby wickedgood » Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:02 pm

For those who have been up on these peaks, what kind/level sunblock did you use on your face?
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Re: sun block

Postby Haliku » Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:10 am

wickedgood wrote:For those who have been up on these peaks, what kind/level sunblock did you use on your face?


The same you use skiing or climbing in Colorado.
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Postby colint » Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:24 am

spf 45 should be fine. reapply mid-day. or buy some fancy stuff.
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Postby Henning Lege » Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:36 am

Concerning 'medication':
All I brought along was something to desinfect drinking water. And I definitely used it!
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Postby wickedgood » Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:17 pm

what was the name of the water disinfectant? was it iodine tabs? i freaking hate the taste of iodine water! turns my stomach.
what about being a vegetarian, doesn't sound like that will be a problem there...
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Postby divnamite » Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:21 pm

Aqua Mira for water treament.
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Postby wickedgood » Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:54 pm

is that something an outdoor shop might carry?
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Postby Woodie Hopper » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:12 pm

I took a pump and bought bottled water. I don't like the pills.
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Postby The Defiant One » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:23 pm

Radson, your awesome pic from Coto's summit in a tshirt made me laugh. I would have killed for that.

Here's me on the summit on christmas morning, 2008.

To the OP, just be flexible and thoughtful up there, you'll be fine. Everyone is different with altitude, my partner and i have gone from sea-level to 5000meters several times in short bursts, and never been sick. Though, I'm sure it'll happen sooner or later.

have fun


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Unreallistic

Postby John Climber » Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:58 pm

What I think, (one opinion extra to join the rest of the 'common sense' opinions that I have read here...)...is that 5 summits in 9 days is a lot...for a programmed tour....

This plan could be possible with (too) many factors being positive: good weather, good phisical condition of all the members of the group, good acclimatization (I doubt about this acclimatizationplan of this agency you go with!, which is also optimistic), no extra logistic problems.... I think this company will follow that plan without careing who can follow it and who will fall out of it.

When I am planning a big mountain I am adding an extra day (a day without any programmed content) like a reserve, just in case of bad weather, need of extra acclimatisation, logistic problem, ...If the day is not needed you will always find something to fill it with. But, of course, this is not possible with a programmed group-tour.

My advise, then...be careful with this company and with yourself.
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