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Ecuador climbing conditions..?

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Ecuador climbing conditions..?

Postby knighter » Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:30 am

Was hoping someone had some current info or recent experience on Antisana and Chimborazo's conditions at the moment?

I've been hearing mixed reviews on whether they are in condition to be climbed right now?? I am arriving in Quito Nov. 26th for 3 weeks of climbing with Freddy @ Sierra Nevada. He seems to be trying to persuade me to give up on both peaks and resort to Cayambe and Cotopaxi instead? I've climbed both Cayambe and Coto' on a previous trip as well as Chimbo' so I have little interest in repeating that exact trip!

I've heard from numerous guiding outfits that they plan on going ahead with their planned trips to Antisana and Chimbo' during the same timeframe? Obviously these peaks are always going to be condition dependent during the time I am there, but it seems odd to me that he's attempting to write them off well before I even get there? Especially when I'm hearing that there is no more concern than normal for these mountains, with the exception of increased rockfall danger on Chimbo' due to the glacial melt.

Anyone that could shed a little light on this in any way, would be greatly appreciated.

Chris
Winnipeg,Canada
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Re: Ecuador climbing conditions..?

Postby CBakwin » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:57 pm

Hey Chris, if you get some more info on either of these peaks, or if you go down and find out for yourself, PLEASE send the info on to me in a PM, huh? I will be there in January and both are of interest to me. Good Luck.
-Chris
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Re: Ecuador climbing conditions..?

Postby hurdler » Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:30 pm

I'm scheduled to take a crack at Chimbo in mid-December. Does anyone know if there's a substantive difference between the mountain's conditions in November vice December?
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Re: Ecuador climbing conditions..?

Postby knighter » Wed Nov 17, 2010 6:04 am

I leave Nov 26th. Hopefully I get at least a shot at these two great peaks.

I'll keep you guys posted after the climbs on the conditions etc....around mid December.

Knighter
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Re: Ecuador climbing conditions..?

Postby CBakwin » Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:09 pm

Thanks knighter, Good Luck! Hurdler, perhaps you could post here as well?
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Ecuador climbing conditions..?

Postby Boriss Andean » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:24 pm

Rockfall danger had increased in Chimborazo, specially if you are thinking to climb by El Corredor. There's another alternative route called "Guargalleños", it starts at the left side of the Carrel refuge at 4,800 m. This route will add at least a couple more hours just to get you to El Castillo which is the rock formation where the normal route passes. Climbers are summiting the main summit by either route. I'd say... just go for Chimborazo, it's climbable now!

Regarding Antisana, I know there's a huge cornice at the summit, which has been stopping most of the climbing parties for summiting this volcano. I think the western face will be more climbable, even though it's steeper and full of crevasses. See you around in Dec. 2010.

Cayambe, you'll have to climb down to the bergsgrund in order to access to the summit.

Enjoy your climbs! :)
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Re: Ecuador climbing conditions..?

Postby andre hangaard » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:02 am

Thanks for the info Boriss! Great to hear that the climbing conditions on Chimborazo seems ok!
It looks as a really good alternative to use the Guargalleños route to avoid rock falls. I do not mind some extra hours as I plan, as you know, to set up my tent at the El Castillo-rock for an overnight camp. I just need to find some more info on Guargalleños. Perhaps it is visisble on some of the pictures. Anyway, I'll be around for Cotopaxi and Chimbo soon! Hope to leave in two weeks and hope to see you! Cheers. André
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Re: Ecuador climbing conditions..?

Postby Boriss Andean » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:44 pm

Thanks Andre!

Ill see you for sure up there.There's a nice flat area behind El castillo where you can pitch your tent. Keep in touch!

Note: In the event of trying the Corredor route, try to get back to the Whymper refuge no later than 9 or 10 am, in order to avoid rock fall danger from El Castillo.

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Re: Ecuador climbing conditions..?

Postby Boriss Andean » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:43 am

Here some current information about conditions on Ecuador's highest mountains. We had a considerable amount of new fresh snow up in the mountains during the last couple weeks but some of them are climbable right now. I got these reports from my co-workers who got to be guiding on some of them.

- Chimborazo: New fresh soft snow, still not climbable above 5,800 m. Avalanch danger. The "corredor" looks great at the moment, though.

- Cotopaxi: Lots of new snow but climbable. At least a total of 30 climbers summited yesterday (Nov.30.2010).

- Cayambe: A huge summit cornice collapse and covered the bergschrund. There's access to the summit again!

- I don't have any reports from Antisana and Illiniza Sur yet. I'll update this info as soon as I know something else or if somebody knows something, I'd appreciate it. Hope this info help a bit :)

Boriss...
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Re: Ecuador climbing conditions..?

Postby hurdler » Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:08 am

Hi Boris - Is it unlikely that the conditions will improve significantly within 2 weeks time? Also, is the "corredor" a more technically challenging route than the standard route? Thanks.
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Re: Ecuador climbing conditions..?

Postby Boriss Andean » Sat Dec 04, 2010 3:08 am

hurdler wrote:Is it unlikely that the conditions will improve significantly within 2 weeks time? Also, is the "corredor" a more technically challenging route than the standard route? Thanks.


For what I've gotten to know lately, conditions in Chimborazo are still the same, nobody has summited it yet because of snow accumulation. The weather hasn't changed yet and you can find snow as low as the highway. You can't even drive your car up to the first refuge now (4,800 m). It's hard to forecast weather conditions in the Ecuadorian Andes, but if the weather inproves and if the new snow gets compacted, the standart route (EL Castillo/El Corredor) will look perfect and pretty safe for climbing. I wouldn't recommend the Whymper route yet. I climbed by this route in June and we had less snow accumulation than now, and it still was unsafe (we almost triggered an avalanch).

El Castillo is the castle shaped rock formation located at the northwestern ridge of Chimbo. El corredor is a long traverse that ends up at the base of El Castillo. These are the standard routes. Whymper and Tiellman are the more technically challenging routes.

Meanwhile, Cotopaxi is climbable and looks safe, despite the new snow accumulation which get's as low as the parking lot now (4,600 m).

Conditions in Illiniza Norte and Sur are excellent at the moment. The last cold nights compacted the new snow perfectly. The temperature dropped as low as 4 C in Quito during this week.
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Re: Ecuador climbing conditions..?

Postby Boriss Andean » Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:56 pm

The whole range is covered by new fresh snow at the moment, as low as 4,500 m. Climbers who pushed for the summits during the last week were lucky. It's still possible to climb the higher volcanoes but the new fresh snow will increase the difficulty of the climbs.

Days are pretty warm lately so thunderstorms are a real danger on low/mid altitude mountains during the afternoon hours.

Hopefully temperatures drop a bit in the next days in order to climb on more consistent snow.
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Re: Ecuador climbing conditions..?

Postby centrifuge » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:35 pm

I am sitting at tambopaxi right now staring at what should be the base of Cotopaxi, but is a solid bank of clouds. There have been a few breaks low in the clouds but none high and I could see fresh snow low on the mountain. There is no snow at tambopaxi but it's been raining most of the day. Now comes the struggle to make a decision as to an attempt on Friday...
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Re: Ecuador climbing conditions..?

Postby PAROFES » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:42 am

Well i hope things get better in the next weeks because i'll be there at jan 1st!

Good luck to us all.
:)
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Re: Ecuador climbing conditions..?

Postby ekunitz » Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:47 am

Thank you all for the information. I'll be heading down the 24th of Dec., and have enjoyed the updates. Keep it coming!
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