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ecuador

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ecuador

Postby shanahan96 » Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:17 am

a couple of us are planning on heading to the andes for our first real high-altitude expedition next june/july. we are planning on heading down there for 15-16 days with plans to do iliniza norte, cotopaxi, chimborazo, and cayambe. i believe that coming from colorado with extensive climbing above 13,000 feet during the coming winter and spring, climbing only one acclimization peak, iliniza norte, will be necessary before tackling the big three. anyone have an opinion or advice about this? thanks

jamie
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Postby Woodie Hopper » Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:35 am

I'm going to do a similar trip over two weeks near the end of October. I'll post a trip report afterwards so you can see how it turns out. I'm planning some local climbing near Denver for acclimatization before going to the Ilinizas, Cotopaxi and Chimbo.

Woodie
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Postby shanahan96 » Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:10 pm

hey, thanks guys! we've looked at guagua pichincha as an option but the only reasonable mode of transportation is a jeep for $100. the bus route would probably make this an overnighter, so we decided to pass on it.

iliniza norte's on our agenda because we actually want to climb it. you know, get a peak under your belt once you get down there. and yes, being climbing dorks, the personal altitude record is pretty cool to us. would love to climb sur too, but that looks like it'll have to wait for a second trip to go with antisana and possibly anything the weather doesn't permit us to summit.

jamie
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Postby smason505 » Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:52 pm

I was in ecuador last summer and climbed pichincha and several other smaller peaks near quito. Pichincha is a great climb and its very close to quito. If you are coming from colorado and have climbed above 13k recently, you will have no problem. My only advice is beware of theft on your transportation to and from the mountain. We hired a private driver and almost got mugged (our driver drove away from the guy holding a gun). If you drive yourself, be careful about parking near the trailhead.

Besides that, pichincha is a great easy hike to almost 16k.
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Postby shanahan96 » Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:53 pm

yeah, mugging/robbery seems to be quite the problem is the guagua area, especially on rucu. we'll probably head straight to the ilinizas from quito. it sounds like travel is much safer away from the big city, except at night.

woody- i'll be more than happy to post a trip report. it's still 10-11 months away so hopefully you don't need the information too soon.

jamie
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Postby Ario » Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:28 pm

Yep, living at 1500 m in Boulder helps a lot with acclimatizing :wink: there should be no problem for you guys !
However going for a 13k or even a 14 k just before your departure (a week) would definitely set the thing even for a start at 5100m with Iliniza Norte.

:idea: if you come up reconsidering Pichincha, Marcial Vasquez, the President of the Ecuadorian Guides Association (ASEGUIM) offers the transportation (driver and gas included) for 60 USD (Jan 06).

climb high !
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Postby 96avs01 » Sun Aug 13, 2006 1:59 am

Best of luck Jamie, we are planning a nearly identical trip for the first two weeks in August next year! One of our team members will be working in the Ecuadoran jungle for ~10 weeks prior to the climb so if he has any insider info I will be sure to pass it along to you for your trip.
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Temperature

Postby hashfxn » Tue Aug 15, 2006 7:43 am

Question for the Ecuador veterans, how cold was it when you guys went and what kind of footwear did you bring along for your climbs?
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Postby Ario » Wed Aug 16, 2006 3:05 am

For me the minimum was (rounded):
Sangay - 5C @ 5 AM
Iliniza Norte 0C @ 7 AM (start at 7 AM)
Cotopaxi - 10C (-20 w/ windshield ?) @ 5AM
Chimborazo - 15C (-20 w/ windshield?) @ 5AM

Most people had plastic boots on Cotopaxi and Chimborazo.

I believe a pair of insulated mountaineering leather boots should be enough if you make sure your toes are not compressed (limiting blood circulation) even with a thick pair of sox and after few hours of walk. Furthermore, you may want to keep the boots inside your sleeping bag during the night ;-) .

As far as me, in order to travel light I chose to go with only one pair of footwear the whole trip, both for cities and summits: opted for my very comfortable Millet Alti (heavy trekking leather boots) rigid enough for crampons, yet flexible enough to run with, but with minor insulation (isotherm 0C according to Millet ). On Chimborazo I took the inner soles out to free room for my 2 thick pairs of sox and added Ecuadorian made not insulated over-boots (kind of Climb High Super Gaiters but with out the “Thinsulate” layer) for wind protection. @ - 15C + wind I reached the limit for this combination.
Last edited by Ario on Fri Sep 26, 2008 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Thanks!

Postby hashfxn » Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:29 am

Thanks Ario. I checked your profile and it looks like you went in June, which is winter in South America, although Ecuador is near the equator so I'm not certain that makes a big difference temperature-wise. But it sounds like my insulated leathers will be sufficient for the climb since I've had toasty feet with them down to 15 F (-9.4 C) with 30 mph winds (-5 F or -20.5 C effective).

I saw that you went to Chimborazo as well and I've also read that Chimborazo has a lot of objective danger with serac fall etc. Did you feel that was the case?
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no such thing as winter

Postby colint » Wed Aug 16, 2006 7:42 am

There is no such thing as winter, or summer, on most of those mountains as they are on the equator. There are alternating wetter and drier, windier and less windy times. If I recall correctly, it is very windy but somewhat drier in June. I was there in January, so I am not sure. June is winter further south!
Acclimatization seemed to be the determining factor on success on Cotopaxi and Chimborazo seemed to be the only real factor for success while I was down there. Everyone I climbed with was in reasonable shape, and those who built up gradually to the big ones, and spent a lot of time high, made it. Those who did not failed. Simple as that.
If you are going to use Colorado climbs as part of the acclimatization, make sure you are on something high less than a week before heading south, otherwise you are training your lungs and legs, but not really acclimatizing.
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Climbing in Ecuador in May/June

Postby Andino » Thu Aug 17, 2006 1:02 pm

Has anybody climbed above 5000m in Ecuador in May or June ?
What are the conditions ?

I heard it rains quite often, therefore all summits are snowy and quite dangerous...
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Postby Ario » Fri Aug 18, 2006 12:46 am

Ca releve de Mme Soleil :)
patterns are different depending on which of the 2 "Cordilleras" ("Oriental" or "Occidental") we are talking about. One is (supposedly) rather wet when the other one is (supposedly) rather dry et vice versa...
From my experience (4 summits of both Cordilleras in May and June 2005), I would take this pattern stuff "avec pincette" ( how to say that in English, I mean just for one's information) and would not recommend to rely much on it as apparently whether patterns are changing very quickly these days :(, especially when you get close to the Equator.
Bonne grimpe !
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Postby Ario » Fri Aug 18, 2006 3:16 am

hashfxn,
As far as objective danger on Chimborazo, I can just tell you about the Normal Route (El Castillo) and the First Ascent Route (Southwest Ridge or Original Whymper).

El Castillo (picture) seems OK if, as for most mountains, you are not going there just after heavy snowfall (avalanche).
Original Whymper (picture) , in spring 2005, had considerable objective danger as there was almost no more snow to hold together the loose rocks and a large serac threatened the route.

One more thing, beware it’s tougher to resist at a given cold temperature at very high altitude than at lower altitudes. And we usually start to feel the cold at our extremities… Thus, if you compare temperatures for footwear you may want to introduce a corrective factor for a possible difference in altitude.

Keep them worm ;)
Last edited by Ario on Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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