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climbing in Ecuador

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climbing in Ecuador

Postby no1nprtclr » Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:30 pm

I have the opportunity to head down to Ecuador in 1.5 months, solo. Thing is, I do have this Ecuador climbing guide. In it spells security issues all over the place. I was in Bolivia last summer and encountered not an issue. The people are beautiful and nice, I'm anticipating a similar experience in Ecuador. But I don't want to go there being naive to things that could be serious threats. What about on the mountain, tents being raided, things being stolen and or messed with, such as the like. The plans are by no means solidified at this point, this is my first time to Ecuador, and first climbing specific trip. Any suggestions, thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Also being August at the time going down there, what's the snow conditions and what altitude is it still hanging around what about the rock climbing? I'm just wondering what to be prepared for. Thanks for any information offered.
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Postby Woodie Hopper » Fri Jun 29, 2007 2:34 pm

One difference is the hut system. The Jose Ribas hut on Cotopaxi has lockers, the Cayambe and lower hut on Chimborazo didn't, but you could probably arrange for a guardian to keep an eye on your stuff.
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Postby Buz Groshong » Fri Jun 29, 2007 4:25 pm

You might get more response if you post this on the South America board rather than the General board.
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Postby Scott » Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:04 pm

I've never had anything stolen in Ecuador from either camping or the huts. No where else in Latin America either, and I've made eight trips.

I guess it could happen, but probably not as often as some books make it out to be. Just use caution and take securtiy measures.
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Postby Arthur Digbee » Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:29 pm

Scott Patterson wrote:I guess it could happen, but probably not as often as some books make it out to be. Just use caution and take securtiy measures.


Anything can happen anywhere. I just had two guys break into my rental car in the middle of nowhere in Iceland. My general grumpiness from behind some trees apparently scared them off in the middle of the deed. :evil:
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Postby Andino » Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:09 pm

Quito has indeed a bad reputation, we were there 2 weeks ago.
Even though you feel really safe in general, there are some gun/knife attacks at night, apparently. Cuenca has a bad reputation too.
But we spent 5 weeks in Ecuador, it went all fine (apart from one forgotten digital camera in a bus !)

If you look for places to acclimatise go to Quilotoa Crater (3900m) and Cuicocha Crater (3100m).
Beautiful landscapes and ideal hike to get ready for more.

And when you're done with climbing, you should visit the excellent Termas de Papallacta (some marvelous hot spring 60 kms east of Quito).
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Postby summiter » Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:18 pm

Quito at night can be quite dangerous, traveling in groups is better and taxis are cheap. Also be watchful riding the trolley in Quito- Some visitors were "pickpoketed" (the cut his pants pocket and held his hands) by some organized crime in broad daylight. Pretty much everywhere else I've been fine.
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Postby Andino » Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:29 pm

Daytime the trolley is safe, and most of the time quite empty during the day.
No fear on that side, I reckon. Buses can be more crowded, therefore more chances to get pick-pockets.

But it is true than taking a taxi of your own (not sharing with strangers) is highly recommended at night.
Anyway, Quito is a nice town. A visit of the Basilica in the morning to have a nice view over the old town is enjoyable :wink:
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Postby Haliku » Tue Jul 10, 2007 4:09 pm

Myzantrope wrote:Daytime the trolley is safe, and most of the time quite empty during the day.
No fear on that side, I reckon. Buses can be more crowded, therefore more chances to get pick-pockets.

But it is true than taking a taxi of your own (not sharing with strangers) is highly recommended at night.
Anyway, Quito is a nice town. A visit of the Basilica in the morning to have a nice view over the old town is enjoyable :wink:


All the advice above is great and you should take care of your surroundings. That said I find Ecuador and its people very friendly. Just watch the dark areas, take taxis in Quito and don´t walk around solo at night. Cheers!
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Postby Alpinist » Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:31 pm

How's the trip going so far Chris...? Have you guys climbed anything besides the steps to the local taqueria...? :D
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Hmmm...

Postby LonePeakFreak » Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:41 pm

Quito and Cuenca, both mentioned earlier in this thread as "dangerous" cities, are by far the safest and cleanest cities in Ecuador. No, don't wear jewelry or hang your fancy camera around your neck or carry a lot of cash while you're there, but those rules apply in most places anyway.

Bottom line - if these cities scare you, you probably shouldn't be in South America. That's just how it is. There aren't many places down there I'd feel safer in than Quito.
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Postby Haliku » Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:18 am

Alpinist wrote:How's the trip going so far Chris...? Have you guys climbed anything besides the steps to the local taqueria...? :D


Funny guy...we´re four for four and leaving for Cayambe tomorrow. Chimborazo isn´t in good condition so we adjusted the schedule again. Flexibility is key when climbing in South America it seems. The taqueria´s are nice also. :wink:
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Re: Hmmm...

Postby cbcbd » Fri Jul 13, 2007 7:26 am

LonePeakFreak wrote:Quito and Cuenca, both mentioned earlier in this thread as "dangerous" cities, are by far the safest and cleanest cities in Ecuador. No, don't wear jewelry or hang your fancy camera around your neck or carry a lot of cash while you're there, but those rules apply in most places anyway.

Bottom line - if these cities scare you, you probably shouldn't be in South America. That's just how it is. There aren't many places down there I'd feel safer in than Quito.

Exactly, it's another 3rd world country and you just have to be more street smart than you'd have to be at home.

One night our group got swarmed by little kids in Quito - pushing "things" towards our legs like they were trying to sell something - that was just to distract from them also reaching in our pockets at the same time. They made off with one guy's camera (good thing is was a POS, but still) and scattered.

Lesson - they love cargo pants/shorts with goodies in them pockets.

Other than that, we walked around at night in a group (or sometimes alone), without issue. Just stay simple and travel light.
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Postby Andino » Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:24 am

Perfect conclusion by CBCBD
:wink:
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Postby Buz Groshong » Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:56 pm

One thing that I do when I'm in a palce where I'm unsure about the safety of my belongings is see to it that no one gets too close to me for any length of time. I walk fairly fast (they can't pick your pocket if they can't catch up to you) and will readily cross to the other side of the street if necessary. If someone is keeping up with my pace and I think they are following me, I stop and turn to the side or turn around so that they will walk on past me (I might look at a shop window, or act like I'm a bit undecided about which way to go). I sometimes also move my wallet to my front pocket and maybe even put my hand in the pocket (depends on my perception of the risk).

If someone tries to sell me something or talk to me I either keep them at arms length or I give them a "no intiendo" (or whatever else is appropriate) and walk on. When I'm dodging an attempt to sell me something I do try to keep it pleasant when saying no; not just because I don't want to stir up trouble by acting unpleasant but also because they are after all just trying to make a living under difficult conditions.
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