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Climbing in Ecuador/Sleeping in Quito

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Climbing in Ecuador/Sleeping in Quito

Postby sswhatley » Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:53 pm

I'm heading down to Quito on the 27th of this month for 3 weeks of climbing. I was just wondering if anyone had any suggestions on cheap but climber friendly hostals in Quito. Any other info you want to throw my way about other cool places to see/stay while in the Quito area would be great. Thanks
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Postby cp0915 » Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:42 pm

I had good luck at Hostal Villa Nancy (www.villa-nancy.com, I believe) in Quito. Friendly folks, free, tasty buffet breakfast each morning, cheap transport to/from the local mountains, etc. I'm headed back there again next week, actually.

"Any other info you want to throw my way about other cool places to see/stay while in the Quito area would be great."

Last time, we did a little bit of the tourist stuff around Quito, but not much. I recall that Mitad del Mundo (the Equator) was kinda fun to visit. We also enjoyed walking around the tourist quarter. We found a really tasty restaurant there, but I can't recall what it was named.

Sorry I don't have much specific info for you.
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Postby Haliku » Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:17 pm

In Quito my suggestion is: Hotel Sierra Nevada--breakfast included. They also have a guide service that can provide guides, cooks, drivers and day trips as needed to make your trip amazing. Cheers!
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Postby sswhatley » Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:48 pm

cp0915, Thanks for the info. I'll be checking that place out. What all did you climb on your last visit? I'm heading down there on the 27th. Interested in getting together and trading (or giving me) some beta since you have been there before?
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Postby cp0915 » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:51 pm

PM sent.
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Postby blazin » Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:32 pm

I stayed at the Hostal Posada del Maple last year. I'd definitely stay there again. It's very nicely done inside. The complimentary breakfast was great and it's on a quiet, tree-lined street, but close to the climbing shops, super market, restaurants etc.

Image

As far as things to see, I'd recommend heading to Cuicocha. It is a lake that formed in the collapsed crater of a volcano. There is a path that runs around the rim of the lake which makes for a fun little trek with nice views. Doable as a day-trip from Quito or together with a trip to the Equator and/or Otavalo.

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Re: Traveling to Ecuador

Postby cp0915 » Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:33 pm

"I was wondering if anyone had any information on the town of Machachi. Is it a good place to base out of for attempts on those peaks."

For the Illiniza's, Machachi makes a fine base. If you decide to stay there initially, you can easily arrange transport to/from La Virgen (the Illiniza's trailhead). The Illiniza's hut is awful, so be forewarned!

Additionally, Machachi isn't far from Cotopaxi, so getting transport to/from the hut drop-off shouldn't be an issue.

"I couldnt find much info on a peak called Sunfana and was wondering if this would be a good start."

Not familiar with it.

"Also i have heard mixed things about Pichincha in Quito. I thought maybe just taking the tram would be safe?"

I've been up Guagua, and it was fine. Rucu, of course, has a reputation for being unsafe, especially with the increase in rapes/robberies above the tram level in the last 18 months. I'm told by a local that the rapist is in jail and police have been actively patrolling the standard route up Rucu from the tram.

"A real general question is how easy/safe is transportation to and from the huts?"

It's very easy to set up transportation to/from huts, if you a) arrange it through a reliable hostel, or b) simply hire a truck at the bus station.

"Do some of the Hostel offer just transportation to the huts?"

I believe most do, to the closer huts at least (such as the Cotopaxi drop-off, and La Virgen).

-CP
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Postby cp0915 » Sat Dec 20, 2008 12:04 am

"What is a going rate for transportation from a hostel?"

That depends on many factors, such as where the hostel is, where you're going, and whether or not you want to picked up and/or have the driver wait for you (if it's a dayhike).

"Would Quito be just as good of a location to base from?"

Quito is a good base for things like Pichincha, Corazon (though it's a long day), Atacazo and the like. But not for things like Cotopaxi (although you could be driven there and then picked up the next day), and certainly not for Chimborazo.

"Could Norte be climbed from La virgen?"

Sure. As I recall, it was about 2-3 hours of hiking up to the hut (we were carrying full packs for doing both Norte and Sur). So, yes, a dayhike of Norte from La Virgen is totally reasonable (if you're acclimated).

"My partner and i where thinking of going with a guide company to help with logistics but the books and information i have reading make it seem like the ground work, getting to the peaks can be done on our own with some planning before hand."

I've never used a guide for anything. Don't believe in it, frankly. A huge part of "climbing" a mountain, to me, is the entire package experience; that is, planning, carrying, problem solving, etc., and of course doing all the physical leg-work, overcoming technical challenges, determining whether to continue on or turn back, and whatnot.

That said, Ecuador is very climber-friendly. Just do the research, and if you have the skills and experience, go after peaks that inspire you.
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Postby Haliku » Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:52 am

cp0915 wrote:...Ecuador is very climber-friendly. Just do the research, and if you have the skills and experience, go after peaks that inspire you.


Fully agree with cp. If you have the skills use the guide service for transport and beta then do the climb on your own. You will find that many guides are 'shocked' that you want to climb it without a guide. They will try to tell you how hard it is etc. Using SP and Brian's book I had no problems in getting up the mountains. Current beta from SP, guides and other climbers will give you the full picture. Cheers!
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