Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

skiing cotopaxi and chimboraza

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

skiing cotopaxi and chimboraza

Postby crzyjt » Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:21 pm

I have a question for those that have climbed the high peaks in Ecuador. Would it be feasible or worthwhile to take skis on these peaks? I have skied Orizaba in Mexico and several 14ers and other high peaks in Colorado, often in marginal conditions, but I've never attempted a truly crevassed mountain. Is there enough open slopes to make some turns, or will I be stopping to cross crevasses often enough that it would not seem worth it to bring the skis? Also, are the busses in Ecuador similar to Mexico in that they have large storage bins under the bus where I can put the skis or will it be a challenge to transport them between towns? Is it easy to find mini-van taxis from the airport in quito?
User Avatar
crzyjt

 
Posts: 285
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 6:26 pm
Location: Denver, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: skiing cotopaxi and chimboraza

Postby 96avs01 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:55 pm

February 2011 issue of Backcountry magazine has a trip report of equatorial shredding.
User Avatar
96avs01

 
Posts: 1442
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:31 pm
Location: Woodland, California, United States
Thanked: 42 times in 32 posts

Re: skiing cotopaxi and chimboraza

Postby crzyjt » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:49 pm

Nice. I just went and got a copy. Thanks!
User Avatar
crzyjt

 
Posts: 285
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 6:26 pm
Location: Denver, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: skiing cotopaxi and chimboraza

Postby Scott » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:29 am

Cotopaxi is possible and is skied fairly often, but you would still have to watch for crevasses. It may pay to stay on the standard route on the way down as well.

Chimborazo would depend on conditions. When I climbed it in January 2007, it would have been way to icy (and rocky down low) to ski except for in the summit area. You would need a good snowpack to ski it.

You should be able to bring skis on the bus, but you may have to pay a little extra. Skis are smaller than some other things people take on the bus.
User Avatar
Scott

 
Posts: 7483
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2003 1:03 pm
Location: Craig, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 612 times in 329 posts

Re: skiing cotopaxi and chimboraza

Postby Gahugafuga » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:15 am

Keep in mind that on the bottom side of the earth, if you lose contact with the snow, you will plummet through the atmosphere into space. You will probably want a heavier binding like a Naxo or Fritschi to help weigh you down.

Watch out for avalanches! :cry:
User Avatar
Gahugafuga

 
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 12:13 am
Location: Cottonwood Heights, Utah, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Skiing Cotopaxi and Chimborazo

Postby Boriss Andean » Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:46 pm

crzyjt wrote: will I be stopping to cross crevasses often enough that it would not seem worth it to bring the skis?


Actually Cotopaxi is featuring crevasses all over its north face (normal route), so I think you'll be stopping very often to cross those crevasses, exposed passes and climbing down the 5500 m big crevasse where you can find an aluminum ladder which it's not being used at the moment. I'd said you'll be skiing no longer than 10 minutes above the glacier line (5,150 m). So it won't be worth it.

A good option would be skiing down the scree slope above the refuge which at the moment (April) it's covered by a good layer of snow. I actually did it a couple months ago. It found the route a bit icy though, but it was fun. Let's see if this snow lasts until the summer months.

I've seen people skiing Chimborazo. There you won't be stopping every now and then to cross crevasses, but as I said before.. let's see if all of this new snow lasts until the summer months. It's too early to know that. Ecuador is a tropical country, and snow can melt down in less than a couple of weeks.

crzyjt wrote: Also, are the busses in Ecuador similar to Mexico in that they have large storage bins under the bus where I can put the skis or will it be a challenge to transport them between towns? Is it easy to find mini-van taxis from the airport in quito?


Buses in Ecuador do have large storage bins. But always keep an eye on your belongings. A good way to do so is by getting a seat at the right side of the bus (window seat). These buses stop very often to pick up passengers so you really need to watch for your items.

If you are acclimatized already, you can head straight to Cotopaxi from Quito. But taking a van or taxi from the airport could be very expensive. Keep in mind that Cotopaxi National Park entrance close its gates at 3 pm, and park rangers don't allow any vehicles getting in after that time.

Hope this little info helped you a bit John.

Boriss...
User Avatar
Boriss Andean

 
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 2:15 am
Location: Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador
Thanked: 11 times in 9 posts

Re: skiing cotopaxi and chimboraza

Postby smarolt » Thu May 12, 2011 3:59 pm

Chimbo and Cotopaxi are fantastic skis if in condition. I have been to Chimbo when it was not and year before last last when it was in. It was a fantastic ski from both the main and flase summits. If it gets really icy, which it is most of the time, don't be affraid to run belays down the lower slopes. A fall on ice will be lethal. Also, wouldn't be affraid to throw a helmet in the sack for the lower scree fields as rock fall is a major problem. Cotopaxi can also be very icy as it was when we skied it several years ago, and you definitley don't want to fall, but remains a classic ski. One of my favorites right from the summit to the scree fields. You should only have to take the skis off to get over the summit crevasse. Another "warm-up" classic ski in the area is Cayambe. Easy climb and great ski. Enjoy!
smarolt

 
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 3:44 pm
Location: aspen, Colorado, CO, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post


Return to South America

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.