It seems like all of Ecuador decided to climb Cayambe this weekend; the refugio was full to bursting with at least three large teams of about 16 people. Weather was perfect: full moon, no clouds, no wind, and rather warm. We left at 1am after the big rush (everyone else started at midnight), passed a few teams who later turned back, and the entire journey without headlamps due to the bright moon. We fell through the show crust around Picos Jarrin but otherwise had great snow conditions. We summited at 7 just as everyone else was descending, spectacular views of Antisana and Cotopaxi, and had time to go to the Cumbre Oriental before heading down. Descent was trickier because some of the snowpack started melting, with some weaker snow bridges over the crevasses and somewhat slushy conditions, but we made it down well enough.
Second summit, route was a little different this year. Three big crevasses low on the glacier and steeper up top.
Cloudless night and not much wind. Perfect conditions. Reached the top with Simon West and our guide Eddison shortly after sunrise. Not a cloud around and the most amazing view of 10+ volcanoes.
Paid $23 a night at the refuge. We had fairly good weather, but it had been snowing for several days before we got there. Starting from the glacier we were walking in fog. We got about 2/3 of the way up, where it starts to get steep and our guide said we were going to cause an avalanche if we kept going, so we turned back. I've been with this guide to the summit of 3 other high peaks so I trust his opinion and didn't think he was just being lazy. The wind was also picking up and blowing around the fresh snow, making visibility pretty low. Maybe some other time.
Stuck in the hut for 3 days due to heavy rain and very strong winds. Soaked in less then 5 minutes.
Was up in the refuge for three nights... much too long for good rest. I had a guided climb the second night but just up to La ventana in the rocks, we found ourselves in too much static, plus the pressue was dropping pretty quickly. Visibility was horrible in the rocks from heavy fog and descending in the wetness wasn´t too fun. I was pretty sad from seeing the mountain experience a perfect last week. Then the guide that also happened to be in the refuge offered to take me up so long as his client was ok with it. So suddenly had another chance... waited all day as the mountain stayed socked in, feeling doubtful and wondering if it was worth spending another miserable night at the hut. 1 a.m. was gorgeous though - almost totally clear but still warmish. Sleepless nights got to me and I did slow down my teammates who obviously were much stronger, but their love of sharing the mountains and generousity was profound as was their patience. It wasn´t a super slow morning but we got to the top at about 8 a.m. Apparently the route accessing the top changed about a month ago and now the best way is zigzagging up a ramp of steep snow (protection good) around huge, shockingly beautiful ice walls. Got a windy summit but saw Reventador erupting, plus Tungurahua erupting far off in the distance. Chimborazo, Antisana, Cotopaxi, Sumaco, Illinizas, El Corazon, Imbabura, Cotacachi... all poking above scattered clouds. Encountered only a few crevasses all deep but with narrow crossings. Nice snow. Felt not fantastic coming down.
Summitted with a group of three other climbing partners and two local guides. The climbing is steeper and more sustained than Cotopaxi. The summit was windy but great views for the few minutes we spent there.
Left from the Refugio around midnight with a large group, started snowing around 4 am, made it to 5,600 around dawn before being turned back by a combo of low visibility and crevasses.
One of the best days climbing. Fresh/wet/sketchy snow early on, proved to become much more stable as we ascended. Could have used one more acclimation day!
Straight climb but it was cloudy so we didn't get to see much.
Straightforward. Final crevasse was not bad but everyone turned around even the American guides.
Camped below glacier (no fee). Left at 1:38 am. and made the top at 6:50 am. Had to zig zag through crevasses near top and set up a belay for a steep snow wall (about 1 to 2 body lengths of 90 degrees). A snow stake would be helpful and some wands since most groups turn around below the big crevasse.
Started out around midnight from the refuge, but the lack of acclimatization finally caught up with me and didn't make it to the top. I still loved being on that mountain and will be back one day, with much more time to enjoy!
I was still getting over some pretty bad stomach problems, so it was nice that mother nature had a little pity for me and gave us great weather and snow conditions!
Clear/windless night made the summit push a breeze especially since we were well acclimated having climbed Chimborazo and Cotopaxi a few days before. Great view over a sea of cloud from the top.
Wet weather left a lot of new snow on the mountain. We turned around at 5100m due to unstable snow conditions.
After a long, lousy winter here we got lucky and had good conditions under a full moon. With a lot of new snow, we were concerned about conditions. It was a bit soft at the base of the glacier but firmed up quickly and we had nearly perfect conditions. A narrow bridge over a crevasse near the summit presented the only real challenge beyond the altitude - smooth sailing to a frigid summit with fantastic views all the way to Chimborazo.
We spent the night at the plateau above the refuge. While we were concerned about leaving our tents and gear, we were alone on the mountain and back in time to beat the first day hikers up to the plateau.
Great views, was a wonderful sunrise.
A very long and worthwhiole climb. Beautiful mountain. Very windy.
This was a very enjoyable and relatively easy climb. The slope is much less steep than Cotopaxi, except near the top. It was a clear and windless night with nice snow conditons. We had to downclimb into the Bergshrund near the top and use two tools to climb back out of it on the way down. Some groups managed to get around it on the left side.