Cayambe Climber's Log

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Matt McCullough

Matt McCullough - Oct 29, 2019 12:30 pm Date Climbed: Oct 15, 2019

Cayambe - snowboarding

Normal route. Beautiful clear sky and calm conditions during the night climb. As my guide and I were making our way on steeper sections of the glacier we began to break through a crust and then post hole up to our knees on some steps. As the slope got steeper the crust got a little firmer, but we were experiencing cracking and crust collapse into the thick weak snow layer with an ominous "wummmph" sound. We decided to turn back. It was rather disappointing since we were only about 300m from the top (~17,900') and just below a moderate sloping plateau where I had wanted to ride my snowboard which I had lugged all the way up. I was only able to snowboard two very short icy sections just below our turn around point.

Senad Rizvanovic

Senad Rizvanovic - Feb 25, 2019 9:23 am Date Climbed: Feb 27, 2019

Amazing climb  Sucess!

What beautiful climb, in my opinion it's more challenging than Cotopaxi. Crevasses are everywhere, but i wasn't worried about those we could see, i was more concerned about hidden snowbridges and most of the time you are walking on top of some sketchy bridges. Amazing climb!


chrisc - Jun 14, 2018 6:38 pm Date Climbed: Dec 21, 2017

Santa Barbara Ridge (Grade TD) Summit!  Sucess!

Possibly first foreign ascent of this route? Full trip report here:


Harvest - Aug 16, 2017 1:07 pm Date Climbed: Dec 23, 2016

Normal Route via Hermoso Glacier  Sucess!

Normal Route via Hermoso Glacier


reconronin949 - May 15, 2017 10:53 pm

Love me some Ecuador!  Sucess!

Guided trip with RMI Guides. Had a solid climb, good pace and we crushed it. About 9 hours round trip from the hut.


NatureGirl - Dec 20, 2016 10:20 am Date Climbed: Dec 19, 2016

almost Christmas Summit  Sucess!

Perfect weather, suuuper conditions of snow and glacier, a wonderful ascent.


NatureGirl - Nov 26, 2016 5:46 pm Date Climbed: Jan 1, 2016

new year's summit  Sucess!

perfect start of 2016. one of the crevasses was quite open, a bit to climb, all the rest smooth. great weather.

georgeuva - Apr 16, 2016 11:09 pm Date Climbed: Aug 14, 2015

Cloudy Summit Bid  Sucess!

Climbed Cayambe after Cotopaxi erupted, changing my plans. Acclimatized on Rucu Pichinicha and Iliniza Norte prior to summit attempt on Cayambe. Weather was cloudy, very windy. Gusts were knocking us over. Summit visibility was virtually zero, but after descending for an hour or so, there were magnificent views, with clouds flowing over the mountain behind us. Overall a fantastic climb. Hut is very luxurious compared to most.


yadahzoemtn - Jan 4, 2016 9:30 pm Date Climbed: Jan 14, 2015

Windy and Cold  Sucess!

Started at 11:30 pm. 7 hours to the Summit. Beautiful view but very cold.


Moogie737 - Feb 15, 2015 11:53 am Date Climbed: Jan 14, 2015

Wind and Ice  Sucess!

Thanks to Marco our guide our wind-buffeted tiny group attained the frigid iced summit at sunrise. Clear views in all directions were difficult to appreciate because of the windchill but we did our best before quickly heading down. Do not underestimate this mountain is my humble advice to all seeking its summit.

goleary - Jan 30, 2015 9:22 pm Date Climbed: Nov 23, 2014

Perfect weather until descent  Sucess!

Crystal clear skies with views all the way to quito for the ascent. Upon beginning descent turned more or less into a white out until around 5200 meters.


spaceflight - Jan 19, 2015 2:43 pm Date Climbed: Nov 22, 2014

Cayambe Climb  Sucess!

Started at the Refugio around 2300 after rain finally stops. Nice mixed climb with a short rock ridge to get over right off the bat. good tike to practice some "Freedom of the Hills" boot. after that its a long slog filled with many hidden crevasses (long rope here for sure) to about 100m from the top when it turns to about a 50deg slope depending on the snow might require some ax swinging to assist at that late stage. Weather was great during the night with clear visibility of the cities of Ibarra, Cayambe, and Quito far below. Day break brought in clouds at altitude followed by wind driven sleet at the summit @ 0740 driving a a quick group picture and a careful quick retreat. Fun looooong Climb.


ScottyP - Dec 20, 2014 5:57 pm Date Climbed: Dec 10, 2014


Fun times, wish the weather would have been better. Visability went to 30' and we aborted


Monster5 - Nov 9, 2014 6:20 pm Date Climbed: Jan 2, 2014

Normal  Sucess!

nice views


michaelblodgett - Mar 18, 2014 2:02 pm Date Climbed: Feb 17, 2014

cayambe 18,887  Sucess!

Started hiking from refuge at 2300. I was sick from the altitude and threw up a few times on the way up. It was very steep near the top and we had to climb on all fours. Awesome weather and awesome views. We could see for miles and all of the major volcanoes were in view.

Cloud Ocean

Cloud Ocean - Jan 30, 2014 1:48 pm Date Climbed: Jan 22, 2014

Perfect conditions  Sucess!

Left the refuge at 1:00 a.m. and reached the summit at 6:00 a.m. Perfect snow conditions, clear skies, and low winds made Cayambe very enjoyable. The climbing was fairly sustained and more rigorous than Cotopaxi a few days later. The main obstacles were several crevasse crossings along the lower glacier and a steep crux pitch below the summit. Greeted with an absolutely surreal, alien sunrise on the summit. The sun rose behind a distant thunderstorm, lightning and all, bathing the surrounding mountains in purple light. Climbed with Ecuadorian guide Pato.


Vivyenne - Nov 18, 2013 11:22 am Date Climbed: Nov 17, 2013

Perfect conditions  Sucess!

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.


mtvalley - Jun 25, 2013 4:33 pm Date Climbed: Jun 12, 2013

Second Summit  Sucess!

Second summit, route was a little different this year. Three big crevasses low on the glacier and steeper up top.


damgaard - May 4, 2013 11:32 am Date Climbed: Apr 6, 2013

Awesome  Sucess!

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.


jm141302 - Apr 3, 2013 3:51 pm Date Climbed: Mar 23, 2013

Not this time

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.

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