refuge at 5,000 m is Ecuador's highest-altitude lodging. It is named after Edward Whymper, the british climber who in 1880 made the first ascent of Chimborazo along with the Swiss Carrel brothers as guides.
It was built by Dirección Nacional de Turismo del Ecuador DITURIS in June 1979 and it is owned by Ministerio de Turismo del Ecuador.
Getting to the refuge
From the Reserva de Producción Faunistíca entrance at 4,370 m, take the turnoff for the Chimborazo refuges. From the turnoff, it is 8 km by a good maintained road to the parking lot at 4,800 m. It takes around 30 minutes to walk up from the parking lot to Refugio Whymper which can be seen right below the glacier in the distance.
Edward Whymper Refuge at 5,000 m.
The parking lot can be reached in 1 hour from the Reserve entrance if you go cross-country and in 3 hours if you follow the road by foot. Mist and foggy conditions are typical in this area and it is easy to get lost if you don't have a clue of where the parking lot is located at.
Getting to Reserva de Producción Faunistíca Chimborazo
From the new Terminal de buses Quitumbe located at the south of Quito, take any of the southbound buses to Riobamba (USD. 3,75 – 3:30 hours). From Terminal Terrestre de Riobamba take one of the several buses that go to Guaranda, but ask the driver to drop you off at Chimborazo entrance (there's a signed turnoff for the Chimborazo refuges). It is located 30 minutes after passing the town of San Juan.
La Reserva de Producción Faunistíca Chimborazo
gets its name for the hundreds of vicuñas that can be seen poking around in the area. They were imported from Chile in 1980 and are a protected specie of the Andes.
Currently, there are no fees to enter into the Reserve.
The Edward Whymper refuge has the following facilities:
2 equipped kitchens (kitchenware, pots, pans, mixing bowls, cutting boards, knives, spoons and gadgets)
1 living room
Outdoor toiletes (bucket-flushed)
Bunkbeds and mattresses (bring your own sleeping bag)
Souvenir store (stickers, magazines, wool hats)
Basic food supplies
The refuge has a capacity for 48 people. It doesn't have electricity.
Fees are: USD. 15.00/night for a bed and USD. 30.00 with meals.
Transportation (taxis) to the parking lot can be arranged in Riobamba for about USD. 35,00 round trip. Buses from Riobamba's Terminal Terrestre leave every hour for USD. 1,50.
Sometimes Park Rangers at the Rerserve's entrance can give you a ride up to the parking lot for a nominal fee.
Located at the parking lot of the Reserve at 4,800 m. Nowadays more parties opt for spending the night here. It has the same facilities as the Whymper refuge and a capacity for with 52 beds for climbers. Prices are: USD. 15.00/night for a bed and USD. 30.00 with meals.
Located right at the base of the Thielmann glacier. A wind protected flat area with good sources of water. Just 10 minutes beyond the Whymper's refuge at 5,050 m.