My 5th attempt to climb this peak and finally successful. Still hard & long as the corredor was not possible and up there a hell of ice seracs. Looking forward to coming back soon - via South Face to Wympher summit.
It's quite hard a climb considering the 1,400m altitude gain if you start yr summit bid from Refugio Carrel; well it's all about acclimatization & fitness, isn't it.. I'll need to train more.
It took us 8 hrs from Refugio Carrel to Cumbre Veintimilla starting at 11pm.
Our guide didn't let us zigzag on the glacier due to the avalanche risk so we had to walk in a straight line, which I found a bit difficult.
We were discouraged to make an attemp on the Whymper summit due to too much snow among the penitentes. Well, I wasn't unhappy not having to walk more this time.
Refuge still closed. Slept in the caretakers cafe with guides.
Started at 10:30pm after a lucky snow dump. Snow made the route much easier. Coming down was another story. Dodging rocks there and here.
Stomach issues all week kept me from the top. Very phsucal climb. I will be back...
A very physical summit even for well conditioned people. At nearly 21,000', it is understandable... Despite good weather the night before, the wind ended up picking up most of the night. Mostly very icy conditions from a previous storm. Far less than 50% of people had been summitting (at least since the storm).
Went with Andean Adventures. Competent guides, equipment included, and the owner, John, is very friendly.
It is mandatory to go with a guide.
But there is not park entry fee to go and acclimate beforehand.
As of Aug 2014, the second refuge is still under construction with no sign of being completed any time soon.
My friend Daniel and I attempted the summit from the parking lot on this night. We went via la ruta de las aristas due to the lack of snow. We first encountered snow above 5,400m I believe, before that it was all rock and ice. We turned back at 5,600m. I post this today because tonight I am going for my second attempt. I hope we can use the normal route!
PS. Aristas route is bloody beautiful! Loved it.
Conditions weren't fantastic but made the top, (2011) thankfully the saddle didn't have too much snow. My guide was a machine, didn't sit down for the whole 8hr climb
Both refuges were under construction, so camped by the parking lot near the lower refuge. Left the parking lot at 11 p.m. and reached the Whymper summit at 7:20 a.m. The route was not in great condition, with a lot of unconsolidated snow above El Castillo making progress difficult. High winds made for cold climbing. On attaining the Veintimilla summit we were greeted with a sea of ~1.5m high penitentes extending all the way across the summit plateau to the Whymper summit. These would have been exciting and maybe even enjoyable to navigate at a lower altitude. On descent we avoided the El Castillo corridor, and instead followed the El Castillo ridge all the way down to just below the parking lot. An easy variation for avoiding the famous rockfall. A fantastic climb but a bit more strenuous than I expected it to be. Climbed with Ecuadorian guide Pato.
Both refugios are closed for repairs, teams are sleeping at the entry to the park where the guardians live (has kitchen and beds, appears to be free?), get up earlier and drive further up with the car. Our party consisted of two teams of each two climbers/guide. Started from 4800m, below the first refugio, at 11:30pm; a gringos from Condor Trek and his guide decided to turn back because of supposed bad weather (cloud cover). Good conditions ascending; frozen enough to get through the mixted terrain, cloudy but not too cold, snow firm all the way up the endless ramp. Reached the Veintimilla summit, clear path through the penitentes all the way through to the Whymper summit with good conditions, so we made a leisurely traverse before heading down. Late start heading down but started to snow on descent, so the corredor was still pretty frozen and no rockfall to report.
Climbed in good weather, but bad snow condition: very soft and loose, it was hard work going up, like climbing in sand. Stopped at Veintimilla at 6:40 AM due to snow condition: no party had reached the main summit since 15 days.
Left the hut at 11. Temps were above freezing (rain and drizzle). At the end of El Corridor we started hearing a lot of rockfall. Was then followed by a loud avalanche. Had no idea where it would hit so we ran for cover behind a large rock. Proceeded to gtfo and get back to the hut. Even at our high point it was still raining.
we arrived in ecuador on the morning of january 11. we were only spending 8 days here and wanted to acclimatize and climb chimborazo and cotopaxi.
having finished our decent of cotopaxi less than 36 hours ago, we started at 1145pm under clear skies. the guards had warned us that due to icy conditions and increased rock fall danger, we would need mucho suerte. we reached the whymper summit at 6am and were back to safety by 845. the conditions below the glacier was uncomfortably icy scree but we never felt like we were in danger. the glacier was steep the snow was soft and we were able to move as fast as our sea-level hearts would take us.
in the end, we topped off our 5th volcano in 7 days (pasachoa, rucu pichincha, el corazon, cotopaxi, chimborazo).
Started from the lower refuge at 23:00 under clear weather. Both refuges were open but no beds. Got to the Veintimilla summit at 4:25am. Got to Whymper at about 5:15 and waited an hour for the sunrise. Fantastic views. Going up and down, the guide took us to where we never were directly below a rockfall area. I saw the ice with hanging rock, but we never got close enough to need helmets.
Arrived at the hut under foggy weather and no visibility. Got up at 22h to clear skies and pretty much no wind, and decided to give it a go. In under 2h and about 5350m wind picked up and rock fall started, scary! Stones the size of marbles hit my helmet strongly while other people saw larger stones pass by. Had to run down quickly. Seems to me this route is no longer a good choice, a better option would be to climb from the ridge that starts near the first hur and therefore skips the dangerous El Corredor, although adding 2h to the climb.
Reached the Whymper summit at 4:30am on Dec 21st. Had consistently read and heard that rockfall in El Corridor occurs relatively early on this mountain so made the decision to leave the Whymper refuge at 10:15pm, about 45 min before most climbers depart. Having only been in Ecuador 5 days prior to the climb (and having summitted Rucu Pichincha and Illiniza Norte) I figured I would need a bit of extra time to make up for my minimal acclimatization. Fortunately route finding through El Corridor did not present too much of a problem and the glacier conditions were excellent. Some violent lightning storms off in the distance over the Amazon so didn't stay on top very long. All in all a challenging but very rewarding climb! Rich
climbed on no sleep. man that felt...long
Climbed under a beautiful full moon, really nice views at times but didn't have much of a chance to take them in as we had to keep going up.
Climbed slow as I was quite fatigued, combination of a little altitude sickness I guess (although no headache) and only 1.5hrs sleep before leaving at c 11.15pm from the Whymper Refuge
Made it to the Veintimilla summit finally at c. 7.15am, so we climbed pretty slow by general standards - tour agency said its normally 6-8hrs to the main Whymper summit
Couldn't continue to Whymper due to the time mostly, but it was a white out up top, coulnd't see the Whymper summit
Still, first time over 6,000m so stoked! And on very bed prep also, came straight from Riobamba the night before, was meant to sleep t 3,800m and do some light treking the day before, but got bitten by a dog ;p
It´s a long one!! I climbed super slow...left early and got there late. Made it to the Veintimilla summit with Pablo from AndesTrek (ridiculously awesome guide except he´s returning to the U.S. for climbing season! Returns in November?), celebrated, and had to go down. Sun was shining hard. Saw the mountain´s shadow and Sangay erupting. Felt not-so-great coming down but crazy enough, I´d like to do it again later this year...
New snow every day on our trip to Ecuador. Deep trail breaking up final 500 meters. Reached the summit in -20C, high winds and no visibility. A great experience and a great climb. Went right from the Carrel hut. Chimborazo is a big, bad mountain!
Made it to about 20,000'