My first summit of 2010. Guided Maria and Rennata, both from Austria. We left from refugio Whymper at 11 pm. A very bright night lit by the full moon. Actually I started the climb guiding to Maria. A very fast ascent. One of the guides got sick and asked me to take his client along with me (Rennata).
It took us 5:45 hours to get to the Veintimilla summit where Rennata asked me to leave her there. No way!!.. The three of us climbed for about 30 more minutes and got just on time to see the beautiful sunrise colors from the Whymper summit (6,310 m / 20,702 ft).
Hugs, a few tears and pictures. Personally it felt great to me... to say good bye to 2009 on the summit of Cotopaxi two days ago, and to welcome the new year at the top of Ecuador's highest mountain.
Got down by the same route we came up. Mountain conditions were excellent, except for the hard ice-gravel ones at the first dome, where Rennata slipped and fell down forcing me to use self arrest technique... uff!.. I stopped the fall a couple meters down.
A great accomplishment while guiding to my climbing partners... three mountains, three summits... no failures. Can't stop smiling :).
You don't know if you can do something unless you try... This was my second time to Chimborazo. I went on Nov 10 but had lots of rocks come crashing down near us. We decided the conditions were too dangerous to continue. But, I came back one week later and was so happy I made it to the Whymper summit in time for sunrise! My guide and I left the refuge at 11pm to make sure we had enough time, and it worked out perfectly. We got back to the refuge at 9:30am on stable snow.
A bit icy around 18,200, otherwise ok. Came down castillo, the last bit of frozen scree with no complete snow cover was tedious.
Climbed with my bighornmonkey and had a great time...except for getting stuck in the tent during a storm -after- we finished the climb. The electricity in the air buzzing all things metal was freeeaaaaky!
I wasn't there mentally... what can I say??? I just have to go back and try again.
Made it to the Veintimilla (6267m), then the Whymper (6310m) summit under good conditions. It took 1 hour to do the round trip between the two summits. We climbed the direct route.
It snowed on us on the way down.
Wet weather left a good amount of new snow on the mountain. We made it to 6000m before turning around due to high avy danger.
Made it to the Ventemilla summit. Great conditions, except for poor visibility on summit.
Standing on the summit of Chimborazo on Christmas with the sun rising and volcanoes smoking in the distance is something I will never forget. The climbing conditions were perfect...just a high altitude snow climb. Whymper to Whymper in 6.5 hours...back in Quito for Christmas dinner by mid-afternoon.
Normal route, 11:30 pm start. Veintimilla summit right at sunrise! Pretty incredible! Great snow conditions on the entire mountain. We heard that ice screws or pickets have not been needed in a year and a half! But that could change quickly...
Extreme conditions, strong winds, very cold, iced route, no visibility and finally dust from Tunguragua eruptions cover many areas.
Me and other 20 persons tried with this hard conditions, but finally all dicided to quit after many hours fighting with the wild nature.
Extreme cold sent me direct to hospital with facial muscle iced. At the same time, sadly a climber from Venezuela dies that day, check newspaper note (in spanish)
Left the hut at 12:30 am, solo, but behind a few guided parties, since I´d heard that the Castillo section was pretty tough routefinding. Made great friends with all the guides so they didn´t mind me following their headlamps at all.
If you know your way through the Castillo (like the guides), its pretty straightforward. After that, prepare yourself for about 900 meters (2800 ft or so!) of slogging up a giant volcano.
Summitted the Ventimilla at 5:30 and the Whymper Summit just after 6am. With the sunrise slowly creeping out as we crossed the summit plateau, I fondly recall smiling widely and having lots of fun the whole way. Back at the hut by 9am, just as the sun was warming up the Castillo.
At this time the route whas in bad conditions. Only ice, you need to be very careful. Not an mountain that I will recomand.
Fun peak, but a long day. Very exciting to watch the considerable volcanic activity from Tungurahua from this route.
Beautiful, blue skies at 0715, when we topped out on the Veintemilla summit. Of course, it was cold and windy as hell! Our feet were cold the whole night, so the sun was a welcome help--thawed us out pretty nicely. The El Castillo route is a seriously mind-numbing climb, perhaps the Glacier route would be more interesting. Trip report
Climbed with great weather and perfect snow/ice conditions. Edgar, Ran (Israel) and I got to Veintimilla's summit in about 4 hours from the refuge. Great views of Cotopaxi, Illinizas, Antisana, Cayambe and Sangay.
We continued up to Whymper 6,310 m (20,561 ft), this time with soft knee deep snow. Got to the top in a good time, but clouds rolled in pretty fast.
We made our descent by the same route. Rock fall danger from El Castillo to "el corredor".
It snowed all afternoon and all night. The obvious decision was to call it quits, too much snow and subsequent avalanche danger. A guide and client team tried to go up anyway and encountered nasty snow, ice and avalanche conditions. The turned around about 1/3 of the way up.
Chimborazo wasn't in very good condition and in my opinion wasn't that fun when compared to the other peaks I climbed in Ecuador. Lots of falling ice and falling rock on all routes due to the dry weather I guess. The "normal route" El Castillo has been plagued by rockfall. The Wymper Route has falling ice and was shooting baseball size rocks at us.
After reaching some serious avalanche danger (we also heard but did not see a huge avalanche in the dark on the way up), we had to backtrack 1000 feet/300 meters down the mountain (very tiring at almost 20,000 feet or around 6000 meters) and do an icy traverse over to the upper Castillo Route in order and reclimb the elevation lost to reach the Veintimilla summit. It made our elevation gained 1615 meters/5300 feet that day which made me very tired at that altitude. Hopefully conditions will improve. It used to be a straight forward ascent but conditions weren't good for our trip. On the other hand, the weather was great.
Was about 1 minute away from getting crushed in a rock/ice avalanche in the rocky section of the Castillo route. Then it was very hard ice in the two steep couloirs on the ridge. Ice axe wouldn't go in and we had to front point up two 50 foot sections. I bonked hard after the steep ice at about 18,000 feet. Unfortunately after the avalanche it was unsafe to go back down so I had to climb up to 19,000 feet so I could traverse across and go down the Whymper route. Why the hell we didn't go up the seemingly much easy Whymper route is still a mystery to me. Local guides didn't serve us well today....
Climbed the Castillo route Jan. 5 and 11, and I was surprised at how much snow melted off the bottom section. In my opinion, the bottom is dangerous due to loose rock to trip over and frequent rock fall. I think it would be better approached starting left up the Castillo ridge, but there is not a road or hut there.
6.5 hours to Whymper and 3.5 hours down. It only took 1/2 hour from Vientilla to Whymper.