Chimborazo Climber's Log

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Piotr Opal - Jan 14, 2024 12:04 pm Date Climbed: Jun 2, 2019

Chimborazo   Sucess!

By normal route (through El Castillo). Very foggy day, no view from the summit

jcheap - Oct 19, 2023 8:46 am Date Climbed: Oct 18, 2023

Chimborazo Climb

Hello all I would just like to report on the conditions of Chimborazo right now and hopefully add some information that I wished I would have had prior to my climb to make some decisions about safety etc.

I summited successfully yesterday. Chimborazo is an incredible mountain however there are a few things that I believe people should understand about the mountain before going.

1. The difficulty and safety of the mountain definitely depends on the conditions. According to the guides and also through my observation on the mountain there has been very little snow in the last several months. Because of this there were many spots on the upper mountain that were pure blue ice without any snow cover with some of those sections being around 40 degree slopes with runouts directly into open and fairly large crevasses. My guide said that under these conditions the summit success rate is only about 20%. He mentioned that when there has been a lot of snow that the route does become much easier and success rates increase. I guess the point here is that if there has been little snow, conditions become much more difficult and for an inexperienced climber could be quite dangerous for both the climber and guide.

2. There are crevasses and some have to be crossed even on the normal route. I mention this point for those that are considering attempting the mountain without any experience in crevasse rescue or glacier experience. My guide said there were so many visible because of the low amounts of snow. Which also means that they are still there even when you can't see them. On our way to the summit we crossed 6 and were close to several others. Most were fairly small however 2 were large and quite deep that we crossed. For an experienced climber this would not necessarily be anything too concerning however my main point here is that you should have an understanding of crevasse rescue and glacier travel at a minimum. There is a real risk of crevasse fall especially with poor conditions. Most companied don't require you to take crevasse rescue gear. I would definitely take that. If icy conditions exist, an ice screw along with a picket may be a good idea as well (yesterday a picket would have had little value as an anchor).

3. Avalanche danger could certainly exist on the mountain. The slope angles are just right in many spots on the route and you walk directly up the face where the avalanche would occur; but it depends on snow conditions. Fortunately for us there was little new snow so this was not an issue but had a heavy snow come with the icy conditions underneath, it would definitely be a setup for a slide. Point here is to at least have an idea of what weather has been like. Your guide can help with this as well. and if the setup were right having all members of the team with avalanche transceivers would be a good idea. For us this wasn't necessary but it certainly could be.

4. Acclimatize, and train well prior to coming. This is a slow and painful process but necessary here. Chimborazo is a big mountain and in difficult conditions requires a lot of effort; in good conditions not near as much. There are many companies that advertise a 2 day climb. Unless you have pre-acclimatized I would certainly recommend against that. Yesterday only 3 of 13 climbers summited and much of that had to do with lack of acclimatization or appropriate physical training.

Overall Chimborazo is an incredible mountain and I had a great experience. I believe that it is certainly attainable for anyone that is willing to put in the effort to train and acclimatize appropriately.

Finally there are many companies, in fact the majority that I read that advertise that anyone can go up and attempt the climb. I would suggest that at a minimum you need to understand crevasse rescue, proper movement across a glacier, and be very comfortable with crampons in general and perhaps on ice up to 40-45 degrees at times depending on conditions.

If this is a goal of yours, put in the work and have the knowledge and training before you go and you will have a safe and unforgettable experience.

laxatives - Sep 26, 2023 9:50 am Date Climbed: Apr 22, 2022

Too much snow

Bailed due to significant snow and avalanche risk after sleeping at high camp


TheMountainRabbit - Sep 24, 2023 7:26 pm Date Climbed: Jun 16, 2023

Whymper Summit via Normal Route  Sucess!

Good conditions and successful summit.


ej_kennedy - Jul 14, 2023 2:12 pm Date Climbed: Jun 13, 2023

Amazing experience!  Sucess!

Long and difficult climb. Great weather around this time of the year. I was able to climb to high camp the day before to drop some gear, then I slept in the lodge nearby owned by Marco Cruz. Summit push started at 1:00. summit was 6:15-6:30.


cmcalhoun - Jun 18, 2023 6:43 am Date Climbed: Dec 29, 2022

Chimborazo  Sucess!



Encalomer - Aug 8, 2022 12:06 am Date Climbed: Dec 12, 2021

Full report on how to climb the Chimborazo

Hi guys!
In December 2021 we climbed the Cayambe and the Chimborazo volcanos. Here I am sharing with you a full documentary with plenty of information on how we organised our trip:
The Chimborazo is a great mountain so better to be ready. Take care and good luck with your expedition!


fubar7500 - Jun 21, 2022 9:42 am Date Climbed: Jun 7, 2022

Top of Ecuador  Sucess!

We make it to the summit of Pico Veintimilla at 5:50. Because of new fresh snow (cca 30-40cm) the guides dont let us continue to the main summit (no offence, no claims, no harm:-)


natethor - Sep 2, 2021 9:21 am Date Climbed: Nov 15, 2014

Chimbo!  Sucess!

Climbed with Eli of ClimbingLife Guides. One of the hardest climbing days I've had but the summit was worth it!


JWBriggs - Feb 4, 2021 6:32 am Date Climbed: Jan 23, 2021

Successful Trip  Sucess!

Got it done. Took about five hours from high camp. Check out my quasi trip report in the "additions and corrections" section here. It got cold up there. Neither refugio is open for sleeping.


arosusi - Apr 2, 2020 10:31 am Date Climbed: Nov 2, 2019

Not this time

We had to turn around somewhere around 5950 m. Avalanche risk.

Matt McCullough

Matt McCullough - Oct 29, 2019 12:11 pm Date Climbed: Oct 19, 2019

Chimborazo - snowboard bust

Normal route via El Castillo. Beautiful calm conditions during the night climb. Noticed two teams ahead of us turning around just above 19,000'. The teams reported potential avalanche conditions as they were experiencing cracking and crust collapse into a thick weak snow layer (same as I had experienced on Cayambe just a few days earlier). My guide and I decided to turn back as well. I had lugged my snowboard up most the way, but was only barely able to snowboard a short icy section above the high camp around 17,500'.

Senad Rizvanovic

Senad Rizvanovic - Feb 26, 2019 3:51 pm

Normal route

What a amazing mountain, Chimborazo is more like a mountain than volcano. Unfortunately we had to turn around somewhere around 5800 m, but definitely i'm coming back for this amazing mountain.


mmcguigan - Sep 13, 2018 6:40 pm Date Climbed: Jul 24, 2012

Stopped in our tracks by Bad Weather

Were turned back at Castillo Saddle by poor weather.


youngclimer123 - Mar 16, 2018 6:27 pm Date Climbed: Jan 24, 2018

too much snow in January

unseasonable rains and mountain snow in January. the weather cleared for my attempt, but the snow above Castillo was too deep and created ridiculous avalanche conditions. turned back at 5800meters. still an amazing experience, and a personal high. I will be back.


boriskrielen - Feb 6, 2018 8:26 am Date Climbed: Jan 25, 2000

Normal route solo  Sucess!

Climbed the normal route solo, both Cumbre Whymper and Cumbre Ventimiglia. This was during the rise of the indians and getting around the country was almost impossible. First attempt to get close to the mountain together with some German climbers in a very old bus ended in gun fire and a stay with local indians that were surprisingly friendly to me. Finally I found a taxi driver that knew the back roads very well and managed to bring me to the base of the mountain safely. Had a great climb.


Harvest - Aug 2, 2017 4:02 pm Date Climbed: Dec 28, 2016

Whymper Route  Sucess!

My last climb of the year was my highest elevation to date and my first 6,000 meter peak! We climbed the Whymper Route which was the FA (first ascent) route pioneered by Edward Whymper, Louis Carrel and Jean-Antoine Carrel on 1/4/1880. We started at the Carrel Refuge (the lower of two huts). This route is rarely climbed anymore due to rockfall. Luckily for us the rock was nice and frozen until around 10 am due to recent snows and cold temps. This approach is shorter than the standard route, the Normal route via the Castillo, and they meet up high on the mountain. We reach first the Cumbre Veintimilla then the true summit of Cumbre Whymper at an elevation of 20,561 feet.

I highly recommend this climb for someone just getting into high elevation climbing.


steved - Jun 19, 2017 11:11 am Date Climbed: Jun 18, 2017

From Refugio Carrel to Pico Veintimilla  Sucess!

Started at 11.00 pm from Refugio Carrel and made it to the summit of Pico Veinimilla for 7.00am the next morning. A tough climb, especially the last 200 metres. Weather a bit cloudy but still spectacular views. Back to the refugio for about 10 am.

tlfake - Jun 8, 2017 2:15 pm Date Climbed: Jun 2, 2017

Great time at Chimbo

I didn't make it, but my two partners did. We had great weather, great trail conditions. I reached 19,600ft and got really sick and bailed. But my two partners pushed through and made the Whymper summit. I'm bitterly disappointed and know I'll have to come back some day to knock it off my list. It's a beautiful mountain. It just wasn't my day.

If you go, use John from Andean Adventures. He runs the refuge, is very straightforward and knowledgeable, and treated us very well. He cares a lot about the safety, success, and comfort of his guests. He is also the best priced. We saw a lot of climbers come through and the ones that were climbing with Andean Adventures were generally more successful and better prepared. Everyone in our group agreed he was the best guide service we've ever deal with.


Norris - Feb 17, 2017 8:16 pm

Ventimilla via Whymper

Climbed this way back in the day with John Fischer. It was in December 1987, don't remember what day of the month.

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