Used Sierra Nevada Expeditions as guides. Owner Freddy is a legend and absolutely awesome! He and Estalin acclimated our group on Rucu Pichincha, Corazon, and Illiniza Norte. All climbs were successful and amazing. Arrived at Tombopaxi lodge on the 24th. Mountain was stormy then, but was crystal clear at midnight when we started. Temps not below freezing. Made it to about 17,500 feet when we met groups ahead of us descending due to avalanche concern. Our lead guide, Estalin, dug his own snow pit to do a stability test and recommended that we also retreat. No one on the mountain made the summit that day. Sad we didn't summit, but glad that we played it safe and have a chance to do it again. Beautiful mountain. Highly recommend Freddy and Sierra Nevada. You couldn't ask for a more knowledgable and experienced team. Freddy estimated he had climbed Cotopaxi at least 350 times in his 30 years of mountaineering. Hopefully, we can join him again soon, so we can complete the climb.
Summit via Rompecorazones! Took forever but a friend and I both made it to the summit at about 7am. 5 minutes of cloudless views and then heavy fog for more than halfway down. Scary moments as my friends legs failed him and he slid down the slope a few times. Total climb time, 12 hours there and back. 9pm to 9am. Started and ended at car park due to refuge closure.
I had already a summit from the nourmal route in 2012. Second attempt with a friend from NY, Chetan. He turned back at 5,100m due to bad altitude sickness. I waited for nearly 2 hours for my guide to return (dropping him off) to continue. I went on to 5,700m and turned back due to moderate winds that were killing my under protected head =)
My first ever climb in 2011, and to this day probably the hardest. Went way to hard early on racing an Irishman and a Canadian who were far fitter than me. Came close to crawling the last bit to the refugio but at least I didnt throw up like the Canadian!
Slept down in the valley, refuge was closed. Drove up to refuge and started hiking at 2300. Got to summit around sun rise. Very steep and lots of false summits. A small portion of the hike was on a razor exposed ridge line, very cool. While up on the summit neighboring volcano Tungurahua erupted, again very cool. Perfect weather. Great day hiking.
Left the refuge at 23pm and broke trail at the lower part of the mountain. Later on some ecuatorian guides asked to overtake and we politely let them. Summited pretty late, around 6 or 7pm. Two party members got very cold while exposed to high winds. The rompe corazon route was very scenic and the summit views were amazing. Later on, after we descended - around 9am, the clouds rolled in and visibility was bad.
The refuge was closed for construction, so I camped in the parking lot below the refuge. Cloudy and very low visibility in the afternoon. Happily the clouds lifted as the temperature dropped, and I left my camp at 11:40 p.m. under clear skies and high winds. Climbed on great snow conditions, following the long, circuitous route which has become the standard. Reached the refuge at 12:25, and the summit at 5:45. Windy and cold at the top, but we enjoyed crystal views of all surrounding mountains and the famous summit crater. Climbed with Ecuadorian guide Pato.
We were very fortunate with a weather window and were able to summit at 5:30 am on 1/6/2014. There was bad weather the day before and the several days after. Most memorable hike I have ever done despite the majority of it being in the dark. Was very cold and snowing most of the way up.
Beautiful night to head to the summit, left the refuge at 1am and reached the peak by 5.30am for sunrise; perfect conditions!
Second summit for Cotopaxi (first time in Nov 2012, normal route, summit in 6.5 hrs, good weather and great views). This time, over concerns about the crevasses and seracs - and also the expedition size - our expedition (23 climbers, 12 guides) took the Rompecorazones route... great weather, cold but no wind, almost a full moon, climbed until the "Pared" without headlamps, great view of the other mountains. Clouded up just before the summit, so no view this time. In the end we descended via the normal route, turns out there are now two sections with metal ladders (in Nov 2012, there were no ladders) and several crevasses to jump across. Looking forward to to try the south face in a few weeks...
we did not climb the normal route, instead traversed to the right and went straight up to meet the normal route after the crevasses. it was steep and tiring, but a much safer route. i'm not positive if it is the "heartbreaker route" or not.
Altitude crazed dream
Winds 30-40 mph sustained with some gusts 60 mph. Took a route on the far left side of the icefall using a running belay. Two days earlier a climber was killed by a serac lower on the route.
Started from the hut at 01:00 with Simon West and our guide Eddison. Speed was good but I got tired 2/3 of the way up. Found some reserves and made it to the top at 6:00 to enjoy the sunrise. Spent only 2 hours for the decent. The seracs were awesome!
Fantastic summit climb from the refuge with two buddies and two guides!
Took off at 1am, made the summit by 5:30am. Clear skies and 80% moon- barely had to use my headlamp.
Huge avalanche above Yanasacha two hours into the climb, but thankfully no one was in the area.
Last hour up was cold and relentless, but the views of Antisana, Cayambe, Chimborazo, and the crater were "vale la pena". Down by 6:45am for a fantastic morning.
More difficult then expected after climbing near or above 5000m four times before this mountain. Amazing view of the avenue of volcanoes, you can see a ridiculous amount of volcanoes on a clear summit morning! =)
Lame we had to hire a guide (Ecuador mountaineering sucks for this law now), but Chris and I made it to the summit in foul weather in about 6 hours. Some others raced up and paid for it with altitude sickness. The crevasse was cool and the route was pretty straight-forward. Nice to finally get the summit.
Pick up a guide for my girlfriend and to let me solo up by myself. Brought radios to keep contact with the guide and another guide at refuge. Last to leave hoping to follow the tracks up, at 1am. But, caught everyone before the crevasses. Found my way up in very stormy conditions, snow blowing sideways. Very sketchy trail, I am glad I prepared for this. Made it down before 6am.
Did it all during the dark. No fun without the sunrise.
Cabanas Agama 4.000m - Camp Cotopaxi Cara Sur 4.780m
from Camp Cotopaxi Cara Sur up to the beginning of the glacier ~5.060m; turned around because of havy snowfall and fog :/
Cold but made it...amazing