I climbed Cotopaxi by the normal route. The ice started about 5100 metres high. The glacier was very icy and it was dificult to find the track because there wasn´t snow in this part of the way. It's better to have a guide before you to find the correct way. You can find in the descent some hidden holes in the snow. If you go with a guide you have to be careful: they want to climb quickly, and some of them don't want to get the top.
Tomás Blázquez, Madrid, Spain
The south route was nice but no better than the north side (normal route). We had to turn around because of an inmense crevease that blocked the route.
On the normal route 2 of the 6 of my group reached the summit. I got sick and turn around at 5.700 m.
Going there again in December 2003 and going down on skis!!!
My first attempt was on February 8, 1976 when I was working there with the Peace Corps. We made it to 17,000' and turned back. I'd forgot about this but was looking through some of my old letters and found several references to our failed attempt.
My next attempt was with my son in February, 2003. We left the refuge at about 1:00 a.m. The weather was terrible with sleet and high winds. It was evident that I had not completely recovered from a virus which I had several days earlier and I felt very weak. I decided to turn around at about 16,500' , short of the glaciers, as I knew I didn't have the energy to summit. My son made it to the glaciers with our guide and then they turned back.
Bad luck with the weather as 20 people summited the day we arrived at the hut followed by7-8 inches of snow. We attempted to summit on both days following with both attempts ending around 19,000 due to the avalanche conditions. Tons of other parties climbing with the same results. The day after we left the weather improved and several teams made the summit. It just wasn't my trip.
Good weather and great snow conditions
we camped just to the right of the hut; too cheep to pay to stay. sumit took 5.5 hours. wicked weather. visibility was about 5m at best. covered in ice. no view at the summit but I still love the summit pic.
Once we finished our acclimatization on two Illinizas we moved to Mt. Cotopaxi. From the base camp our team started to climb at around 2:30 am. It was a short hike to a glassier. Being in the dark we did not see the path. So i decided to go vertically up on the glassier. After 3 vertical meters the glassier become less steep. We roped up and continue to climb. Finally i saw a group of German alpinists ahead of us. I followoed there path and finally we were on the right trail. Some of our member was not acclimatized well. Thus they could not keep up with the tempo. At around 6:00 am i decide to continue summit "SOLO". Once i get out of rope i started to move up much more faster. At 9:00 am i reached the summit. I spent there about and hour, and then came back to the base camp. Unfortunatly i had to come back when the sun was way up. Thus it was enormous heat. I ran out of water, which forced me to eat snow. I return to camp safe, however i have to sdmit it was quite a stranious walk for a total of 9 hours
With my wife Annica Carlsson, I summited the Cotopaxi at about 7:30 AM, after about 6.5 hours. We had light rain and ice showers at the beginning of the climb, and higher on the mountain we had strong wind. We could not see the crater! Once down at the Cotopaxi refuge the mountain was absolutely clear-typical....
Hiked to Cotopaxi in a couple of days after acclimatisation climb of Iliniza Norte, going through El Boliche entrance to national park from El Chaupi.
Left Jose Rivas refuge at 1am and reached summit at 5.30am, so hung around there for 30 minutes to get pictures of sunrise. Back at refuge at 8am. The only difficulties I found were making sure you pick the right entry point to the glacier to get the path to the top (follow a guided party if unsure - I reccied this the day before the climb) and the last crevasse before the summit. This crevasse used to have a metal bridge, but there is now a narrow snow bridge immediately followed by a short steep pitch where care is needed (especially on the descent).
Fantastic views from the top (and indeed on the way up, due to clear starry night with half moon).
Nice climb, no real technical difficulties. beware of numerous crevasses. approx. Alpine PD+
Acclimatise well and wait for the weather. The sound of the wind inside the hut can be demoralising but it's worth going up to the top the scree and reassess conditions.
Climbed with Matt "dad" Sherman and Linda Josephson after spending one night in noisy refugio. Cold & windy on glacier with some frozen precipitation. Several crevasse bridges (more apparent descending) and a traverse of moderately steep terrain - maybe 40 to 45 degrees. Sunny & warm on summit. Impressive crater. Routine descent though snow conditions had softened, of course, and anti-balling plates might have been helpful on crampons.
A very smooth climb with an Ecuadorian guide.
Before visiting Ecuador, I had not even tried to summit any of Europes 4000m peaks! Thus, when I had to abandon my ambitions of observing Mountain Tapir or Spectacled Bear in the wild, I certainly was the amateur on any summit attempt to follow.
It turned out, however, that others were prepared even less. Several tour groups (especially from my home country) failed the same day predictably, because they had not bothered enough to acclimatizise.
Start at the hut at 4 am. Summited 9:30 am. We were lucky with the weather since the clouds started to come in after 10 am.
Summitted with Wolfi and Schol after reaching the crater rim NOT at the highest point.
Left the hut at 1am... reached the top in 6 1/2 hours.. what an awsome summit. Great views or our next peak, Chimobrazo and other volcanoes...
route does get steep in sections. Roped up toward the top near the Yanasacha Black Band.
Great next step after Orizaba and Ecuador was a great country.
we got caught in the middle of economic uprest and were also robbed at gunpoint by 3 bandito's in Quito. there were 4 of us and they attacked us anyway. i would try to take mace in your luggage or better yet, buy some while your over there as a precaution. This was not fun but we did fight back and fought them off.
recomend carrying mace and only the money you will need at the moment on you. do NOT carry all your cash. Also, carry a copy of your passport, not the original.
We spent 2-nights in the hut, which I highly recommend. Summit day was quite windy, cold, & with variable clouds. There were a few steep sections higher-up, although the last 150 yds. was quite gradual to the summit. Caution! is advised on the way down, as it warms-up, & due to your close proximity to the equator. You'll experience increased balling effect upon your crampons. We stayed the night in Latacunga, which worked-out well, except for some unknown reason, this town wasn't too friendly. I don't have an answer, because the rest of Ecuador was very hospitable. Overall, I would say this is a good mountain, & also a good country to step-up the altitude!