The route was fun, but the weather was not. It was much colder than I expected with constant rain/sleet and about 10' of visibility. The conditions made it difficult to descend and my guide and I roped up. I also confirmed that my waterproof jacket is, at best, "drizzle-proof"
Snowed two inches overnight which made the more exposed sections of the rock scramble a bit interesting, but overall is was easy terrain and a fun rock scramble with beautiful views. No rope necessary on the 5.3 section. I found the climbing to be a bit easier than what I think of as 5.3. We downclimbed the same section with no rope. Sunny in the morning, clouds rolled in around 10am. The hike to the hut, and the night at the hut, was the crux for me. The approach hike goes on forever and the hut is small, dirty, musty and dark. Get there early to the hut or you'll get stuck sleeping on this nasty loft with no leg room. I learned the hard way! What a night!
We didn't take a guide on this mountain, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend that decision with the snow we encountered. The traverse onto the north face and the subsequent 5.3 climb up to the summit is hard to see without prior knowledge of the route. We followed a distance behind another 3 man group with prior knowledge of the route which took the dangerous guess work out of the equation. Without that third-party guidance, we would have waisted a lot of time hunting for the right path with steep slopes, snow and exposure. We were fortunate.
We didn't make the summit so I shouldn't sign, but it was such a trial to get here that I am going to sign anyway.
I contracted a serious bout of food poisoning on the way down and at the Houston Airport (USA) on January 4. I was sick on the plane and the next day we were supposed to climb Pichincha. I was so weak that I could only make 135 meters/440 feet on the peak.
The next day we were supposed to go to Iliniza Hut. I was so sick that I couldn't make that either and only made it 2/3 of the way before collapsing and wrenching over. I had to return down the mountain and got sicker as I descended. Luckily we saw two condors; the good news of the day.
On January 7, I was finally feeling better, but not as well as normal. We climbed to the hut that day. Unfortunately on the 8th we were actually supposed to climb Sur, but I wasn't up to it and my wife wasn't feeling great either. We missed our acclimatization days at the beginning of the trip.
On January 8 I was better and we set off for Norte, but my wife wasn't feeling up to doing the Paso de la Muerte so we turned around there at 5060 meters/16,601 feet; 56 meters/184 feet from the summit.
What an ordeal. I sure was disappointed for never getting a crack at Sur. We were out of time and it was time to head to Cotopaxi. Luckily I was better after Iliniza.
Don't eat tacos in the Houston Airport!
I believe that the second peak is from the hut is higher that the peak with the cross. The guides say that the peak with the cross is higher probably because getting to the next peak requires some exposed fifth class at high altitude. However, the altimeter says otherwise.
Almost to the top ! I was alone and it snowed the night before... got to be carefull.
we planned to climb iliniza sur, but a snowfall higger than 4000 m made it impossible, and we just climbed the easier iliniza norte, nice views on cotopaxi and beautiful snow accumulations on the rocks below the summit
A great climb with Eileen and Marco Cruz and his guides at Andinas Expeditiones. A very nice mixed snow and rock climb in good weather. A warm up for Cotopaxi a few days later.
Nice hut and nice climb all together.
This was a good mountain. We went up the sanslide on the front of the mountain instead of circling around to the back. After the sanslide there was a short gully we went up and joined where we would have come up on the trail around the back. This was more dificult but saved a good amount of time. Horrid weather at the top, but nice once we came down again. Had some steep slopes on the way up after joining up with the trail. Had a great time.
What a windy place to put a rock pile!
January 1, 2006: Drove to La Virgen trailhead (3950 meters / 12,959 ft): the trailhead for the Ilinizas. The approach hike to Iliniza's hut Refugio Nuevos Horizontes took 2 hrs 20 min. Slept at Iliniza's hut (15,256 ft).
January 2, 2006: Climbed Iliniza Norte with DeeDee via the Normal Route. Started at 6:09am. Summited by 7:58am and back at the hut by 9:00am (~ 3 hrs roundtrip). We picked up our camping gear and walked to La Virgen trailhead. Then, drove to Quito to overnight.
The atrocious refugio was more than compensated for by an exceptional hike/scramble to the summit with remarkable views of the volcanoes of Ecuador above the clouds at dawn.
Spent the night at the refugio and made a quick morning climb to the summit in cloudy weather. Broke above the clouds in the last 10 meters to the summit. Awesome views. Hiked almost back to Machachi before a bus came by and picked us up that afternoon.
Committed trek (UIAA II, 70 degrees, + 475m), with Suzy (UK) et Scott (USA), good weather. No more permanent snow left unlike what is mentioned on some maps...
We did this as a warm up for Cotopoxi. Nice day climb.
Spent the night at the end of the 4 WD track (la Virgen ?) - camp site
Start at 0500
Hut at 0800 (short break)
Summit at 1015
Cloudy, no view
Some snow at the summit
Rock climbing at the end. Take a rope for descent
A good acclimatisation for Cotopaxi
Nice climb in the morning after a sleepless night.
We could see Cotopaxi and Chimborazo although Iliniza-Sur was in clouds.
Nice climb, no technical difficulties to speak of. Coming down was fun.
Great climb on a perfect day.
We started early in the morning. Beautiful scenery with Cotopaxi and Chimborazo.
Conditions were excellent - no snow and dry rock. The Paso de Muerte was a piece of cake.
Good climb - and also nice as an acclimitizer for the higher ones. The Paso de Muerte's a little funky but not too technical in good conditions. Suerte!