I enjoyed so much this climb, because of the beautiful scenary but most of all the people I knew in that trail: my friends Mónica and Paúl.
With Andy Mac the day after bagging beautiful Fuya Fuya with Andy and DB.
6.5 hours car-to-car, which is pretty good when you consider the route having 5,300 feet of gain and visibility low enough that we never really saw the mountain (except for the occasional briefest of moments).
I should add that there's only a single class 4 move on the route to the true summit, with the rest of the route being class 1-2 (and maybe a single move of class 3 here and there). A guided group also on the mountain stopped at the false summit, as the traverse to the highpoint appears burly (though it's not nearly as bad as it looks).
***Beware of a nasty, loose and overhung, blind portion of ridge 50 feet before the true summit. If one is not paying attention and stays on the crest here, the ridge could topple. Fortunately, one can easily drop 10 feet down the left side of the crest here and avoid the overhung portion...but you gotta know it's there.
Last time I climbed Imbabura was more than 9 years ago with Andrea. We climbed it by the western side. This time I climbed with Bernd (GER) from the eastern side (La Esperanza).
We started at 7:30 am from the trailhead. A very slow ascent up to the north summit. We made it after 5 and a half hours of constant hike. The weather was great at the begining but it got cloudy near the top. It took us 3 hours to get back to the trailhead.
I could see the highest summit from the northern summit for a few seconds. I really want to climb it up again from the western side (Lago San Pablo).
We stayed in Casa Aida in La Esperanza, took a lift to the trailhead and set off at 7am. Beautiful weather to start (we could clearly see Volcan Cayembe in the distance), but the clouds were all around us before we reached the top. Got as far as the first summit, but stopped because of rain and heavy clouds.
By the way, even living next to this mountain, I have almost never seen the summit, only a few times. It´s always way too cloudy.
The first time I went I went with a friend of mine from Estonia, and we had no idea what we had got ourselves into. We went to the second summit without ropes or helmets, and we had socks on our hands because we didn't have gloves.
Ya, that climb is awesome. I´m an exchange student from the US living in Ibarra, and Imbabura just towers over the town. I've since gone back and climbed it a second time. The second summit really does take a bit of scrambling to get to. My organization doesn't let me climb, so Imbabura being so close is one of the only mountains I can sneak up on and climb.
Andrea and I started climbing Imbabura from the town of San Pablo del Lago. A short part of the hike was through muddy steep terrain, sometimes crossing private farmlands then on grass until getting to the base of the summit where we set up our small tent. I tried to climb straight up to the top next morning but an overhanging loose rock wall and a very exposed cliff stopped me for making it.
We both went back to Imbabura 7 days later to give it another try. After an early start from the base of the summit we made it together.
Visibility was zero at the top, but being up there together, above the clouds, was the beginning of countless adventures on the high mountains of the ecuadorian Andes.
. Andrea Ruiz (1977-2007)
Very steep hike with a 5000 ft vertical ascent. Once at the rock, we put helmets on. The rock was very loose. The last half hour to the summit, we stayed very close because of the large rocks we were dislodging.
We roped up for the last hour of the climb. It rained for hours, making the trail a muddy, slippery, gooey mess on the way back down. Even with trekking poles, everyone managed to fall at least once. We were all a muddy mess when we returned to the trail head!
Long tough hike to acclimatize for Cayambe, Cotopaxi, and Chimborazo. Was cloudy but not stormy and we were suprised to hear lightening at the top. Started a fast desparate scramble down and it started to hail on us. We all got down safely but needless to say was an exciting descent.
Started at Hacienda Cusine, went through town and up the flanks of the lower ajoining peak.(left peak in main photo) On the lower flanks, the town, dense sections of trees, and farms you have to go through are a bit confusing, took us longer than expected. Once above the town, farms, and forest, we had a steep, long hike through the grass with lots of wind. No water anywhere up high to be found (wish we had brought more). My father and I had to turn around a little early, somewhere in the 14000 to 15000 ft range due to incoming weather and lack of time.....get an early start.
Start above la Esperanza (end of the "4WD track" at 0620 Altitude 3300 m (10700 ft)
Summit at 1040
No view, clouds
Very steep ascent. Though climb
A bit of a wet hike but the lack of visibility made up for it! Congratulations to all the Cambridge (or was that Hogwarts?) students that made it up.
A very nice hike that rewarded us with nice views when the clouds finally cleared.
a nice acclimitization climb for the other ecuadorian big dawgs. you know you got to stay at "artesanias de la esperanza a.k.a. casa aida" in town - talk about old school! great city, great people, great views, great climb - despite the occasional fridge size behmoth that your climbing partners send your way. Fresh.
Nice acclimitization hike, we did the first 5km or so with 70 lb packs (not recommended!). Weather was not so good, clouds from 3700 meters to summit, very low visibility. Also, water is difficult to obtain above the village, be prepared before starting the hike.
Chirihuasi is an idyllic mountain vilage, very nice Quechuans and beautiful views into the valley below.
used a spare day while wating for the train from Ibarra to the coast (a wonderful adventure - you never know whether or not and when you arive the target)...we hiked up as high as we could and flew our paragliders down to Ibarra road - just before we took of with our paragliders a couple of hughe birds (vulture?) flew by watch us and turned away - probably bored from our style of flying...was a bit scary to see those birds