Ecuador climbing conditions..?

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Re: Ecuador climbing conditions..?

by JB99 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:57 am

One more request for an update, on Cotopaxi and/or Cayambe... Heading to one or the other to take a shot next Wednesday. Hoping things have consolidated a bit...

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Re: Ecuador climbing conditions..?

by MMclimbhigh » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:08 pm

Just returned from an amazing climbing trip to the Andes of Ecuador. The weather was challenging, but we managed to summit Rucu Pichincha, Iliniza Norte, Iliniza Sur, Cotopaxi and the great Chimborazo. It snowed every day after 2PM during our 23 days there. Clear mornings, clouds by noon, snow all afternoon and clearing again by midnight. All that snow created great climbing conditions. The routes on all the big peaks are in very good shape. Avalanche danger was a bit high at times, so play it smart. Go enjoy the tropical glaciers of the beautiful Andes!

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Re: Ecuador climbing conditions..?

by Socorro » Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:35 pm

Hey MMclimbhigh, I saw your logs! congrats! That sounds like an epic group of climbs.

I'll be trying Cotopaxi again in late January. Very excited for the second shot.

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Re: Ecuador climbing conditions..?

by MarioCaceres » Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:15 am

Thanks for the update on conditions MMclimbhigh. I'm heading that way in a few days and forecast is similar to what you describe. It's reassuring to know that there is actually a pattern thru the day and you guys managed to have a good time.

BTW, I found the following site has very interesting weather info. It's mountain specific and has forecasts for diferent elevations. Not sure how accurate their models are, but I will try to validate them once I'm there. Here is the link: ... casts/6267


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Re: Ecuador climbing conditions..?

by metal4lyf » Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:48 pm

If anyone's interested, we just returned from Ecuador. These were the conditions in our experience:

Rucu Pichincha - Great scramble on the SE ridge. No snow on the route. Socked in at the summit. We got rained and snowed on.
Illiniza Norte - Snow starts a few hundred feet below Nuevos Horizontes. Sidehilling on steep, unconsolidated snow at Paso de la Muerte. Socked in at the summit. Weather was rain, snow, sleet, graupel.
Cotopaxi - Good hard snow from the refugio to the glacier. Good bootpack on the glacier. Interesting route with some fun crevasse threading and a little bit of ice. Turned around at 18900' due to frostbite concerns for one of my team. The ice ramp looked easy and other groups were just using quick belays. Perfect weather.
Chimborazo - Via El Castillo. Strenuous but boring. No crevasses on the route. Steep and often unconsolidated snow for 4000'. Incredible views from the Whymper summit. Snowing up to El Castillo, great weather above that. Little rocks were pelting us on the descent from El Castillo.

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Re: Ecuador climbing conditions..?

by mtvalley » Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:13 am

Regarding the site mentioned, my advice is take it with a grain of salt.

We were in Ecuador in January and moved our Cotopaxi summit attempt up a day due to a snowstorm called for on the site. We ended up caught in a whiteout high on the peak, 50 mph sustained winds and had to turn back just 200 meters from the summit. Apparently the next day's weather (our original summit night) was perfect and quite a few teams made the top.

It's impossible to predict weather from day to day on these volcanoes, they're so big they create their own weather systems.

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Re: Ecuador climbing conditions..?

by Boleslav » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:35 pm

Does anyone have an update on the Cotopaxi conditions?


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