Cotopaxi and Chimborazo in October?

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fredsfo

 
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Cotopaxi and Chimborazo in October?

by fredsfo » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:21 am

Hello all!

This is my first post here. I am a relatively novice mountaineer (my relatively short climbing resume includes Mt. Shasta (Hotlum-Bolun Route), Pyramid Peak, Rubicon Peak & most of the Becker, Talking Mountain, Ralston Peak traverse (all in winter), and I have had some lessons in crampon and ice axe usage along with avalanche safety courses). I'm going to Ecuador this October with a buddy of mine who is a pretty skilled rock climber, but about as experienced as me in alpine mountaineering, and we plan on attempting Cotopaxi and Chimborazo. We have about a 10 day window from the time we arrive in Quito to acclimatize and summit both peaks and we have hired a guide but I still have some questions...
- I know we aren't picking the ideal climbing season for either peak, but from what I've read both are doable year round. Is this correct? Has anyone here attempted the climbs in October and do you have any advice on possible weather/temps/gear?
- Have any of you that have attempted either Chimborazo or Cotopaxi used a high camp? While I am confident in my ability to complete a 14 hour grueling slog, I would rather divide it into 2 days with a rest if possible. Does this make sense for either mountain?
- Are we giving ourselves enough time to acclimatize? Is there anything we can do before we travel to Quito to better prepare for the altitude?
- Besides Diamox are there any other medications/prescriptions that we should bring?
- Are there any technical skills we should work on and be proficient at before we go?

Any other suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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Re: Cotopaxi and Chimborazo in October?

by fredsfo » Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:29 pm

Also... If we are flying into Quito from essentially sea level. How many days should we reasonably spend acclimatizing before our first attempt at Cotopaxi? (We will have had some time between 2,000 and 3,000 meters before leaving for Quito, but it will be more than a week before).

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Scott

 
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Re: Cotopaxi and Chimborazo in October?

by Scott » Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:52 am

- I know we aren't picking the ideal climbing season for either peak, but from what I've read both are doable year round. Is this correct?


Yes, correct. March through May are the worst months. October is considered a pretty good time to go, though the Ecuador volcanoes tend to be moist mountains and bad (or good) weather can come at any time.

- Have any of you that have attempted either Chimborazo or Cotopaxi used a high camp? While I am confident in my ability to complete a 14 hour grueling slog, I would rather divide it into 2 days with a rest if possible. Does this make sense for either mountain?


Probably not, at least on the standard routes. I'm not in the best of shape, but Cotopaxi took me five hours to reach the summit. I don't remember how long Chimborazo took, but it was longer. Trying to "rest" in a high camp at that elevation would probably make you more tired than staying in the hut.

- Are we giving ourselves enough time to acclimatize?


It's hard to say. You may be OK, but more time is better.

Is there anything we can do before we travel to Quito to better prepare for the altitude?


Not much other than spending time at high altitude.

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Re: Cotopaxi and Chimborazo in October?

by phydeux » Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:13 pm

Has Cotopaxi been re-opened for climbing? The last news I heard (in mid-2017) was that it was still off-limits due to ongoing volcanic activity. Just check and make sure its open before going. The peak and the surrounding national park are both gorgeous. If you want an alternate peak look into Antisana - the equator passes over it on one side, and that's the highest point on the equator anywhere in the world.

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Re: Cotopaxi and Chimborazo in October?

by Scott » Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:48 pm

phydeux wrote:If you want an alternate peak look into Antisana - the equator passes over it on one side, and that's the highest point on the equator anywhere in the world.


You must be thinking of Cayambe? Antisana isn't on the equator.

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Re: Cotopaxi and Chimborazo in October?

by fredsfo » Sat Mar 24, 2018 4:05 pm

Cotopaxi opened for climbing again in October of 2017.

http://www.markhorrell.com/blog/2017/is ... -to-climb/

Apparently not everyone thinks that was a good idea. We will be flexible and pivot to Cayambe or Antisana if the conditions aren’t right for Cotopaxi. Chimborazo is our main objective. Our guide seems to think that Cotopaxi will be fine, but he may be just trying to keep his clients happy?

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Re: Cotopaxi and Chimborazo in October?

by seano » Sat Mar 24, 2018 4:32 pm

Yep, Cotopaxi's open last I checked -- I did it this winter. You could smell sulfur most of the way up, though

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Re: Cotopaxi and Chimborazo in October?

by fredsfo » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:41 am

Scott wrote:Probably not, at least on the standard routes. I'm not in the best of shape, but Cotopaxi took me five hours to reach the summit. I don't remember how long Chimborazo took, but it was longer. Trying to "rest" in a high camp at that elevation would probably make you more tired than staying in the hut.


Thanks for the info... How was the ice on Chimborazo? Are crampons and a single straight ice axe enough? What were the temps/wind like when you went?

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Re: Cotopaxi and Chimborazo in October?

by fredsfo » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:42 am

seano wrote:Yep, Cotopaxi's open last I checked -- I did it this winter. You could smell sulfur most of the way up, though

Sulfur plus the altitude must have made for some challenging breathing.

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Re: Cotopaxi and Chimborazo in October?

by robfrank » Fri May 18, 2018 1:46 am

I'm planning a similar trip in October. Is it better to hire guides in advance or to wait until I get to Quito and hire one there? What would be a reasonable pricing to expect?

Any recommendations on a guide?

Thanks!


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