The first 75% of the hike is very easy, slow incline until you cross the ridge with Ruminahui in view. Once you cross the ridge, prepare to start the incline to the summit. If you've never scrambled before, you may want to pick a different trail because you will scramble for about a kilometer. Bring a helmet - super important!!
My husband and I didn't use a local guide and didn't have any issue with the climb, but if you aren't confident in your hiking/climbing skills, definitely hire a guide.
During the final ascent, stay to the right side of the trail. There is a stable path on that side and it's much easier to walk up. At the top, there is a lot of exposure, so take caution. On the way down, take your time. Once you reach the loose sand, use it to get yourself down quickly. You'll sink in the sand and it helps you descend.
Note: There was A LOT of fresh cat scat on the trail. We also saw massive paw prints and small cat prints, which means they have babies. It's VERY likely that they won't bother you, but be aware that they are there and they are near.
Cloudy at the top, but it cleared up from time to time.
I took the route that starts at lake Limpiopungo. It is a clear trail with a relatively mild ascent up to 4280 m elevation. From there, it involves a bit of scrambling, especially the last 50-or-so meters. Unortunately, the weather was bad, so we had no view from the summit.
the day could not have been better ... wonderful weather and views of Cotopaxi and all other volcanos.
We reached the north summit on Dec 23, 2017 with pretty good weather. Great views of Cotopaxi.
It is difficult to get into the park without a guide from a local agency. We did not have to pay a fee to enter the park. Return transportation between Limpiopungo and Machachi cost us $50.
Started late at 11AM, and on the rock by 1. Struggled with considerable mud on the already loose volcanic rock, which was joy for the legs. We got within 30 vertical feet of the summit, but the ledge which appeared to be the standard approach was lightly dusted with melting snow. Clouds had just begun to envelop us, and our damp 4th class alternative ultimately failed to charm me. Another day!
Finally made it up Ruminañhui Sur (to add to a few successful summits of Rumiñahui Norte and a failed attempt on Rumiñahui central due to weather this year), recent rockslide and terrible rock quality. We made it up ok, but needed to belay for the descent.
We had good weather considering the time of year. I found a morel mushroom on the slopes below. Fun scramble but really rotten rock.
From Laguna Limpipungo 3.830m
After Morurco, this was one of the most gorgeous mountains I've been on in Ecuador so far. We started from the lake and took the ridge to the center. Then we headed right of center and walked along and up the side to the ridge. From there, it's easy scrambling to the top. I really enjoyed the views of the center and south peaks. I met a local guide named Philipe and we ran back down to the lake. We saw some curiquingues flying around and several rabbits in the grassy area. Off and on cloudy but no precipitation. We could hear thunder somewhere between Antisana and Sincholagua, but it stayed over there.
Left Tambopaxi at 5:30 AM. It took a couple hours to reach the lake Limpiopungo. The trails from the lake to the ridge can be a bit confusing and we got a tad bit off-track and almost went to the south peak, but finally summited at around noon. Cotopaxi was completely cloudless for the first few hours of our hike, which made for a great view. Looking down from the top was pretty amazing as well. We got lucky with the weather -- it didn´t start raining until about 4 in the afternoon when we were almost back at Tambopaxi. We saw 4 Andean condors as well, which was spectacular.
Left Tambopaxi around 5:30 a.m. with a couple friends and walked to the lake. Got on the trail and started up in fog, and ended up nearer the south peak, but it was an easy fix and got on the ridge. Some fog rolling in and out but no storms. On our way down we are fairly certain we spotted condors near the summit - four of them. Still in disbelief but were almost sure they werent vultures. One circled around us and flew off east of Cotopaxi, then returned about 15 minutes later followed by three more. Wonder if anyone else will spot them?
nice day and great views of the cloudless Cotopaxi. 4 hrs round trip from the lake parking lot
I started at dawn from Tambopaxi. The weather changed from dry to somewhat foggy to drizzling during the walk up to the couloir leading to the ridge south of the summit. While scrambling up to the ridge, it deteriorated further to light snowfall and my hands got very cold. Mittens were not an option, I needed my hands to scramble up the couloir.
After a break below an overhanging rock, to eat something and to warm up my hands, I continued to the ridge. According to the two guidebooks I had consulted, from that point the route goes a bit south, away from the summit, before descending some 25 m on the other side of the ridge. After that, it should be a short and relatively easy scramble to the summit.
I looked long and hard for a safe way down on the other side, but I saw a mixture of poor rock, mud and snow, and didn't like it at all. I tried going down a little bit in various places, but it was pretty slippery. I was alone and didn't have a rope. Somewhat reluctantly, I turned back down. Better safe than sorry.
Summited Rumiñahui Central together with Johan Dahlström and our guide Cristian as an acclimatization climb. The day began as a nice one but after some ten minutes at the summit it stared to snow. Nice and easy scramble. Unfortunately we did not have any views of Cotopaxi due to the low clouds.
Hiked and scrambled with Boriss.
Climbed with Rob (HOL). Started from Limpiopungo Lagoon. Hiked straight up by the central ridge. Got some hail hundred meters below the summit. We left the backpacks and rushed ourselves up to the summit. Very cloudy and warm, perfect weather for a thunderstorm.
Got back to Tambopaxi lodge in the middle of a thunderstorm.
Climbed with Michael (USA) and Guy (USA). We started from Limpiogumgo lagoon. Extremelly cloudy and foggy. Got to the central summit after 3 hours 15 minutes of leaving from the trailhead.
It hailed on us right at the summit. So we made our way down pretty fast. Total RT 4 hours 10 minutes.
Got back to the van completely wet and hungry :)
We visited Cotopaxi glacier the following day. It snowed all the way up as well. Got a good time, though.
Cranky! It was just like raining mud and rock slides! The north peak would have been a garbage shoot in these conditions. Fun though.
Climbed with Dustin up into a thunderstorm. Was going to do Norte as well but it was too wet and Dustin was cranky.