Started the approach at 12:30am. Clear sky in the morning but strong winds. The winds got stronger during the day. There were several crevasses along the way, some very big that required careful navigation. The summit was in a whiteout, making navigation back tricky. Overall a beautiful mountain, just the weather could be tricky.
Normal route via unknamed glacier from SW to saddle. AD / Alpine Grade II+ (50 degree crux at the bergshrund). We spent the Holiday at the scenic high camp.
Successful on our 2nd attempt. A wonderful mountain, the most interesting one I've climbed so far in Ecuador ... wondering what Altar is like.
I previously climbed Antisana in late 2013 and expected a similar experience. However - and as a few RMI expeditions found out - there is now a big gap in the Bergschrund maybe at 100m below the summit. We had to belay across some very sketchy snow bridges, and instead of the route wrapping around to the right and up the ridge by the south peak, it now has a section of about 60m of between 60 and 85 degrees which we climbed in two pitches, with two pitches descending.
Permit obtained in Quito is currently necessary.
It seems now that a permit is required in advance, to be obtained in Pintag (ask your guide), as much of the property around Antisana is now a government reserve. We ended up sleeping in the former hacienda through friends of one of the guides, and almost got the 4x4 stuck on the pretty gnarly road up to the moraine.
Our five-person team (three climbers, two guides) started on the glaciar at around 2:30 AM to clear skies and no wind; summitted at 8 via the west face; the big crevasse under the ridge (currently) had a way through - a very steep section requiring front-pointing and one short vertical ascent), though one of the guides said it had not been passable a few weeks before. Perfect snow conditions, no wind, lots of crevasses both open and with snow bridges. Antisana really is a stunning mountain!
What a mountain! Woke up to starry sky and no winds. Snow and ice conditions not good all the way, very icy in the beginning, but a very fun climb. Normal route seemed to have been blocked by a fallen serac, so even though we were climbing quite fast, we spent about 1h30 wandering looking for other possible passages until we reached the big crevasse near the ridge but couldn´t find a way though. We heard three avalanches during ascent and closer to the ridge there was a lot of accumulated snow. Just me and the guide that day though. Round trip of 7 hours going up, looking for a new route, and descending. Upsetting not to have summit, but proud to have been in such an impressive and imposing mounting, my only second snowy peak.
Arrived late afternoon, entire mountain covered with thick grey cloud. Awoke at 1am to clear windless skies. Straightforward approach over the moraine and across the lower glacier, where the route-finding fun started. Huge crevasses and otherwordly snow/ice formations dotted our path.
Nothing too technical, guide placed protection in a couple of steep places where front-pointing was necessary and the runout was a bottomless ice-pit... Got very hot in the morning sun on the descent, and the final hour to BC seemed more like three :-/
But a personal altitude record and a truly unforgettable day :-)
We camped 40 minutes from the glacier and entered farther north than what I believe is the normal route. We had a clear, windless night. Started around midnight and got to the top by 6:40. We had to do a little route finding but never got on anything very technical, just some short sections of front pointing. Antisana and the surrounding area are just amazing. Walking in the glaciers is otherworldly. We could also see and hear Tungurahua erupting.
A lucky spell of weather and perfect conditions on normal route. Awesome climb, and awesome camping in the highlands
I had time for one more mountain in Ecuador, and really wanted to go to Antisana. I found a guide who knew the route and we camped just 10 minutes from the glacier. We left camp at 1:30 am and got to just below the summit around 6:30. It took a few hours for the three of us to climb the slightly over-hung wall and crumbing snow, but we all made it! Unfortunately it got cloudy at the top and couldn't see much, but it was a very fun and challenging mountain!
Our team of three climbed up the circuitous and crevasse-ridden normal route of Antisana under clear skies. We reached the summit at about 8am after a 2:30 am start from a base camp at the toe of the glacier. Another team was on the summit when we arrived. They had ascended the west face direct. The gaping crevasse Scott mentioned (truly a monster) had a convenient snow bridge across it. We descended that route. The crevasse difficulties were considerably greater on the ´normal´ route. The tour de Antisana was a memorable climb and I do not regret the long route. However, I think one partner does! P.S. with clear skies the entire time, we saw nearly every mountain in Ecuador, including all of the 5000m+ peaks, and at least three smoking volcanoes. WOW!!!! I will definitely post some pics when I have a chance.
Antisana is a great mountain and a real beauty of a peak. We climbed the mountain via a route near the West Face Direct, but couldn't quite stand on the true summit due to a huge gaping crevasse. All other sides were surrounded by avy prone ice cliffs and seracs and formed a serious obstacle for standing on the true summit.
It sure is a beatiful mountain and one of my best climbs ever. The only problem was that we left too early so it was dark until we were well on our way down the mountain. I sure wish we could have seen the sunrise from the top and bet it would be specatacular.
Definitely a fun climb. Not sure on the route name as I think the route(s) on this peak change often with the very active glacier. Route finding is the biggest obstacle, not very technical. Mountain is in very good condition this year. A fairly long day, we did it in just under twelve hours.