Chimborazo (6319m) – Highest point of Ecuador

Chimborazo is the highest peak in Ecuador and the world´s highest mountain regarded from the center of the earth & the erarth´s closest point to the sun.

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I am happy & proud. Climbing Chimborazo was the hardest thing I have ever done (so far:-).
12 hours non-stop: ascending and downclimbing 1300m in hight with heavy winds & temperatures well below -10 Celcius at an altitude around 6000m in knee deep snow and full gear isn´t surely something most people would consider doing in their holidays…

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Parque Nacional Chimborazo (entry fee is U$5 for foreigners and U$2 for Ecuadorians) is about 4 hours or some 150km south of Quito. A dirt road leads to the lower refuge 200 meters below the upper refuge at around 5000m. There are basic cooking facilities and dorm beds (U$10) available.
From there it´s a steep 8 hours climb on glacier and (deep) snow to the summit. Crampons, ice-axes and ropes are a must and you should know how to use it! There is no guide required but it´s up to you finding the way in the dark.

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To get some decent advice have a cup of coffee (and some serious good food) @:
Café Montaña (Corner Luis Cordero E12-141 and Toledo, Tel.: 3227-567, mountain_refugeecuador@yahoo.com) in Quito´s New Town.
It´s the place where the local climbing community meets and there you will find all necessary (and neutral) information regarding all Ecuadorian mountains.

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I climbed Chimborazo together with Juan Carlos Bastidas Sánchez (Instructor de Andinismo and also the owner of the café).
For the two day trip (including transport, food, private guiding and about 15 years of experience) he charged U$200. If you ask nicely he might also take you out for a glacier course or trips to pretty much all other Ecuadorian summits.
He is more a climbing buddy than a guide, an “amigo”. I really enjoyed my times in the mountains with him.

All kind of gear can be hired at various places in Quito: For crampons, ice axe and gaiters it cost me U$12 for 2 days.

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As you can see, high/extreme altitude DOES have effects:-)

My altimeter stats:

Date Time Altitude (Meters) Place Notes
01.05.2009 08:28am 2840 Quito Departure Café Montaña
01.05.2009 15:66am 4815 Parque Nacional Chimborazo Arrival at the lower refuge
01.05.2009 16:27pm 5003 Parque Nacional Chimborazo
Arrival at the upper refuge
01.05.2009 17:32pm 5143 Snow Field Chimborazo Acclimatisation hike
02.05.2009 00:17am 5003 Upper Refuge
Start climbing
02.05.2009 05:02am 6001 Glacier Chimborazo My first time above the magical 6000m!!
02.05.2009 06:51am 6310 Summit Chimborazo Arrival
02.05.2009 07:22am 6310 Summit Chimborazo Departure
02.05.2009 09:46am 5003 Upper Refuge
Finish climbing

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Also see climbing [Cotopaxi (5897m].


May 2, 2009  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: Ecuador Views: 8577

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