• Cotopaxi
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Overview

Climb one of the highest active volcanoes in the world at 5897 m! Due to its perfectly symmetrical cone, covered in a thick blanket of snow and ice, the Cotopaxi is one of the tourist highlights in Ecuador and it’s most visited and climbed volcano.   The climb to the summit occurs during the night; this allows watching the sunrise from the summit and displays unsurpassed views of Quito to the North and Chimboroazo and Tungurahua to the south. At the top you have a magnificent view into the snow capped crater where it is possible to see steam emissions. The ascent departs from the refuge at 4800m normally * (the refuge is currently under renovation, scheduled to open in December, base camp now is at 3,800 m) and climbs through a mixture of volcanic sand, snow, and glacier to the summit. Although the climb is not classified as technically difficult, it is absolutely necessary to go with professional guides and specialized glacier hiking equipment like ropes, ice-axes and crampons.The climber must be in good physical condition and must already have had a good acclimatization. The ascent takes between 6-8 hours while the descent takes 3-4 hours.

Itinerary 2 Days:

Day 1 
Departure from Quito at 9 am in private transportation to the Cotopaxi National Park. After a  2 -2 ½-hours-drive south you arrive at the parking lot of the refuge in the Cotopaxi National Park at 4500 m. * (Refuge is currently under renovation, scheduled to open in December. Base camp is now at 3,800 m.  So no practice on the glacier just hiking nearby. )From there you hike up for about one hour to the Jose Rivas Refuge at 4800m.  After lunch, you do some climbing exercises on the glaciers nearby. Back to the refuge you will have dinner and then rest until midnight.

Day 2

***Current adjustment in program, means you get up at 10pm for breakfast, drive for 25 minutes then begin your push to the summit.*** Other program with stay in the refuge should start again in December 2014.
You get up at midnight, have breakfast and get ready for the climb. Around 1:00am you leave the refuge. As soon as you reach the glacier, you put on crampons and rope up in teams. Each guide will take one or two persons. If all goes well, you reach the summit a 5897 m between 6:00am and 8:00am. The return to the refuge takes about 3 hours. When all groups have returned, you leave for Quito. Return around 1 to 2 pm.

Itinerary 3 Days:

Day 1 
Departure from Quito at 8 am in private transportation to the Cotopaxi National Park. After a 2 ½ – hours-drive south you arrive the campsite, where you will stay the first night 3800 m. After setting up the tents and lunch you hike up the Ruminahui, a mountain situated close to the Cotopaxi in the National Park. The climb takes about 5 to 6 up to 4712 m and you will get recompensed for your effort with stunning views at the volcanoes Cotopaxi and Sinchilagua. After returning to the campsite you have dinner and time to rest.

Day 2
After breakfast you drive up to the parking lot of the Cotopaxi refuge at 4500m. From there you hike up for about one hour to the Jose Rivas Refuge at 4800m. After lunch, you do some climbing exercises on the glaciers nearby. Back to the base camp you will have dinner and then rest until 1opm.

Day 3

***Current adjustment in program, means you get up at 10pm for breakfast, drive for 25 minutes then begin your push to the summit. Last meal for the program so make sure you eat, you’ll need the energy *** Other program with stay in the refuge should start again in December 2014. You get up at midnight, have breakfast and get ready for the climb. Around 1:00am you leave the refuge. As soon as you reach the glacier, you put on crampons and rope up in teams. Each guide will take one or two persons. If all goes well, you reach the summit a 5897 m between 6:00am and 8:00am. The return to the refuge takes about 3 hours. When all groups have returned, you leave for Quito. Return around 1 to 2 pm.

 

What’s Included:

  • Bilingual Certified ASEGUIM guide
  • Accommodation at refuge
  • Transportation from Quito to Cayambe and back
  • Entry Fee
  • Meals from Lunch day 1 until breakfast at 12 pm
  • waterproof hiking boots
  • waterproof pants and jacket
  • fleece pants and jacket
  • outer gloves
  • balaclava cap
  • gaiters
  • crampons
  • ice ax
  • headlamp
  • sleeping bag

What’s Not Included:

  • Additional snacks & drinks
  • Tips

What to bring:

  • Long sleeved cotton shirt
  • Sun block
  • small day pack
  • small pad-lock
  • Optional – but nice to have:
  • Cotton underwear
  • Sun glasses Thermos bottle (hot tea provided at the refuge)
  • Thick socks for hiking
  • 3 AAA batteries for the headlamp
  • Thermal underwear
  • Lining gloves
  • Toiletries
  • Change of clothes for after the climb
  • Wind/ Rainjacket
  • Original passport
  • Camera Snacks and energy drinks for the climb

Costs:

  • $250 US per person with a minimum group of 2 people
  • $420 US per person for a minimum group of 2 people
  • Ask us about alternative options for acclimatization