Expeditions

 

Expeditions - Trekking

Trekking Expeditions

Andeanface offers two Trekking Expeditions with multiple day hiking in Ecuador: adventures that go off the beaten track towards two chosen beautiful regions of the central Andes. The Cotopaxi Trek Challenge and Quilotoa Trek are hikes that go deep into remote rural areas of the country. During these expeditions there will be the change to visit some local Haciendas, nowadays converted into hiker’s lodges, and get to know more about the life of the Andean people of Ecuador.

The Cotopaxi Challenge is a very unusual way to reach the Cotopaxi National Park by foot, starting just a few kilometres near the city of Quito and walking up to where the snow line begins at 4.800 m / 15,744 ft.
The Quilotoa Trek will give you a cultural view of the lives of the Indigenous peoples in a remote and less visited mountain area.
Please click on an image to select one of the two treks.

Cotopaxi Challenge

Quilotoa Trek

 

Expeditions

Expeditions

Andeanface offers Climbing and Trekking Expeditions in Ecuador, including climbing Cotopaxi and climbing Chimborazo. All mountain expeditions are all inclusive itineraries that range from four to thirteen days. They have been designed to make the most out of your travelling time and budget, while offering unique accommodation options like the traditional Ecuadorian haciendas or comfortable lodges, well planned and varied activities, and a cultural touch by interacting with the people of the areas that we visit.

We have invested several years researching the best possible itineraries, taking special care in the selection of our providers and developing a personal relationship with them to create solid alliances.

All of these efforts translate into more reliable services and higher quality standards. We constantly strive to improve what we offer and develop new exclusive adventures.

Please click on an image to select a type of Ecuador mountaineering expedition (climbing or trekking) and then a specific expedition.

Climbing Expeditions

Trekking Expeditions

 

Expeditions - Climbing

Climbing Expeditions

Andeanface offers Climbing Expeditions exploring some of the most interesting ascents of the Ecuadorian Andes, including climbing Cotopaxi and climbing Chimborazo. These intensive climbing itineraries have been designed to allow a progressive elevation gain. We start with some moderate altitude hikes, to end with the summit attempt of Cotopaxi.

Each one of the following options presents its own challenges, from long journeys to technical terrain. Please click on an image to select a mountain climbing expedition:

Volcanoes

Cotopaxi Trek & Climb expeditions

Glacier school

Antisana treck and climb

Volcanoes

 

 











 

Cotopaxi Trek & Climb

Cotopaxi Trek & Climb

Cotopaxi is considered without a doubt one of the most beautiful peaks in the world.

It is the most popular mountain of Ecuador and due to the fact it has the highest number of clear days in our country, it is perhaps the most frequently climbed in all the Andes.
Often people drive into the park, climb the mountain and leave again. But Cotopaxi and its surrounding areas offer much more. The National Park has several other smaller volcanoes and peaks that are wonderful to climb, and at the same time offer great acclimatisation opportunities.


So we would like to offer you Cotopaxi in a different way…

Instead of the normal Cotopaxi climbing tours with drive in and out, you will be hiking. In this way, Andeanface offers you a fantastic chance to enjoy and experience intensively the beautiful landscape around the mountain.

If you would like to get an impression of this unique expedition, then watch the movie made by Andeanface clients Anna & Robert Higgins: “Cotopaxi Trek and Climb Expedition 2011”.


Itinerary

After a four day hike in which we climb Pasochoa 4.200 m /13,776 ft, we get into Cotopaxi National Park. Once within the park we hike up to the central summit of Rumiñahui at 4.600 m / 15,088 ft, then have a rest day and later continue towards the Jose Rivas Refuge at 4.800 m / 15,744 ft. This itinerary has proved to be very effective for acclimatisation.
It provides the best chance to summit Cotopaxi in a short period whilst minimising the amount of driving.

Santa Rita CampDay 1
Hike to Hacienda Santa Rita
- 3.280 m / 10,758 ft
After a short drive of only one hour, we start hiking from the village of Santa Clara located in the Valley of Los Chillos at 2.750 m / 9,020 ft. The trek follows cobble stone roads on the side of the Pita River, which comes from Cotopaxi National Park.
Close to the Hacienda Santa Rita we pass in front of a Shrine, where locals come to worship the "Virgen de la Piedra", the Virgin of the Rock.
Today’s hike will take around 5 hours. When you get to the Hacienda the camp will already be set up. You will spend your first night at an altitude of 3.280 m / 10,758 ft.

 

Day 2Pasochoa
Hike to Pasochoa - 4.200 m / 13,776 ft

Today we leave in the morning around 8 a.m. for a 6 hours hike to the Pasochoa volcano. We will be crossing the fields of Hacienda Santa Rita.
Pasochoa is an ancient and heavily eroded volcano that has been inactive since the last ice age. If the weather permits, from the summit, we will be able to take a good look at the crater. Inside you will see the Pasochoa Protected Forest Reserve, a humid Andean Forest with more than 110 species of birds and 45 species of trees, located between 2.700 m / 8,856 ft and 4.200 m / 13,776 ft. On a sunny day you can normally see condors. We return to Santa Rita camp site for the night.


Day 3El Porvenir
Hike to Hacienda El Porvenir - 3.600 m / 11,808 ft or Los Mortiños

Today we hike towards the hacienda El Porvenir. Part of the hike goes through humid Andean Forest where there is a chance to see hummingbirds.
El Porvenir is one of the largest farms in Ecuador. It can be used as a base for excellent hikes within the Cotopaxi Park. Located at 3.600 m / 11,808 ft, El Porvenir is surrounded by four volcanoes: Cotopaxi, Sincholahua, Pasochoa and Rumiñahui. Here you will be able to enjoy your stay in a comfortable, functional and beautiful traditional Andean hacienda. The "casa de hacienda", or farmhouse, is built with materials such as brick, straw, wood and adobe that have been used for centuries. If Porvenir is not available we will use Hacienda   Los Mortiños

Day 4
Central Summit of Rumiñahui - 4.600 m / 15,088 ft
From Hacienda El Porvenir we start hiking towards the central ridge of Rumiñahui, leading to the middle summit. The rock on this mountain can be a bit loose underfoot, so we have to take care, but the views from the summit are really worth it. The volcano is located only 13 km North West of Cotopaxi and it is named after Atahualpa’s general, who was the last Inca Emperor. After the emperor was murdered, Rumiñahui led the fight against the Spanish conquerors. In Quichua his name means "stone face". We spend the night at Tambopaxi.

Cotopaxi From TambopaxiDay 5
Hike to the hut and to the Glacier - 5.000 m / 16,400 ft
www.tambopaxi.com
Today we do a gentle 2.5 hours hike to 5.000m on Cotopaxi to increase our acclimatisation, have lunch at the hut  and drive down to Tambopaxi for the sencond night there, it is a beautiful hostel, located inside the Cotopaxi National Park. It is a great place to rest and acclimatise at the same time! It has excellent facilities such as good and clean showers, including the luxury of warm water, and the food is good.

Day 6
Cotopaxi Refuge - 4.800 m / 15,750 ft
From Tambopaxi we drive the short distance to the car parking at 4.600 m / 15,088 ft in only 45 minutes. From here we hike for another 45 minutes to the Jose Rivas refuge at 4.800 m / 15,750 ft. After lunch, we provide a good glacier skills review. Also we will brief you about all the technical aspects of the ascent. After a couple of hours we return to the refuge for a hearty hot meal.

Day 7 Cotopaxi Summit
Cotopaxi Summit - 5.897 m / 19,300 ft - Return to Quito

This is the day in which you will actually be climbing Cotopaxi. We leave the refuge around 1 a.m. for a six hours climb. From the hut we ascend moderate glacier slopes to the summit. Along the way however, complex crevasse patterns and snow bridge crossings over crevasses will make the climb very interesting. After passing through a heavily crevassed area, we reach the final summit slope. Here a challenging section of 35-40 degree snow leads to the abrupt finish of the climb on the crater rim of the World's highest active volcano.
At the top of Cotopaxi you can look inside the crater and see its sulphur fumaroles. The crater rim measures approximately 800 m / 2,600 ft in diameter. The view from the summit is indeed one of the most spectacular in Ecuador.

Technically the normal route is not difficult, but special care has to be given to potential hidden crevasses. The descent usually takes around two hours.

Important Note: Please note that this itinerary is a guide line only. We will do every effort to follow it, but in case of unforeseen circumstances we may have to make changes.


Map

Also see our Interactive Map.

Cotopaxi Trek and Climb

 

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Climbing Difficulty Levels

The following scale reflects the difficulty of the climb considering the technical specifications, experience required, altitude and duration of the ascent. The grades are roughly estimated and you have to take into account the difficulty varies depending on your personal fitness and experience.

Intermediate - No previous mountaineering skills are required. Climbers should be in acceptable physical condition and it is highly recommended that participants have some backpacking experience. In some cases a rope may be used to belay some exposed places.

Advanced - Basic mountaineering skills required, experience in high altitude and use of climbing gear such as crampons, rope and ice axe is preferred, but not required. A moderate climb usually is on a glacier, you may have to cross some crevasses, the slopes are not so steep (max. 40%) and full gear is used on all climbs. Very good physical condition is required.

Strenuous - More than 6.000 m / 19,600 ft technical climbs with steep snow slopes and exposed ridges, you may encounter some crevassed sections. Experience in high altitude and proper use of equipment as well as some knowledge of mountaineering techniques are required. Climbers should be comfortable on snow and ice up to 50 degrees. An excellent physical condition is a must.

Ascension Success Rates

The following information is based on our own records since 2005. It represents the percentage of trips in which we have taken at least one client to the summit.
Besides the percentage, we also give you a brief description of the most common cause for not been able to reach the top.

Chimborazo: 70%
Icy conditions and lack of stamina from climbers ( clients running out of fuel!)

Cotopaxi: 85%
Strong winds.

Cayambe: 75%
Bad Weather.

Antisana: 65%
Not being able to cross the bergschrund around the summit.