Ecuador is a country crossed by the longest mountain range of the world “The Andes mountain range”. This country is fortunate to have several peaks over 16.400 ft (5,000m) above sea level, all of volcanic origin. Most of these volcanoes are extinct although some are still active. Indeed, Sangay, Tungurahua and even Cotopaxi are still active today and therefore observed very closely by vulcanologists.
The Cotopaxi with its perfect cone is the highest active volcano in the world. It will offer you a unique spectacle in the heart of the most spectacular Ecuadorian Andes protected park. The Chimborazo 20.664 ft (6300 m) highest summit of the world in relation to the earth’s center, the Cayambe 18.991 ft (5790 m) located on the equatorial line or the Pichincha 15.744 ft (4800 m) overhanging the capital, Quito, all these landscapes will make you dream. All these factors make Ecuador a major country in the Andinism world. ITK Voyage-Ecuador offers you sublime and unique climbs with a total immersion in the country.
The Ecuador colossus, summit at 6,300m, surely represents an incredible challenge during your stay in the Andean country. Chimborazo is the furthest point from the earth’s center (the earth is not perfectly round) and therefore the closest point to the sun.
Location: West direction from the Panamericana, Between Ambato and Riobamba. It takes 5 hour-drive from Quito to reach the refuge. The Chimborazo is located in the same name reserve.
Altitude: 20.654,16 ft for the summit – 15.744 ft for the Carrel refuge.
Positive elevation: 4.910,16ft/D+
Difficulty: Grade II/PD – 7-11 hours ascent depending on the level. The percentages (40 ° -45 °) and the duration make the ascent physically difficult.
The Cayambe Volcano is located right on the equatorial line, making it the second closest summit to the sun after Chimborazo. Among all the volcanoes that can be climbed Cayambe is the easiest glacier climb.
Location: Located northeast of Quito, 3 hours’ drive.
Altitude: 18.991,2 ft for the summit – 15.088 ft for the refuge.
Positive elevation: 1200m/D+
Difficulty: Grade II/PD – 6-9 hours ascent depending on the level. The reasonable percentages (30 ° -35 °) make the ascent accessible to many people in good physical condition.
A colossal monster, imposing like the Chimborazo but with a lower altitude (18.869 ft). It is located in the Antisana reserve’s heart, east of Quito
Location: Located to the south-east of Quito, approximately 1.5 hours’ drive.
Altitude: 18.869 ft for the summit – there is no refuge and the camp is at 15.580 ft
Positive elevation: 3.289,24 ft/D+
Difficulty:From grade II+/AD- to IV+/TD- / 5- hours ascent depending on the level. The percentages (40 ° -45 °) and the duration make the ascent difficult both physically and technically. The Antisana Volcano glaciers are regularly in motion, so there cannot be a classic and traditional route. The most difficult climb in Ecuador.
One of the most emblematic ascents in Ecuador; Cotopaxi is the highest active volcano in the world. It erupted in 2015, it seems to have calmed down, access to the glacier and the summit has been possible again since early October 2017.
Location: South of Quito, approximately 2.5 hours’ drive.
Altitude: 19.319,2 ft for the summit – 15.744 ft for the Jose Rivas Refuge
Positive elevation: 3.575 ft/D+
Difficulty: Grade II/PD – 5-8 hours ascent depending on the level. The percentages being almost 50º make the climb physically difficult but not very technical.
The twin Illinizas volcanoes, south of Quito, are two technical climbs. Iliniza Sur volcano is the higher of the two, therefore, technically more difficult.
Location: Located south of Quito, approximately 1.5 hour-drive. The Ilinizas volcanoes are opposite the Cotopaxi, on the other side of the Panamericana.
Altitude: 17.220 ft for the summit – refuge at 15.252 ft
Positive elevation: 1968 ft/D+
Difficulty: Grade IV-/AD+ / 4-6 hours ascent depending on the level. The percentages (70º) make the ascent physically and technically difficult.
Altar is a volcano made up of 9 peaks all of which appeared during the last big explosion in 1490.
Location: Located south of Quito, approximately 4 hours’ drive.
Altitude: 17.446,32 ft for the highest peak.
Positive elevation: 1.148 ft/D+ to 2.624 ft/D+
Difficulty: From IV+/D to VI/ED – Generally, mountaineers wishing to perform Altar, attempt to climb the 9 summits in 4-5 days. Percentages of up to 90 degrees make Altar’s climbs among the most difficult in Ecuador.
The Pichincha volcano breaks down into 2 distinct summits, the Guagua Pichincha (The Pichincha child) (15691,5 ft) and the Rucu Pichincha (The old Pichincha) (15.409,4 ft)
Location: These two peaks overlook Quito, the capital. For the Rucu Pichincha the cable car will take you up to 13.284 ft.
Altitude: 15691,5 ft for the Guagua Summit and 15.409,4 ft for the Rucu Summit.
Positive elevation: 2.132 ft/D+ for the Rucu from the cable car.
Difficulty: Moderately difficult, ascent with a technical part at the Rucu Pichincha end.
You will be able to do “the whole thing” by making the Guagua Pichincha summit, then crossing to Rucu to finally finish at the cable car … a superb walk!
Illiniza North Volcano is the South Iliniza twin brother. The north summit is lower and less snowy. Its summit will offer you a marvellous view of neighbouring volcanoes such as Cotopaxi, Rumiñahui or even The Corazón.
Location: South of Quito, 1h45 minutes’ drive.
Altitude: 16.810 ft summit 15.252 refuge.
Positive elevation: 1.558 ft/D+
Difficulty: Grade II. Difficult climb due to its 70 ° slopes, but relatively quick in ascent. Indeed, about 3 hours will be needed to reach the top. This climb is therefore perfect on the last acclimatization climb, before tackling the monsters of almost 6,000m.
Overlooking the San Pablo Lagoon -near Otavalo- The Imbabura volcano rises itself among the surrounding peaks.
Location: North of Quito, 2 hours’ drive.
Altitude: 15.117,5 ft for the summit (no refuge)
Positive elevation: 4.428 ft/D+
Difficulty: Moderately difficult ascent with a technical part at the end. For this ascent, a good physical condition is necessary, because of the duration.
One of the best volcanos for perfect acclimatization. The Corazón volcano is located near Quito, at the beginning of the Volcanoes Alley.
Location: South of Quito, 1h30 drive.
Altitude: 15.711,2 ft for the summit, and the starting ascent point at around 11.906,4 ft. You will drive up to this altitude.
Positive elevation: 3.804,8 ft/D+
Difficulty: Moderately difficult ascent, despite a slightly dizzying end it is not required special equipment. The ascent can be long, you will need to be in good physical condition to reach the top without difficulty.
The Tungurahua volcano was erupting until 2015, but it doesn’t show activity signs since that date. The ascent is therefore possible today and many athletes make this ascent.
Location: Close to Baños town, 3h30 drive, south of Quito.
Altitude: 16.475 ft and a start ascent point at 12.464 ft from the refuge.
Positive elevation: 3.936/D+
Difficulty: Difficult ascent with slopes of approximately 35 °. The summit can be reached in about 4-6 hours depending on the level. An impressive crater will await you at the top.
The Sincholagua is an extinct volcano at Quito southeast. The first to conquer the summit was Edward Whimper.
Location: Located to the south east of Quito, approximately 1.5 hours’ drive.
Altitude: 15.983,4 ft – start ascent point at 11.808 ft
Positive elevation: 4.175,4 D+
Difficulty: Difficult ascent. The end is grade (5.4) / III. The slopes of 70 ° require a final fairly difficult climbing. This ascent should be reserved for mountaineers with a good level.
The Rumiñahui is located in the Cotopaxi National Park at the south of D.M. Quito. This volcano is made up of 3 different summits, the south, north and the central one which is the easiest of the three and which requires the least material. North and south require ropes and helmets to reach the top.
Location: Located south of Quito, approximately 2 hours’ drive. The Rumiñahui is located in the Cotopaxi National Park.
Altitude: South – 15.402 ft / central – 15.199,5 ft / north – 15.488 ft
Positive elevation: The starting point for the climbs is the lagoon located at 12.562,4 is. 750 D + for the central summit, 900 D + for the south and north
Difficulty: Moderately difficult ascent for the central. The north and south summits will be more technically difficult. Ideal at the start of your stay to calmly acclimatise during a high mountain stay.
The Fuya Fuya is one of the easiest peaks to reach in Ecuador. It will be a perfect acclimatization walk to start your stay.
Location: Located north of Quito, approximately 2 hours’ drive. The Fuya Fuya is close to Otavalo..
Altitude: 13.982 ft for the highest peak.
Positive elevation: 1.968 ft /D+ from the Mojanda lake.
Difficulty: Moderately difficult ascent. Ideal at the start of your stay to calmly acclimatize.
The dormant Pasochoa volcano lies between Rumiñahui and Ilalo volcanoes. this volcano is quickly accessible from Quito.
Location: Located to the south-east of Quito, approximately 1 hour drive.
Altitude: 13.776 ft
Positive elevation: 4.592 ft D+
Difficulty: Moderately difficult ascent. It will take 5 to 7 hours to reach the top. There is no technical difficulty..