2 or 3 days
Intermediate to Advanced
Max Guide Ratio:
Prior Trip Suggestions:
Follow Up Programs:
Sweeping views from the summit of Ecuador’s tallest volcano, on a clear day you can see down into the Amazon jungle basin and the neighboring peaks
Enjoy watching the sun rise over the Amazon and the neighboring volcanoes.
Chimborazo is an extinct volcano located in the Western Cordillera, 150 km (95 miles) southwest of Quito. For this climb you need ice-climbing equipment, excellent physical condition and lots of stamina. Climbers must also acclimatize their bodies to the high altitude conditions before attempting to summit Chimborazo. Most of the time, it is not a difficult climb but there are periods when hard ice conditions make it very challenging.
The sight of Chimborazo (6,310 m / 20,702 ft), the tallest peak in Ecuador, is among the most impressive in all of the Andes. Since the Earth bulges near the equator, this snowcapped giant is not only the highest mountain in Ecuador, but also the highest in the world if measured from the core of the Earth outward to the peak. There were a number of summit attempts by Europeans of this local giant beginning in 1736 with the French explorers, but it wasn’t until 1880 when Edward Whymper successfully made it all the way to the peak.
Today there are 2 common routes leading up to the summit of Chimborazo, and we offer guided trips up both of these. This itinerary is for the most popular and moderate route, El Castillo.
Like all snowcapped peaks in Ecuador, avalanches are common during the day due to the more direct angle of the sunlight characteristic of regions this close to the Equatorial Line. As a safety measure, we will climb at night and reach the summit by 7:00 a.m., this will enable our safe return to base camp before the snow pack becomes too warm and soft.
We drive to the Hermanos Carrel Hut (4,800 m/ 15,750 ft) on the base of Chimborazo and hike to our accommodations at the Whymper Refuge (5,000 m / 16,400 ft). After preparing our gear we will go on a short hike to the rock needles known as “Chamonix Needles”(5,240 m/17191 ft). Then have an early dinner and turn in for the night.
Our day starts early to ensure we have enough time to reach the summit of Chimborazo (6,310 m / 20,702 ft) by 7:00 am. It will take 7 hours to ascend and another 3 to return to the Jeep.
Optional High Camp
We will have a high camp on the second day. This greatly increases the summit success rate because we will be starting at a higher elevation making for a shorter summit day.
Want something even more challenging? On request, we can arrange a trip up the more demanding and technical climbing routes, such as the Chimborazo Direct Route.
Every effort will be made to adhere to the itinerary, but unforeseen circumstances may require last minute changes. Weather conditions, road conditions, vehicle breakdowns and the health of climbers can all contribute to schedule alterations. Please be prepared to be flexible when necessary.