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Ecuador is the ideal alpine climbing destination with over thirty peaks and magnificent alpine terrain! With some of the most epic peaks in the Southern Hemisphere, it is the perfect location for mountaineers looking to up their game. This expedition will take you to four different volcanoes: Cayambe, Antisana, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to acclimatize in different locations—Quito, Illinizas Ecological Reserve, Riobamba, and Baños. Ecuador might not be a big country, but its rich history and varied ecology make it unique and bucket-list worthy. Enjoy the local hot springs, gain experience and skills at high altitudes and feel the thrill of climbing the incredible Ecuador peaks. Travel to Ecuador and undertake an extensive and unique 15-day training program expedition for mountaineers prepping for bigger objectives like Denali, the Arctic Regions, or 8000m peaks—especially Mount Everest.
The perfect training ground to gain experience at high alpine altitudes
Chimborazo’s peak is the furthest peak from the centre of the Earth
Climb four volcano peaks in the 20,000-foot range
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Ecuador, please refer to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention or Ecuador’s Ministry of Health.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
What you get on this adventure:
What’s not included:
This adventure is for intermediate to experienced climbers. You will need a good level of fitness and backpacking experience to accomplish this climb. These are tough climbs, which require specific skill sets. Building effective storm camps, crevasse navigation and rescue techniques, climbing with full packs, fixed rope ascension, and formulating a climbing strategy are all necessary topics to cover. Participants should arrive with a healthy desire for enduring mountain conditions.
This 15-day expedition is geared for intermediate to advanced climbers who are comfortable climbing and moving for 7-8 hours every day, have backpacking experience, are in very good physical condition and have snow and glacier travel skills. This is technical climbing and this course is meant to develop existing skills that will take your existing skills to the next level.
If you’re new to alpine climbing, there are plenty of options to prepare you for an expedition like this. Mount Superior in the Wasatch Mountains makes for a great training ground to get the experience to move on to an expedition of this level.
All technical climbing equipment will be provided by your guiding service. However, if you have your own gear, feel free to bring it. You’ll need:
For personal items, we recommend bringing:
Group sizes and prices:
Min. age requirements:
If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
To get to the Ecuadorian Andes, most people fly into Quito International Airport. From there, you can rent a car or take a taxi to the hotel. Flights generally arrive late in the evening on Day 1 of the itinerary. Once you arrive at your accommodation, you will arrange other details of your itinerary and make further plans in more detail. Please note that flights departing Quito may be booked for any time on the final day of the program.
Once you land in Quito, your guides will meet you at the airport and transfer you to a hotel where you’ll relax and energize for tomorrow.
Spend two days acclimatizing to your new environment and go sightseeing! Explore Quito’s old town and colonial sights with your guides and go over the details of your trip. You’ll review the itinerary, equipment and expectations. Get ready for a 4-hour trek to the Rucu Pichincha Volcano that will take you to its summit at 4790 m (16300 feet)! After the hike, relax and prepare for the adventure.
Today, you’ll start as early as 6 am. Your guides will pick you up and drive to the entrance of the Illinizas Ecological Reserve about an hour away from the hotel. Ilinizas used to be one volcano that eventually split into two—the 6th and 8th highest Ecuadorian mountains with Illiniza Sur (5,263 m / 17,267 ft.) and Illiniza Norte (5,126 m / 16,818 ft.) peaks. There you’ll take a 6-hour trek to one of the summits. At the end of this hike, you’ll settle in a country-side lodge for further acclimatization.
On day 5, you’ll drive north for 2,5 hours to the entrance of Cayambe Coca National Park. The park encompasses an amazing 4,031.03 km2 (996,090 acres) and features hot springs, pre-Incan sculptures, and Cayambe volcano. Have lunch on the way and once you reach the destination for today, climb the volcano. Your guide will help you with your techniques and learning how to use the equipment. You should reach the refuge about 5pm, when dinner is served.
The summit attack begins at midnight and the climb to the top takes about 6-7 hours. You’ll reach the summit between 6 and 8.30 am. After a brief moment on the top, you will descend back to the refuge to have breakfast. Once you finish your breakfast, you’ll be transferred to a rural mountain lodge where you can finally rest. Not far from your lodge is the Termas de Papallacta, natural hot springs that naturally occur due to the volcanoes in the area, where you can really decompress for a small fee.
Use this free day to recover from the hike. Your guide will take you for a peaceful hike in the mountains. Meals for today are not included.
After an early and hearty breakfast, you’ll head to Antisana, about 2.5 hours away by car. There you’ll set up a basecamp and start climbing. Dinner will await you at 5 pm, and afterwards, you can rest till midnight when you’ll start the climb.
The climb will once again start at 00:00 and take about 6-7 hours. You should reach the summit between 6 and 8.30 am. Enjoy the panoramas from the summit for a few moments before heading back to the basecamp just in time for breakfast. After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to your next mountain lodge near the Cotopaxi National Park. Cotopaxi is the second-highest peak in the country with a height of 19,347 feet (5,897 m) and one of the highest active volcanoes in the world—the last eruption occurred in 2016! The picturesque snow-capped volcano features one of the few glaciers along the equator.
Spend the day reenergizing and acclimatizing to new heights for the Cotopaxi summit.
In the morning, you’ll be transferred from the lodge to the refuge carpark. From there, you’ll hike to Jose Rivas’ refuge. This is a place where you’ll spend a part of the evening resting and preparing for the overnight ascent. After dinner, relax and get ready for the summit.
Summit attack once again begins at midnight. The climb takes about 6-7 hours. This is not a technical climb, but it is challenging, and the elevation change often takes out climbers from completing the ascent because of problems acclimating. Only about half of all attempts succeed, but with the help of a guide, your chances are getting substantially bigger. The summit window is between 6-8.30 am, and after a brief moment on the summit enjoying the views, you will descend back to the refuge to have breakfast. After a short break, you’ll be transferred to Riobamba city where you will get some much needed rest!
Drive from Riobamba to Chimborazo Lodge for further acclimatization prior to the climb to the fourth summit—Chimborazo! With a peak elevation of 6,263m (20,548ft), Chimborazo is the highest mountain in Ecuador, yet only the 39th highest peak in the Andes! Climbing this ice-capped inactive volcano demands technical skill and is often on ice, so crampons and other equipment are required.
You’ll be transported from the lodge to the base of Chimborazo National Park that is located at 4800m (15720ft). From here, you will start a short climb to the 5300m (17400ft) location where the geo-domes of high camp are located. You should be there by 5pm when dinner is served, and then rest till midnight.
The summit once again starts at 00:00 and the climb takes about 6-7 hours. After reaching the summit, enjoy the spectacular views for a brief moment and descend back to the high camp at 5300m in order to have breakfast. After breakfast, you’ll head back down to base at 4800m and drive back to Quito city. Your guides will drive you to Baños, a great place for hot springs and rainforest short trips. This is where your adventure ends!
Use the day to relax in Baños and get to know the local community. Explore the local restaurant scene and the historical centre.
Today you will say goodbye to Ecuador and head home!