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Ecuadorian Chimborazo Volcano – CuencaHighLife

Ecuadorian Chimborazo Volcano - CuencaHighLife

The Vicuña Chimborazo volcano, the very best mountain in Ecuador, and the summit is farthest from the middle of the globe. Credit: Bob Itami

Bob Itami

The Chimborazo volcano (Fold or the father of the indigenous individuals within the area) is Ecuador's highest mountain at 6,268 meters (20,564 ft) and the summit is farthest from the center of the globe. Chimborazo is part of the Reserva de Producción de Fauna, founded in 1986, and is residence to hundreds of vicuñas, one among two wild South American camelids dwelling within the excessive altitude of the Andes, the opposite being guanaco. Vicuña was extinct in Ecuador, but was returned to Chile and Peru in the 1980s. Additionally, you will see llamas and alpacas in the reservation.

The hundreds of vicimana returned to Chimborazo in the 1980s are a singular a part of the Chimborazo experience. Credit: Bob Itami

Due to its excessive altitudes, Chimborazo is a challenge particularly for day trippers and deserves respect. At night time the temperature reaches freezing all yr spherical and the weather can all of the sudden change with robust winds, dense fog and snow all season. If in case you have the posh of time, it’s best to verify the climate in Riobamba to see if the weather is obvious for the subsequent few days. Many visitors by no means see Chimborazo on arrival as a result of it’s coated with clouds.

Cuenca is 160 kilometers away by scenic drive by personal transport. That is a few 5 hour drive. See Assets at the end of this article for transport choices. From Riobamba, Chimborazo continues to be 50 kilometers (one hour) from the management gate.

Prepare. Convey a number of pairs of heavy wool socks. Wear a very good pair of climbing boots, convey a base layer of lengthy underwear (merino wool or lycra), rain pants, a raincoat, several layers of warm clothes, sunglasses, sun cream, a warm broad-brimmed hat, a warm winter glove, and a buff. Additionally convey a day pack for snacks and no less than a liter of water for each four hours of mountaineering and of course all the medicine you need. Mountaineering methods advisable, don't overlook your digital camera! As a German hiker as soon as informed me, "There is no bad weather, just bad clothes."

Acclimatization Although you have got lived in Cuenca for some time, it’s clever to adjust your self to high altitudes before visiting Chimborazo. . A superb various is to make regularly larger hikes in the mountains around Cuenca, especially the Cajas National Park. The aim is twofold: enhancing physical fitness and progressively adjusting to a better altitude. If in case you have a well being drawback, seek the advice of your physician before mountaineering excessive. If you would like a summit in Chimborazo, it might take five months to regulate and get the fitness and expertise you need.

OK, now you're in fine condition and have a pleasant hike over 3600 meters at 12,000 ft. You’ll enter Chimborazo and be eager on your first hike. A superb plan is to check your self from the first refuge “Carrel Refugio” at 4800 m. There you possibly can park your automotive, take pleasure in a scorching drink and snacks before strolling to another refuge “Whymper Refugio”, 5000 meters (16404 ft), and when you have lung capacity, you possibly can walk to Condor Cocha, a small alpine lake at 16,732 ft. (5100 m) at the foot of Chimborazo. At these altitudes it’s advisable to take time, go sluggish, relaxation when wanted, drink plenty of water and don't be afraid to show again in case you are not feeling nicely. Headache, fast coronary heart price, dizziness, dyspnoea, nausea and mental confusion are indicators of altitude sickness and must be taken significantly. When you or your get together is experiencing these signs, the whole celebration should descend immediately. Don’t depart these signs alone. Click on right here for details about Chimborazo Refugios.

Shelters provide food and scorching drinks through the day and you may keep for a charge, but that you must deliver your personal camping gear to save lots of the night time's freezing temperatures. Credit: Bob Itami

Along with these warnings, climbing represents personal achievement in a respectful landscape. Take the time to take pleasure in your accomplishments, breathe clean mountain air and feel good. You have got accomplished one thing that solely a handful of individuals on earth will experience!

Shelter paths are nicely outlined and literally breathtaking in peak. Credit score: Bob Itami

Most visitors to Chimborazo enjoy the hike from Carrel Refuge to Condor Cocha. It solely takes a couple of hours, then they depart the asylum. Now that you’re used to it, it's time to actually check yourself. We chose a hike to Templo Machay.

Day Hike to Chimborazo Lodgesta Templo Machay.

Esteban Arévalo, our mountain guide, arranged for us to stay in the magnificent Chimborazo Lodge. This inn was founded by the legendary Marco Cruz, one among Ecuador's most experienced and nicely-recognized mountaineers. He summit Chimborazo when he was only 13 years previous. He has spotted all of Ecuador's volcanoes and peaks in South America, Europe and Asia. Click here, right here and here for extra info on Marcos and his extraordinary life.

Chimborazo Lodge sits in a valley with spectacular views of Chimborazo. There isn’t any phone service or Internet service, so unplug and benefit from the tranquility and ease of Ecolodge, a museum of mountaineering history and an instance of sustainable ecotourism. staying as much as freezing temperatures at night time. It's easily the most effective place to stay near Chimborazo and the favorite place for climbers around the globe to organize for the summit. Marco continues to steer these events, and we have been fortunate and honored to satisfy this heat and generous man.

Volcán Chimborazo Chimborazo Lodge 4000m / 13 120ft. Refund: Bob Itami

Bob Itami, Marco Cruz, Janet Engel, Esteban Arévalo (our guides) and Steve Dow in the background at the Chimborazo volcano.

Marco suggested us to stroll from the Lodge space to Templo Machay after which to the Refugio Carrel space on the slopes of Chimborazo. we will organize for the automotive to take us back to the lodges.

We had a terrific breakfast at the Lodge and have been rewarded with beautiful views of Chimborazo.

Map displaying an excursion from Chimborazo Lodge to Templo Machay, ending at Refugio Carrel Lodge. . It’s a four hour hike to Templo Machay from Chimborazo Lodge and another four hours to Refugio Carrel, a complete of 18 km. (Bottom map:

Genciana – one of the 34 species of the genus Gene. A fruity bloom that appreciates the Alpine panorama. Credit: Bob Itami We met a shepherd who directed his alpha herd into the valley. Compensation: Bob Itami

An tour from the valley from the Lodge is a mild ascent via the Páramo (alpine moor), which has collected grass and lots of wild flowers. There was a shepherd who shepherded his alpaca as much as the valley and as we ascended greater we went by means of the sand dunes as we ascended Chimborazo's ft. After a 4 hour walk we reached Templo Machay. We explored the cave and stopped to rest and get some snacks and a chance to benefit from the beautiful surroundings.

Information to Esteban Arévalo and hiker Steve Dow at the entrance of Templo Machay four,700 m (15,420 ft) Credit: Bob Itami

Templo Machay is a sacred volcanic cave in the south of Chimborazo. It’s a bidding website for the Puruhá, Inca peoples and residents of the world. There is a steep wrinkle inside the cave to succeed in the back wall of the cave where you’ll be able to see the fashionable choices left by visitors from around the globe.

After leaving Templo Machay, we move steep swimming slopes in collection of ridges. touchdown in Chimborazo. The panorama changed from steep to volcanic slopes until we reached Refugio Carrel. We have been drained at the end of the journey as we hiked for more than 18 kilometers for eight hours. Nevertheless, we have been obsessed with our expertise of testing health, endurance, and adaptation in one of the world's great mountain landscapes.

We have been lucky sufficient to catch a taxi that had fallen from some climbers who had arrived in Quito. We returned to the Chimborazo Resort to rejoice with beer, a bathe and a fantastic dinner.

Because of the incredible mountain information Estéban Arevalo who has adapted us for this challenging and memorable journey.

Public Buses
The Wanderbus
Chimborazo Lodge
Marco Cruz and His Expedition: Click on Here, Here And Right here
Chimborazo Refugios
Tourism: Extract from Lonely Planetista Chimborazo
Riobamba Tourism
Excursions: Chimborazo Volcano Personal Day Trip
Travel Advisor Chimborazo
Mountain Information: Esteban Arévalo: E mail:


Bob Itami is a retired environmental planner. he has had 20 years of educational profession schooling for graduates at the University of Guelph, the College of Arizona and the College of Melbourne, Australia. As an environmental marketing consultant, he developed customer administration methods with Nationwide Parks in Australia and america. He worked with science teams within the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Forest Service to construct pc simulation models on recreational conduct, ship visitors, and the consequences of worldwide warming on worldwide delivery throughout the Bering Sea. He’s an avid backpacker and explores the landscapes and cultures of Latin America. Contact Bob for extra info at