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Carihuairazo Climb

  • 2 Days / 1 Night
  • Group : Private
  • Climb from Basecamp
  • Difficulty : 3
  • Pickup: Riobamba
  • Min Age : 16+

Carihuairazo (5018 m / 16463 ft) is the second volcano in the Chimborazo Reserve. Compared to its big brother Chimborazo it may not impress you at first sight, but actually this mountain is a great option to get prepared for the summit attempt of Ecuador´s highest peak. It enables you to achieve a better acclimatization and practice basic climbing skills on the small glacier.

This collapsed volcano is located in a remote part of the Chimborazo Reserve, home to herds of alpacas and vicuñas. It has beautiful moorland scenery on its lower flanks and – with clear weather – magnificent views of Chimborazo from the summit.

Climate change is the main reason that the glacier of Carihuairazo is shrinking little by little, so climb this fascinating peak while it is still possible!

Starting Place


What to Expect

This climb is a combination of an easy trek on paramo highlands with a relatively short glacier ascent. It requires a good physical health and a basic height acclimatization. You do not need previous glacier experience, but be aware that the ascent does involve some rock scrambling and a short technical ascent just before summiting.

The Quichua words Cari-huai-razo refers to Male-wind-ice – be prepared for according weather conditions. If you are lucky enough to hit the summit on a clear day you will enjoy the best views of Chimborazo!

  • Altitude range 4300 m – 5018 m / 14107 – 16463 ft
  • Average climbing time on summit day: ascent 4 - 5 hours, descent 2 hours
  • Average gradient: 30 – 40 degrees
  • Average temperatures: 2°/ 36° F (basecamp) to - 6° C/ 21° F (summit)
  • Best months: November to January, June - August

Day 1Basecamp

Departure from Riobamba at 10.00 and drive for about 1,5 hours to Mechahuasca. This indigenous community at 4200 m / 13780 ft, has a privileged location between Carihuairazo and Chimborazo. In the afternoon we can take an optional hike on the paramo moorlands to observe the herds of vicuñas that live in this protected ecosystem, with great views of the snowcapped volcanoes. After the introductory briefing and dinner, we will crawl into our sleeping bags early.

Day 2Summit day

Wake-up call at 2.30 and after a light breakfast, we venture out at 3.00 a.m. The approach to the glacier takes about 2 to 3 hours, mostly on paramo grasslands. At the entrance to the glacier, (4750 m / 15583 ft) we rope up and put on crampons for the final ascent. Depending on the snow conditions, the final 20 meters before reaching the summit may be more or less technical. From the summit you will enjoy great views of Chimborazo. Descent to the camp where we will have a brief rest and a hot soup, before returning to Riobamba. Arrive at about 13.00 p.m.



  • 1 person (private tour): USD 500
  • Party of 2 – 5: USD 310 per person
  • Party of 6 – 8: USD 275 per person

Price Includes

  • ASEGUIM certified mountain guides (1 guide : 2 clients)
  • Private transfers from Riobamba and return to Riobamba
  • Accommodation in community run refuge
  • Meals full board plus coffee, tea, filtered drinking water
  • First quality climbing equipment
  • Entrance fee community

Price Excludes

  • Travel insurance (must cover glacier climbing)
  • Tips (optional)