Summiting Chimborazo is a challenging and rewarding experience for avid mountaineers. This majestic top is not only the highest of Ecuador – measured from the center of the earth, Chimborazo is higher than Mt Everest, and the closest you can get to the moon and the sun!
The massive, glaciated Chimborazo was formed by the remains of two ancient volcanoes and counts five summits. Our ascent along the Guarguallá route aims to the Veintimilla summit (6227 m. / 20.429 ft) and the maximum Whymper summit (6263 m. / 20548 ft.)
Starting the ascent well before midnight, the moonlight and a blanket of stars will accompany you. Summit time is at sunrise, wen you can admire the most stunning views of other snowcapped volcanoes in the Ecuadorian Andes.
This climb requires an excellent level of fitness, sufficient acclimatization for the high altitude, and previous glacier hike experience (using crampons, ice axe and rope).
Chimborazo is climbable all year round; please be aware that the climbing route is subject to variations due to – often sudden – changes in weather and snow conditions. In extended dry spells there will be rocky and icy sections, turning the ascent more technical. This is why we do not recommend this ascent for beginners.
Departure from Riobamba at 10.00 for 1-hour drive to Chimborazo Reserve, and on to the Carrel hut at 4850 m. / 15912 ft. Our certified mountain guide will give a safety briefing with indications about the climbing route, expected weather and snow conditions, use of equipment. The afternoon is meant to rest and improve your acclimatization. Early dinner and time for a true power nap until about 21.30 p.m. After a light snack we prepare to start the ascent at 22.30 p.m.
The first part of the climb is a mixture of boulders, rocks, snow and ice, leading to the large rock formation of El Castillo (5350 m. / 17.553 ft.) From here we continue over the glaciated ridge. The slopes have an average steepness of 30 – 40 degrees, with some icy sections of 45 degrees. After 7 – 8 hours we reach the Veintimillia Summit (6227 m. / 20.429 ft.) With good snow conditions, sufficient time, and if you still have enough energy, you can continue for 1 more hour to the Whymper summit (6263 m. / 20.548 ft.) The descent will take 3 – 4 hours. From the parking lot transfer back to Riobamba. Arrive at 12.00 p.m.