Two glaciers have their origin on
the upper part of the southern ridge of Illiniza. That
which goes westwards, almost from its commencement, is
prodigiously steep, and is broken up into the cubical
masses termed séracs. The other glacier, descending
towards the east, though steep, is less torrential.
Edward Whimper, 1892.
From the Atacameño which means 'Cerro Varón', or
Illiniza Sur is located about 55 km
southwest of Quito. It is one of the most beautiful
mountains in Ecuador and always has been an attraction
for all mountaineers. Its beautiful walls of ice and snow
and its haughty summit have been a constant challenge to
the technique and effort of those who love the mountains.
from Quito in the morning. After we pass by the
village of Machachi and a small community called
El Chaupi, we will reach a place known as
"La Virgen." After having lunch we will
hike up to the Nuevos Horizontes
Refuge (4,650 m - 15,257 ft) with
all our equipment in our backpacks. Dinner will
be served, and a brief explanation about what we
will do the next day will be given by our guides.
an early breakfast around 05H00 we will leave the
refuge. Following the standard route it will take
us about 4 hours to reach the summit. The main
problems in the ascent are two slopes of 55-65
degrees; good technique and a knowledge of
mountaineering skills are required. Several
crevasses will be crossed. It will take us about
three hours to return to the Refuge. Late in the
evening we will be in Quito.