Climbing in Ecuador
Ecuador has one of the world’s greatest concentrations of volcanoes. There are over thirty, of which at least eight are considered to be active.
The high Andean peaks of Ecuador are located primarily along the Avenue of the Volcanoes, a fertile central valley, which is buttressed by two ranges, the Eastern and Western Cordilleras.
Whatever you are looking for – acclimatization, easy climbs or more challenging climbs – we offer everything!
Straight forward climbs which novices give a chance to get near or above 20,000 feet you will find by climbing young, cone-shaped volcanoes like Cotopaxi. Others are deeply eroded, older volcanoes with challenging rock and ice routes (e.g., the glorious ring of peaks on El Altar).
For your first few days in Ecuador, you should acclimatize by ascending some of the smaller mountains (15,000 feet or less), such as Iliniza Norte, Imbabura or Pichincha. These lower peaks are non-glaciated, easily accessible within a day’s travel from Quito, and offer either hut facilities or nearby hostels that can be used as a climbing base.
Once your body has adjusted to the altitude, you are ready to try one of Ecuador’s four classic glaciated peaks: Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, Cayambe or Tungurahua. Experienced mountaineers can attempt the more remote and/or more difficult peaks of Antisana, El Altar and Iliniza Sur or the more challenging routes on the other mountains. As a relatively recent playground for climbers, Ecuador still provides many opportunities for first ascents on new routes.