acclimatization @ Iliniza Norte (5.126 m)

Saturday morning, same situation as on many days during the year … Iliniza Norte and Sur in the clouds, but the weather forecast is good and in Ecuador … “everything is possible, but nothing is certain” … as we have been told. 

Iliniza Norte in the clouds
Iliniza Norte in the clouds

Day one:

We start in the village El Chaupi, which is close to Machachi and about 1 hour from Quito. Driving up to the entrance to the Natural Reserve Los Ilinizas and continue to the parking “La Virgen” at 3.950 m. This is the starting point of the tour. Many people do Iliniza Norte in one day.

For acclimatization reason, it is also a great 2-day-tour. You are able to sleep in the mountain hut on approximately 4.750 m. Our back bags are a bit heavier, as we have to carry sleeping bag and equipment for 2 days. Nevertheless, we have plenty of time for hiking up to the mountain hut “Nuevos Horizontes”. By the way, this is the only operating serviced mountain hut in Ecuador at the moment. Most of the others are still being renovated (like the ones on Chimborazo, Cotopaxi & Cayambe). As a result of an easy pace, the hike up to the hut took us 3 hours. We arrived in the early afternoon, drank some tea, had a small snack and spent some nice hours in the mountain hut.

The dinner was delicious and in order to have enough energy for the summit we went to bed early, after having enjoyed unbelievable & beautiful views of the Ilinizas in the CLEAR FULLMOON NIGHT which we had.

sunrise - on the left Antisana, on the right Cotopaxi
sunrise – on the left Antisana, on the right Cotopaxi

Day two – Iliniza Norte:

The next day started as beautiful as the previous one ended. Shortly after 6 a.m. we admired a marvellous sunrise over Antisana and Cotopaxi before we began our hike to the summit.

tour start Iliniza Norte
tour start Iliniza Norte

Snow and wind did their jobs during the last weeks and dressed the way up in a beautiful white robe. The sculptures seemed to be as soft as goose down and shimmered in the sun.

ascent to Iliniza Norte
ascent to Iliniza Norte

It was a clear day and we enjoyed the view of maestoso Cotopaxi just vis-á-vis.

view of Cotopaxi from Iliniza Norte
view of Cotopaxi from Iliniza Norte

After approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes we arrived at the top of Iliniza Norte (5.126 m). Because of the breath taking views and the perfect climate we enjoyed having reached the summit.

summit Iliniza Norte
summit Iliniza Norte

Even nearby Iliniza Sur was visible all the way up and started to hide behind the clouds, while we were enjoying some minutes on the summit.

Iliniza Sur
Iliniza Sur

Moving in the high mountains it’s not done with reaching the summit, also the descent requires a lot of energy and concentration, especially when facing difficult parts as for example the so called “Paso de la Muerte” – the step of death.

Paso de la Muerte @ Iliniza Norte
Paso de la Muerte @ Iliniza Norte

Happy about having reached the summit on such a beautiful day we hiked down carefully and take only the best memories with us. It was marvellous!!!!

You want to join us for a climb like this? … we are waiting for you …

… we share your passion & realize your dreams …


2 thoughts on “acclimatization @ Iliniza Norte (5.126 m)

  1. […] one of our acclimatization tours we expect 1.200 m / 3,937 ft in vertical elevation gain and 12 km /... andeansummitadventure.rocks/hiking-time-calculations

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