Cotopaxi – summit, altitude sickness & location update

The last weekend in August was a marvelous one at Cotopaxi. Very punctual for the season the climate is getting better and conditions were almost perfect. 

Cotopaxi, Ecuador (5.897 m)
Cotopaxi, Ecuador (5.897 m)

Our base camp this time: Tambopaxi, a very nice and comfortable place in the Cotopaxi National Park. The mountain hut “Refugio José Ribas” is still work in progress. The walls are complete, the roof on top, but there are no windows and the inside is completely raw … this will take still some time (2015 is, what people are talking about).

work in progress @ refuge José Ribas
work in progress @ refuge José Ribas

So our way to the top is a bit longer! We schedule wake up and breakfast for 9 o’clock and leave immediately afterwards. We drive up to the parking lot and start our tour, first up to the refuge and from there we continue to the glacier. Now it’s time to put on crampons, grab the ice axe and become secured by the guides … 2 clients, 2 guides. We overcome the first glacier, cross a small sandy section and are about to enter the second glacier, where altitude sickness hits one of our clients – no chance to continue, the tour has an end for him and he needs to go down. Chris is strong and he can go on … a good decision to climb with a private guide! The night is clear; it’s cold and windy but incredibly beautiful.

Antisana, seen from Cotopaxi
Antisana, seen from Cotopaxi
ascent Cotopaxi
ascent Cotopaxi

Getting closer to the summit, the reserves are becoming smaller and smaller, it’s a hard way, but we make it to the top … impressive, wonderful, Cotopaxi is presenting himself and the surrounding Ecuadorian Andes in best conditions.

rest @ Cotopaxi summit
rest @ Cotopaxi summit

We enjoy the views, an andean summit adventure has been completed successfully, at least the first part … the descent is still missing. Hours in front of us, walking down the mountain, now with day light, being able to admire the beauty of ice seracs, crevasses and majestic Cotopaxi.

descent Cotopaxi
descent Cotopaxi
crevasses @ Cotopaxi
crevasses @ Cotopaxi

It’s hard, almost difficult to enjoy, but definitely worthwhile. First down to Yanasacha, continuing to “rompe corazones” or “heart breakers” descending one glacier after the other till we finally reach the hut. Only a small rest before the last part down to the parking lot, and DONE!

end of the second glacier
end of the second glacier

Mission Cotopaxi successfully completed by Chris.

You want to be the next one to “roll up that stone”? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hP0qIYzvBzU … following your obsession and completing your mission?

… we share your passion and realize your dreams …

Climb Cotopaxi with andean summit adventure, we’re waiting for you!


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