Those two mountains are a perfect combination! Iliniza Norte is one of the most popular acclimatization climbs in Ecuador and his neighboring summit, Iliniza Sur, is a great option when it should get a bit more technical. The small mountain hut “Nuevos Horizontes” serves as a good base in order to summit both of them in just 2 days.
We reserve day 1 for Iliniza Norte. After driving up to the parking area “La Virgen” – 3.900 m – follows an approximately 3-hour-hike up to the hut “Nuevos Horizontes” – 4.700 m, gaining 800 m in altitude. Leaving the heavy bags with all the technical equipment and equipment for the night at the hut, the way up to Iliniza Norte is not that far any more, but make sure to do not underestimate this rocky part! The views are great, especially of the next day’s target, Iliniza Sur.
When approaching the so called “Paso de la Muerte”, it is getting interesting. This is the most difficult and dangerous part on the route. To have a secure climb, we recommended to have a rope with you.
Then you just continue upwards, between the rocks, always being aware of other people around you and especially of loose rocks coming down … so your helmet should sit on your head!
The summit has a small cross on it … a perfect scenery for pictures.
After enjoying the first successful climb, it’s time to descent to the hut, have a delicious dinner and rest, as day 2 will start early and the tour is quite challenging, but not that long.
Around 4 a.m. it’s time to leave the hut and head towards the next summit. The first crux is a rocky wall, which has to be climbed and afterwards the glacier will challenge you. The crevasses are impressive and the glacier is partially quite steep. Concentration is a must here! The ascent is only 500 m in altitude, but all the work to secure the mountaineers takes its time.
The views are marvelous, when the mountain is not surrounded by clouds and reaching the top a real adventure.
Also schedule enough time for the descent, as security enjoys top priority and everybody wants to get back safely.
And the worst part comes as the last: walking down from the hut to the parking lot, carrying again all the equipment, tired from the ascents, but of course satisfied and happy after having made to great summits in Ecuador.
As most of the mountains in Ecuador, the Ilinizas can be climbed all year round – come and climb with us! We furthermore have another post about Iliza Norte.