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Illiniza Sur
Select Route:
Normal Route 

Normal Route 


Type:  Ice, Alpine, 2000', Grade IV
Original: AI3-4 Steep Snow [details]
FA: Jean Antoine and Louis Carrel (Italy)
Season: November to February
Page Views: 690
Submitted By: Eric Rich on Mar 17, 2010

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BETA PHOTO: Red Line is the Normal Route


Follow the moraine above the glacier until you are beyond the La Rampa Coulior and then drop right on to the glacier. Traverse right and then head up to reach a point to the right of a rock outcrop and head up. In dry conditions, this can be hard ice-gravel at 45 degrees. The slope slackens above and trends right-ward to a rightward traverse that brings you to a large crevasse. Depending on conditions, either cross the crevasse to the right on a snow bridge or cut back left into it and then climb out (may be overhanging). From here head straight up. Follow a rising traverse let until you are below the first ice summit, head up, and then traverse right below a rock summit and up to join a ridge. Cut below the main summit and then cut up left and follow the ridge to the summit.

NOTE: as conditions change season to season and even within seasons on this mountain, it is prudent to find a recent photo of the route or once again, consult with local outfitter's for beta.


3-4 ice screws
20-25 wands (you will likely be alone on the route; afternoon fog and storms are likely)
2 snow stakes
1 glacier rope (8mm 60m or whatever you prefer)

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By georgiamike
From: Hampton, GA
Feb 16, 2016

I attempted the Normal Route on Illiniza Sur in January 2016. The eruption and nearly constant flow of ash from neighboring Cotopaxi has made for treacherous avalanche conditions on this route. Our guides indicated it hadn't been climbed to the summit in quite a while. The problem is that the ash floats over to the Illiniza's and turns the snow slopes into ice. Frequent light snow means the slopes get 3" to 6" of snow and then it slides because of the icy surface of the glacier. We got up to 16,500 feet or so and turned back because of these conditions.

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