This standard climb to the summit of a beautiful volcano deals with moderate snow, some mild glacier problems, a few crevasses, and the expected variability expected of such ascents. The last 500 feet is occasionally steep, but snow/ice conditions will have more effect on technical difficulties than anything else. It takes an average party roughly 8 hours for the round trip from the hut.
The ascent is done almost daily. Find the trail leading up to the toe of the glacier the night before, and there is almost certain to be a boot trail once you get onto the snow, leading up to the ridge to the summit.
Crampons and ice axe are generally mandatory. Roping up makes sense although an experienced party is unlikely to belay in with decent conditions.
Looking ahead to the second steep section
BETA PHOTO: Approaching the Josť Ribas Hut on Cotopaxi, Ecuado...
Wild horses on the plain below Cotopaxi, Ecuador.
"Yanasacha" cliff face
Coming back down from the summit
|By John Ross|
From: Wasatch Front, UT
Mar 23, 2010
Cotopaxi GPS Waypoints
End of the road / parking area: S0.65685 W78.43869
Josť Ribas Hut: S0.66390 W78.43869
Cotopaxi Summit: S0.68056 W78.43778 (approximate)
|By mike sheridan|
Feb 2, 2011
Hostel Tambopaxi is a great place to stay before or after this climb with incredible views of the volcano. Absolutely wonderful! Great staff, great beds, and incredible breakfast.
From: Raleigh, NC
Oct 29, 2012
Amazing climb for an alpine rookie. For those with little mountaineering experience and gear, many adventure travel companies in Quito will set up a package with a guide, transportation, food and gear rental for $200 a head, which struck me as a very good deal.
The climb itself is mostly non-technical and I would feel completely comfortable attempting it a second time without a guide. We belayed once shortly after gaining the glacier in an icy section. There are several steep sections which will test you if you are not acclimated.
All in all, an amazing experience and great climb. Highly recommended.
From: Tucson, AZ
Jul 8, 2014
2 days in Quito (9000 ft)
4 days in Quilotoa loop (12-13,000 ft)
Pichinicha Rucu (15,400 ft)**
Iliniza Norte (16,800 ft)
Cotopaxi (19,300 ft)
- *if you have time/feel you need further help acclimatizing