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Regular Route T 

Regular Route 

Mod. Snow

Type:  Trad, Snow, Alpine
Page Views: 1,879
Submitted By: Andrew Carson on Mar 26, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (25)
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BETA PHOTO: Approaching the José Ribas Hut on Cotopaxi, Ecuad...


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.

Photos of Regular Route Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The summit, as seen from the descent.
The summit, as seen from the descent.
Rock Climbing Photo: Wild horses on the plain below Cotopaxi, Ecuador.
Wild horses on the plain below Cotopaxi, Ecuador.
Rock Climbing Photo: Coming back down from the summit
Coming back down from the summit
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking ahead to the second steep section
Looking ahead to the second steep section
Rock Climbing Photo: "Yanasacha" cliff face Cotopaxi, Ecuador
"Yanasacha" cliff face Cotopaxi, Ecuador

Comments on Regular Route Add Comment
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By John Ross
From: Wasatch Front, UT
Mar 23, 2010

Cotopaxi GPS Waypoints

End of the road / parking area: S0.65685 W78.43869
José Ribas Hut: S0.66390 W78.43869
Cotopaxi Summit: S0.68056 W78.43778 (approximate)
By mike sheridan
From: Golden
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.
By sanz
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.
By mikehilbert
From: Tucson, AZ
Jul 8, 2014

Acclimatization plan:
2 days in Quito (9000 ft)
4 days in Quilotoa loop (12-13,000 ft)
travel day
Pichinicha Rucu (15,400 ft)**
travel day**
Iliniza Norte (16,800 ft)
rest day
Cotopaxi (19,300 ft)

  • *if you have time/feel you need further help acclimatizing

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