Type: Trad, Snow, Alpine
FA: unknown
Page Views: 3,005 total · 25/month
Shared By: Andrew Carson on Mar 26, 2009
Admins: Tony Yeary

You & This Route

35 Opinions

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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.


John Ross
Wasatch Front, UT
John Ross   Wasatch Front, UT
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) Mar 23, 2010
mike sheridan
mike sheridan   Golden
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. Feb 2, 2011
Raleigh, NC
sanz   Raleigh, NC
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. Oct 29, 2012
Tucson, AZ
mikehilbert   Tucson, AZ
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
Jul 8, 2014
Chris C.
Seattle, WA
Chris C.   Seattle, WA
The mountain is finally open for climbing!

turismo.gob.ec/el-cotopaxi-… Oct 15, 2017
Taylor Harris
Colorado Springs, CO
Taylor Harris   Colorado Springs, CO
Link to our GPS log from the trip connect.garmin.com/modern/a… 4 days ago