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Routes in Antisana

Standard Route TR Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c WI2+
Type: TR, Ice, 3000 ft, Grade III
FA: Ed Whymper
Page Views: 365 total, 17/month
Shared By: georgiamike on Feb 16, 2016
Admins: Tony Yeary

You & This Route


4 Opinions

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Guide Required Details

Description

Routefinding is the real challenge on Antisana and early starts (12 AM) are a must because of the high probability of afternoon weather issues. The climb consists of weaving your way up the glacier to the bergschrund and finding a way across. Depending on conditions, the berg can be nearly impassible for all but the expert climber. About 800 feet below the summit the route splits in two directions. To the right is a steep snow climb and to the left a more interesting technical traverse with some exciting exposure. Altitude is also a challenge unless properly acclimitized. The views of Cotopaxi from the summit are incredible.

Location

The trail from basecamp area leads to the toe of the glacier. There is a small weather station just before you get to the glacier. Since the glacier is very active routefinding is a challenge and the route varies quite a bit from season to season.

Protection

3 ice screws, 2 snow pickets, roped glacier travel

Photos

Chris C.
Seattle, WA
  Easy 5th AI2 Steep Snow
Chris C.   Seattle, WA
  Easy 5th AI2 Steep Snow
THIS SHOULD NOT BE YOUR FIRST CLIMBING TRIP

Now that Cotopaxi is not climbable, it seems that a few guide services are selling Cayambe-Antisana combo beginner packages. This is cool if you have some sort of alpine experience and fitness level, but if you are truly a COMPLETE BEGINNER, Antisana is NOT THE CLIMB for you. At least for the complete beginner in our group, his Cayambe experience was not sufficient preparation to safely climb Antisana. Ice climbing wise, we ran into a few 15' ice steps and two traverses of moderate ice, all that must be down climbed as well. If you have used crampons/axe before or have used your hands to climb low angle rock, you'll probably be just fine. However, if you have never done any of that, learning at 18000' is not a good idea. As a comparison to a well known mountain, the normal route of Rainier is significantly easier than the normal route of Antisana.

I was paired in a group with a person in this boat who literally almost killed me and our guide on multiple occasions. I met a lot of people on Cayambe and Antisana who were under the impression that having a guide guarantees 100% safety. That is not the case if you come unprepared!


Totally side pro tip: All of the major western companies use AndeanFace for as their local guides. Booking direct through AndeanFace is wayyyyy cheaper than the western companies and you literally get the exact same trip. The other local guide services that we ran into seemed pretty sketch (I saw one let a client attempt to climb in the freezing rain with only a fleece jacket..?), so I would stay away from the other local companies. Mar 24, 2016