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Cotopaxi Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 19,347'
Location: -0.6806, -78.4378 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 3,759
Administrators: Tony Yeary, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: John Ross on Oct 2, 2008
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Cotopaxi seen from Iliniza Norte


At 5,897 m (19,347 ft), Cotopaxi is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world and is the second highest peak in Ecuador. Cotopaxi’s first recorded summit was in 1872 by Wilhelm Rajss and A.M. Escobar. Most parties climb the peak via the Northern Route after staying in the José Ribas Hut. Cotopaxi’s glaciated cone shape is a wonder to see rising out of the plain below. The views are spectacular when climbing on a clear day.

Starting Elevation (José Ribas Hut): 4,794 m (15,729 ft)
Summit Elevation: 5,897 m (19,347 ft)
Elevation Gain: 1,103 m (3,618 ft) from José Ribas Hut
Volcanic Status: “Active” (currently in a tranquil period)
Most recent major eruption: 1904
Most recent volcanic activity: 2015

Getting There 

Cotopaxi is located 45 kilometers (28 miles) to the south of Ecuador’s capital city of Quito and is easily seen on the Quito skyline. To get there follow the Pan-American Highway to the main entrance of Cotopaxi National Park, followed by graded dirt roads to the car park at 4,603 m (15,100 ft). It is a 45 minute walk up dirt/rock switchbacks to the José Ribas Hut. Be prepared to pay park entrance fees and hut fees.

Climbing Season

For the Ecuador area.

Weather station 8.2 miles from here

1 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Cotopaxi

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Cotopaxi:
Regular Route        Trad, Alpine   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Cotopaxi

Featured Route For Cotopaxi
Rock Climbing Photo: Approaching the José Ribas Hut on Cotopaxi, Ecuad...

Regular Route   South America : Ecuador : Cotopaxi
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. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of Cotopaxi Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Sea of Clouds at Sunrise on Cotopaxi looking towar...
Sea of Clouds at Sunrise on Cotopaxi looking towar...
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing out of the clouds and into the sun on Cot...
Climbing out of the clouds and into the sun on Cot...
Rock Climbing Photo: Summit of Cotopaxi in nasty weather
Summit of Cotopaxi in nasty weather
Rock Climbing Photo: Cotopaxi from near Hacienda Porvenir (Marks / 2014...
Cotopaxi from near Hacienda Porvenir (Marks / 2014...
Rock Climbing Photo: Dawn breaks on the way up
Dawn breaks on the way up
Rock Climbing Photo: Where the glacier starts
Where the glacier starts
Rock Climbing Photo: At the refuge
At the refuge
Rock Climbing Photo: Cotopaxi, Ecuador
Cotopaxi, Ecuador
Rock Climbing Photo: Shadow of Cotopaxi from the regular route, a very ...
Shadow of Cotopaxi from the regular route, a very ...

Comments on Cotopaxi Add Comment
Show which comments
By mcarizona
From: Flag
May 21, 2009
I think (hope) you are wrong about the elevation of Cotapaxi. Its my highest summit and have been telling everyone its 19347ft.
By Xander
Jul 12, 2009
Cotopaxi volcano has 5.897 m.a.s.l

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