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Andes Climbing

Machachi, Ecuador
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Outdoor adventures and Tours in Ecuador
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валерия и wrote a review Jun 2020
kyustendil5 contributions
We /Valeria Idakieva and Stefan Iliev/ started organizing our trip to Ecuador in November 2019. It was our dream to climb Chimborazo - the highest peak measured from the centre of the Earth and to go sightseeing in Ecuador – the country that ranks in the top ten of the most biodiverse countries. Since we wanted to take the trip in December we did not have a lot of time. We sent inquiries about climbing Chimborazo to some travel agencies and Andes Climbing were the fastest to answer and offer a wide choice of options on reasonable prices. We would like to thank Diego, the owner of Andes Climbing for answering immediately and organizing everything on such a short notice – only about ten days before our arrival. In the evening on December 10th, 2019 we were comfortably accommodated in Casa del Montanero, the Bed and Breakfast owned and run by Diego and his wife Janeth. Diego was our guide in the beginning and on the next day he took us to climb the grassy Pasochoa, 4200 m and the day after that the rocky, covered in fog Corazon, 4790 m. For the rest of the climbing our guide was Cosme Leon, and internationally certified, experienced, knowledgeable and eloquent guide who told us a lot not only about mountains, but also about the plants, herbs, history, culture and the people of Ecuador. Our first hike was to Novue Horizontas chalet where we spent the night and on the next day we climbed the rocky beauty Iliniza Norte 5126 m. There, on one of its slopes, we enjoyed a magnificent sunrise over Cotopaxi. It was time for some rest and on the next day we went down to the banks of the stunning Quilotoa crater lake. We spent the following night in Jose Rivas lodge, situated in the skirts of Cotopaxi. The climbing started at about midnight and the full moon was shining over the mountain so brightly that it was not necessary to use our headlights. After sunrise we reached the snowy crater of the active volcano Cotopaxy – 5897 m and enjoyed the spectacular view over the clouds. And it was time to have some rest again – we spent the day sightseeing in Machachi, the Cowboy’s Capital of Ecuador, eating Churrasco and generally lazing around. And finally, the moment of truth – climbing Chimborazo! We reached the parking lot in front of the chalet at 4850 m by taxi. Our guide Cosme advised us to spend the night at the High Camp 5300 m so as to increase our chance of reaching the summit. So we skipped staying in the chalet in order to split the distance and avoid the 1400 m elevation gain for a night and continued to High Camp where we had very good food and service. There was a very strong wind at night and we could not start climbing until shortly after midnight. It was not a technically difficult climb, but it was a really strenuous one. The final slope was so steep that we fought every step of it. Several groups that had started from the chalet, caught up with us and continued ahead of us, later some of them refused to go further and came back and others reached only the first peak Ventimillia 6268 m and did not continue to the highest peak Maxima 6263/6268 m. We reached Ventimillia at 07:14 and went forward on a well-trodden path, covered with a few cm fresh snow. We were very lucky – the snow cover was not too deep, there were not any of the infamous penitents, which we had read a lot about and thought would be a serious obstacle and it turned out to be an easier than we expected walk. At 08:01 we stepped on Maxima – the highest peak measured from the centre of the Earth, the closest to the Cosmos and the stars. Our dream has finally come true! We descended to the parking lot without a glitch. The taxi was waiting for us and it took us to Casa del Montanero for our last deserved night of rest there. The next morning we caught a bus to Quito, the capital of Ecuador where we rented a car and started our crazy journey through Ecuador – 9 days, 2215 km -- Mitad Del Mundo, the Pacific – Esmeraldes, Pedernales, Montanita, Ballenita, Guayaquil, then the Cajas National Park, Cuenca, Amaru Bioparque, Ingapirca, Riobamba, Banos Waterfall Route, Puyo, Tena, San Rafael waterfall, the city of Cayambe /the sky got clear there and we were able to see the Southern Constellations – another dream has come true/ and finally Quito airport where our adventure came to an end. Once again, million thanks to Diego and Cosme who helped us make our dream-adventure come true!
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Date of experience: December 2019
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Steve F wrote a review Feb 2020
3 contributions
I chose to climb with Andes Climbing based on Diego's professionalism and good reviews. He was very accommodative in providing pickup and drop-off services from and to the airport in Quito. He also offered other activities for me to do after I arrived and before the actual tour of five mountains. The major goal of this trip was to gain more experience in glacier travel for the Himalayas later on. I had climbed Kilimanjaro and had done some glacier skills work on Mt. Rainier in the USA, but needed more time on the ice. The tour I chose was a customized Cotopaxi acclimatization package with an attempt to summit Chimborazo. We started with Pasochoa, then Corazon, then Illiniza Norte. Illiniza Norte (for me) was more serious rock climbing; good experience for more technical aspects. I found summiting Cotopaxi very challenging and an essential prerequisite for Chimborazo. Thoughout this adventure, my guide was Cosme Leon, a very personable and professional mountaineer who I am very happy to have climbed with and learned from. Diego was able to secure me a spot at the High Camp tents on Chimborazo at the last second, to increase my chances of success and it was well worth it! I have never pushed myself so hard as that climb, but we summited and saw the sunrise from over 20,000 feet! The hotel was very very nice and I would highly recommend Andes Climbing. Diego, his wife Janeth, my guide Cosme, and the rest of the staff were excellent!
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Date of experience: February 2020
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WorldRambler wrote a review Feb 2020
9 contributions
Diego is a certified guide, with lots of experience, local mountain knowledge and great organizational skills.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Jasmine H wrote a review Jan 2020
Puylagarde, France3 contributions
What a wonderful experience!! I climbed Volcano Cotopaxi with Andes Climbing. My guide was really really fantastic! He was very professional and did a great job guiding me to the summit! Good organisation, perfect equipement. I definitely recommend!! Thank yoooouuu!!!!
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Date of experience: December 2019
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Sira A wrote a review Nov 2019
2 contributions
We organised three tours in total with andes climbing. Horse riding, iliniza northe and the cotopaxi. Horse riding in the cotopaxi nationalpark. was a really amazing experience as we had a guide on our own and went some really small and also difficult trails. We also liked that we were really remote, away from the other tourist. Our guide was really nice and taught us some horseriding eventhough we had no experience. I‘m pretty sure it‘s not the cheapest option with andes climbing but really worth its money. The iliniza norte was also a really nice experience as diego came with us and we had a great time. I think we wouldn‘t have necessarily needed a guide as we are pretty good climbers but it was still good to have somebody with us who knew the route. The cotopaxi was just an amazing experience. Our guide flavio was just amazing an brought us to the top eventhough the normal route was closed due to the collapse of an ice bridge.
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Date of experience: November 2019
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