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Ecuador Volcanoes • Trek & Climb

Guided ascents of Cotopaxi, Cayambe, Chimborazo & Antisana

Details

Length:

8-14 days in Ecuador

Climbing Season:

Winter

Climbing Grade:

Cost

$2100 - $3200

Climbing Grade: Advanced

This climb requires a high level of climbing proficiency on steep, exposed and technical terrain above 8000 meters. Class 5.6 rock climbing is required. Excellent physical conditioning is requisite for this expedition. Climbers must provide climbing resume including high altitude experience.

Climbing Grade: Advanced Intermediate

This climb requires a high level of climbing proficiency on steep, exposed and technical terrain at high altitude. Class 4 ice or 5.8 rock climbing is required. Excellent physical conditioning is requisite for this expedition. Climbers must provide climbing resume including high altitude experience.

Climbing Grade: Intermediate

This climb requires snow and ice climbing skills with proficiency on steep and icy terrain. Strong backpacking and excellent physical conditioning is requisite for this expedition. Prior climbing experience is required. High altitude experience is beneficial.

Climbing Grade: Advanced Beginner

Prior climbing experience is beneficial. Basic snow and ice climbing skills are introduced during the program. Above average physical conditioning is requisite for this climb. No high altitude experience is required.

Climbing Grade: Beginner

No prior climbing experience is required. Strong hiking skills and good physical conditioning are requisite.

Trekking Grade: Easy

No experience required.

Trekking Grade: Moderate

This trek requires 4-6 hours of hiking per day with a small pack. Elevation gains of 1000-2000 feet per day. Strong hiking skills and good physical conditioning are requisite.

Trekking Grade: Strenuous

This trek requires 6-8 hours of hiking per day with a small pack. Elevation gains of 2000-3000 feet per day. Strong hiking skills and great physical conditioning are requisite.

If you have further questions about our climbing or trekking grades; or about your qualifications for a particular expedition, trek, climb or course, please contact us.

We're currently offering four options to climb in Ecuador. Climb Cayambe in 8-days, Cayambe & Antisana in 12-days, or 3 peaks including Chimborazo in 14-days. As well as our 9-day Antisana climb and glacier mountaineering school. Call us to learn more!

Expedition Overview

The great volcanoes of Ecuador offer an excellent introduction into the world of high altitude mountaineering.

Cayambe, Antisana & Chimborazo Climb • 8-14 days

dsc_01211-e1446784752274Join us this winter on three classic volcanic climbs in Ecuador. Summit Cayambe, Antisana and Chimborazo. Chimborazo is the highest mountain in Ecuador with an elevation of 6,268 meters (20,702 ft). Chimborazo’s location along the equatorial bulge makes its summit the farthest point on Earth’s surface from the Earth’s center. On one of our rest days we also enjoy the private hot spring pools of Papallacta. If you’re short on time, you can still join us for Cayambe (8-days) and Antisana (11-day) climb options.

View slideshow from our 3 Peaks in Ecuador Expedition

Cayambe Climb
Day 1 • Arrive Quito
Day 2 • Tour Quito • 9,350 ft
Day 3 • Hike Pasochoa • 13,776 ft
Day 4 • Hike Rucu Pichincha • 15,696 ft
Day 5 • Drive to Cayambe Refuge • 15,300 ft
Day 6 • Training Day on Cayambe • 15,300 ft
Day 7 • Summit Day • Cayambe • 18,997 ft
Day 8 • Depart Quito

2 Peaks in Ecuador • Cayambe & Antisana
Day 8 • Rest Day in Quito or Papallacta Hot Springs
Day 9 • Drive to Antisana Base Camp • 14,870 ft
Day 10 • Summit Day • Antisana • 18,891 ft
Day 11 • Depart Quito

3 Peaks in Ecuador • Cayambe, Antisana & Chimborazo
Day 11 • Rest day in Quito
Day 12 • Drive to Chimborazo Refuge • Hike to High Camp • 16,564 ft
Day 13 • Summit Day • Chimborazo • 20,702ft
Day 14 • Depart Quito

Antisana Climb & Glacier School • 9 days

Antisana is one of the most pristine and non-commercialized big peaks in Ecuador. Despite being close to Quito, it has a very remote and scenic atmosphere. Antisana at 18,891 ft is also an excellent mountaineering training ground with it’s easily accessible glaciated terrain. We begin our climb in Quito with a tour of the city and spend a few days acclimatizing on nearby Rucu Pichincha and the private hot spring pools of Papallacta. We then move to Antisana Base Camp where we train and  attempt to summit the mountain.

Day 1 • Arrive Quito
Day 2 • Tour Quito • 9,350 ft
Day 3 • Hike Rucu Pichincha • 15,696 ft
Day 4 • Acclimatization Hike • Papallacta hot springs
Day 5 • Drive to Antisana Base Camp • 14,870 ft
Day 6 • Snow School Training Day
Day 7 • Glacier School Training Day
Day 8 • Summit Day • Antisana • 18,891 ft
Day 9 • Depart Quito


“I’ve been on numerous adventure travel vacations but Dennis, owner of Mountain Gurus, put together one of the best trips that I have been a part of. The itinerary was a perfect blend of roughing it and simple luxuries. Dennis and the other guides are extremely knowledgeable, trustworthy, and safety conscience instructors. I would recommend Dennis and Mountain Gurus without any reservations.” David W. January 2014

I went with Dennis Broadwell of Mountain Gurus on a climbing expedition with the goal of climbing Cayambe and other big Ecuadorean peaks. Over two weeks, I was able to observe Dennis in action – climbing, organizing, keeping things in motion, entertaining his clients – and came away with a strong impression of his commitment, passion for people and mountains, good humor, and competency up high and also navigating the moment-by-moment details of our itinerary. Our travels throughout the country were punctuated with memorable moments and along the way I felt I was with a guide and a friend. Mountain Gurus hits the sweet spot in guide services – experienced locally and globally, but with the boutique size to ensure personalized and dedicated service that isn’t always available with larger outfits. Highly recommended.” Ken K. January 2016


Ecuador Volcanoes

Mountain Gurus offers two distinct itineraries while Cotopaxi climbing in Ecuador. The first is our Cotopaxi Trek and Climb. During the trip we trek towards Cotopaxi while climbing both Pasochoa and Rumiñahui peaks. We camp and stay in lovely Hacienda’s as we are continually rewarded with the feeling of approaching the mountain by foot. To top it off, we climb Cotopaxi at 19,347 ft which is considered without a doubt one of the most beautiful peaks in the world. The mountain while never technical is interesting and offers straight forward glacier climbing at moderately high altitudes. Our second itinerary is a classic Cotopaxi & Cayambe Climb. Basically climbing two glaciated volcanoes during the same trip with side hikes to smaller peaks for acclimatization. The trip allows more opportunity for mountaineering as both peaks require the use of ropes, ice axe and crampons. For those with even more time to climb we offer the chance to climb Chimborazo or Antisana at the end of either trip.

*** Currently Cotopaxi is experiencing volcanic activity, we will continue to assess the situation and climb an alternate peak if the mountain is deemed unsafe for climbing. Cayambe, Antisana & Chimborazo are all climbable and considered safe. ***

Cotopaxi & Cayambe Climb • 11 days

During our Cotopaxi (19,347 ft) and Cayambe (18,997 ft) climb we arrive in Quito and then venture into the Ecuadorian Andes to scale these two beautiful volcanoes. These two intermediate climbs combine an high altitude experience with moderate technical difficulty. Both peaks present a great next step for those with previous climbs of Mount Rainier or Mount Baker.

Day 1 • Arrive Quito
Day 2 • Quito • 9,350 ft
Day 3 • Hike Rucu Pichincha • 15,696 ft
Day 4 • Hike Fuya Fuya • 13,986 ft
Day 5 • Otavalo Market • Cayambe Refuge • 15,300 ft
Day 6 • Training Day • Cayambe Refuge • 15,300 ft
Day 7 • Summit Day • Cayambe • 18,997 ft
Day 8 • Hacienda Tambopaxi
Day 9 • Cotopaxi Refuge • 15,750 ft
Day 10 • Summit Day • Cotopaxi • 19,347 ft • Depart
Day 11 • Arrive home

Cotopaxi Trek and Climb • 11 days

We arrive in Quito visiting the cities cultural highlights and conduct a pre-climb orientation. During the expedition we spend four days trekking throughout the Andean Forest and Ecuadorian countryside for acclimatization. Camping and staying in Hacienda’s. We climb Pasochoa (13,776 ft) and enter Cotopaxi National Park and hike up the central summit of Rumiñahui at 15,088 ft. Once at Cotopaxi base camp we quickly begin the mountaineering phase of our expedition, ascending the mountains glaciated summit with the use of ice axe and crampons. After completing our journey we return to Quito for flights home. Once you’ve climbed Mount Rainier, Mount Baker or the peaks of the North Cascades, Cotopaxi Volcano offers a great next step for those seeking to expand their mountaineering and high altitude experience or for those planning future expeditions to peaks like Elbrus or Aconcagua.

Chimborazo, Cayambe & Antisana Climbs • 3 day extensions

After Cotopaxi, extend your stay and climb twenty thousand foot Chimborazo (20,702 ft / 6,268 meters). Often claimed as the highest peak from the center of the Earth. Mountain Gurus offers climbs of the predominant Ecuadorian peaks (Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, Cayambe, Antisana) depending on how long you’d like to stay. Each peak takes two or three days once you’ve been acclimatized on the trek and climb. The climb schedule depends on your overall fitness and amount of rest you’d enjoy between climbs.

Itinerary

Flight Schedule: USA – Quito (UIO)
Expedition begins and ends in Quito, Ecuador


3 Peaks in Ecuador • Cayambe, Antisana & Chimborazo  14 days

Day 1 • Depart home • Arrive Quito
Most flights arrive in Quito (UIO) in the late evening. Upon your arrival in Quito, our driver will be waiting for you at the airport and will take you to the hotel.

Day 2 • Tour Quito • 9,350 ft
Our day is spent exploring the old town of Quito which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. We visit the El Panecillo, Independence Plaza and enjoy walking the narrow streets and historical squares, admiring the old colonial churches. (B)

Day 3 • Hike Pasochoa • 13,776 ft
Today we trek to the extinct volcano Pasochoa. Our hike takes about 6 hours over hills and fields. On a clear day there is always the chance of seeing Condors and Horses. We will eat lunch on the summit and then return to Quito. (B, L)

Day 4 • Hike Rucu Pichincha • 15,696 ft
After breakfast we take a short drive from Quito to the cable car (gondola) which will carry us to 13,012 feet at the upper station. Today we will enjoy the first views of three of the highest snow-capped Ecuadorian mountains. Cotopaxi, Antisana and Cayambe. We summit Ruco Pichincha at 15,413 ft / 4,698 meters. We return to the hotel, the afternoon is free to explore the city and organize gear for our departure from Quito the following morning. Vertical gain climbing: 2,401 feet (B, L)

Day 5 • Drive to Cayambe Refuge • 15,250 ft
In the morning, we drive from Quito to the Ruales Oleas Bergé mountain hut at the base of Volcano Cayambe. The hut is situated on the southern slopes of Cayambe and has fantastic views of Glacier Hermoso. (B, L, D)

Day 6 • Training Day on Cayambe • 15,250 ft
Today we focus on reviewing basic mountaineering techniques that will prepare us for our summit attempt. The lower glaciers on Cayambe offer great cramponing, self-arrest and running belay practice. We prepare to climb the third highest mountain in Ecuador. We settle in early in anticipation of our alpine start. (B, L, D)

Day 7 • Summit Day • Cayambe • 18,997 ft
An early alpine start for the summit allows us to take advantage of the better snow conditions and climb more quickly and safely. The normal route is technically not challenging but physically demanding. Our route begins by climbing low rocky ridges before stepping onto a crevassed glacier. Once on the glacier, we will rope up. The route climbs directly to the upper slopes of the mountain. The final push to the summit is challenging. Once reaching the huge summit dome, we’re rewarded with magnificent views of the Amazon Rain Forest clouds, the surrounding highlands and mountains such as Antisana and Cotopaxi. We descend the route and return to the hut and transfer to Quito. Vertical gain climbing: 3,743 ft / 1,139 meters. Climbing times: Cayambe hut to Summit Cayambe: 8 hours (B, L)

*** 8 day option to depart for home after climbing Cayambe  ***

Day 8 • Rest day in Quito or Papallacta Hot Springs
Today we enjoy a rest day in Quito or the group has the option of transferring to Papallacta hot springs, the most beautiful hot springs spa in Ecuador, Termas Papallacta at 11,800 ft. Papallacta has private hot pools filled daily with perfectly clear hot water from their natural hot springs. The spa is also available for massage. (B)

Day 9 • Drive to Antisana Base Camp • 14,870 ft
After breakfast we travel to Antisana Base Camp. Base Camp is located at 13,405 ft in the remote highlands and is home to wild horses and lamas. Few people visit this area and we usually have Antisana all to ourselves. Our cook and staff prepare camp as we do an acclimatization hike up to advance base camp at 14,870 ft. It’s possible we overnight at Advanced Base Camp depending on the group. Climbing times: Antisana Base Camp – Advance Base Camp: 2 hours (B, L, D)

Day 10 • Summit Day • Antisana • 18,891 ft
We rise before mid-night. Our cook will have breakfast waiting. Antisana has challenging glaciers where we climb small steps to avoid the larger crevassed areas. We wind around towers of glacier ice and as the sun rises to a most spectacular of a dozen volcanoes throughout all of Ecuador. Vertical gain climbing: 4,021 ft / 1,225 meters. Climbing times: Base Camp to Summit Antisana: 8 hours (B, L)

*** 11 day option to depart for home after climbing Cayambe and Antisana ***

Day 11 • Rest day in Quito
Today we arrive back in Quito for another rest day before heading to the highest mountain in Ecuador, Volcano Chimborazo. Or take a short taxi ride and visit Ciudad Mitad del Mundo the Equator line. (B)

Day 12 • Drive to Chimborazo Refuge • Hike to High Camp • 14,870ft
We travel south towards Riobamba and Chimborazo. There is a chance to view Ecuador’s big ten volcanoes. Chimborazo’s location along the equatorial bulge makes its summit the farthest point on the Earth’s surface from the Earth’s center. It does not matter from which side you look at Chimborazo, it will impress you by its size and beauty. A short drive takes us to the trail head and Hermanos Carrel refuge where we grab our packs and begin a two hour walk to our high camp, Stübel Camp 16,567 feet / 5,050 meter. Porters will help carrying group gear to high camp. Vertical gain during the day: 650 feet / 200 meters (B, L, D)

*** We often overnight at Hermanos Carrel refuge instead of staying at high camp depending on group and snow conditions ***

Day 13 • Chimborazo • 20,702 ft
With a midnight alpine start, our route climbs to the west-northwest to reach the base of a rock formation called “El Castillo” (Castle Saddle at 18,044 feet / 5,500 meters). This new route is free from dangerous rock fall making it a much safer ascent. From the Stübel Camp, it normally takes eight hours to get to the Whymper summit from where you will enjoy one of the best views in Ecuador. After returning to camp, we pack and descend to Riobamba town. Vertical gain climbing: 4,135 feet / 1,260 meters. Return to Quito. (B, L)

Day 14 • Depart Quito


Antisana Climb & Glacier School • 10 days

Day 1 • Depart home • Arrive Quito
Most flights arrive in Quito (UIO) in the late evening. Upon your arrival in Quito, our driver will be waiting for you at the airport and will take you to the hotel.

Day 2 • Quito • 9,350 ft / 2,850 meters
Our day is spent exploring the old town of Quito which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. We enjoy walking the narrow streets and historical squares, admiring the old colonial churches. We also have an equipment check and orientation in the afternoon. (B)

Day 3 • Hike Rucu Pichincha • 15,696 ft / 2,800 meters
After breakfast we take a short drive from Quito to the cable car (gondola) which will carry us to 13,012 feet at the upper station. Today we will enjoy the first views of three of the highest snow-capped Ecuadorian mountains. Cotopaxi, Antisana and Cayambe. We summit Ruco Pichincha at 15,413 ft / 4,698 meters. We return to the hotel, the afternoon is free to explore the city and organize gear for our departure from Quito the following morning. Vertical gain climbing: 2,401 feet (B, L)

Day 4 • Acclimatization Hike • Papallacta hot springs
After transferring from Quito we take an acclimatization hike through a thick Cyprus forest up onto the high ridges surrounding Papallacta. We then overnight at the Papallacta hot springs, the most beautiful hot springs spa in Ecuador, Termas Papallacta at 11,800 ft. The spa is also available for massage. (B, L)

Day 5 • Antisana Base Camp • 14,870 ft
After breakfast we travel to Antisana Base Camp. Base Camp is located at 13,405 ft in the remote highlands and is home to wild horses and lamas. Few people visit this area and we usually have Antisana all to ourselves. Our cook and staff prepare camp as we enjoy a short hike. (B, L, D)

Day 6 • Snow School Training Day
Today we hike up to advance base camp at 14,870 ft. We focus on reviewing basic mountaineering techniques that will prepare us for our summit attempt. The lower glaciers on Antisana offer great cramponing, self-arrest and running belay practice. Climbing times: Antisana Base Camp – Advance Base Camp: 2 hours (B, L, D)

Day 7 • Glacier School Training Day
Today is dedicated to learning some advanced glacier mountaineering skills. The course instruction includes glacier travel, a basic introduction on anchors and crevasse rescue. It’s possible we overnight at Advanced Base Camp depending on the group. (B, L, D)

Day 8 • Rest day • Antisana Advanced Base Camp • 14,870 ft
After breakfast we hike up to advanced base camp. The afternoon is spent relaxing and preparing for our summit climb. (B, L, D)

Day 9 • Summit Day • Antisana • 18,891 ft
We rise before mid-night. Our cook will have breakfast waiting. Antisana has challenging glaciers where we climb small steps to avoid the larger crevassed areas. We wind around towers of glacier ice and as the sun rises to a most spectacular of a dozen volcanoes throughout all of Ecuador. After descending Antisana we return to Quito and transfer to the airport for our outbound international flight home. Vertical gain climbing: 4,021 ft / 1,225 meters. Climbing times: Base Camp to Summit Antisana: 8 hours (B, L)

Day 10 • Arrive home


Cotopaxi Trek and Climb • 10 days

Day 1 • Arrive Quito
Arrive Quito and transport from airport to hotel Reina Isabel. Just a few blocks from the hotel are a variety of restaurants, bars, and nightlife.

Day 2 • Quito 9,350 ft
We will have a day to explore some of the historic parts of Quito. With the city center, Churches, colorful homes and narrow streets Quito is a beautiful city. There are also tours offered to get a look inside the presidential palace. (B)

Day 3 • Santa Rita 10,758 ft
After a transport of about an hour we will trek along the Pita river through a lush rain forest, over bridges and past waterfalls. Until we come to large water fall complete with a few benches for comfort. We will eat lunch and then hike back to our starting point round trip of about 3 hours. We will continue on from here to our camp, which will be set up. Complete with a dining area and thatched roofs. (B, L, D)

Day 4 • Pasochoa • 13,776 ft
Today we trek to the extinct volcano Pasocha. Our hike takes about 6 hours over hills and fields. On a clear day there is always the chance of seeing Condors and Horses. We will eat lunch on the summit and then return to camp. (B, L, D)

Day 5 • El Porvenir • 11,808 ft
From our camp we continue on to Hacienda el Porvenir. El Porvenir is one of the largest farms in Ecuador. After our arrival there is an option for horseback riding 1-2 hours. Or you can just relax and enjoy the views of volcano’s Cotopaxi, Sincholahua, Pasochoa, and Ruminahui. (B, L, D)

Day 6 • Summit Rumiñahui • 15,088 ft
We set our sights on the summit of Ruminahui. After a short transfer to the trailhead with great views of Cotopaxi we begin our climb. There is a good trail for most of the way before it becomes sandy and loose. The last few hundred feet are bit of scrambling over rock with a fixed hand line for support. At the 15,088-foot summit the views are well worth it. (B, L, D)

Day 7 • Cotopaxi • 16,400 ft
After our climb of Ruminahui we have a bit of a rest day with a short hike of a few hours or so to 5000 feet on Cotopaxi. We then return to Hacienda Tambopaxi for the night. A great little Hacienda. Complete with good food and views of Cotopaxi. (B, L, D)

Day 8 • Cotopaxi • 15,750 ft
After breakfast we gear up and are shuttled to the Cotopaxi parking lot. From here we hike to the refuge at 15,750. We get settled and after a good lunch continue to the glacier. We will go over glacier skills for the afternoon. Some of the skills we will cover are crampon techniques, self arresting, ascending descending on various slope angles and in various snow conditions and traveling on the rope. We then go on a short walk up the mountain to acclimatize further before heading back to the comforts of our refuge and good meal. (B, L, D)

Day 9 • Summit Day • Cotopaxi • 19,347 ft 
Today is summit day on Cotopaxi. We leave the refuge around 1 a.m. for a six hours climb. From the hut we ascend moderate glacier slopes to the summit. Along the way however, complex crevasse patterns and snow bridge crossings over crevasses will make the climb very interesting. After passing through a heavily crevassed area, we reach the final summit slope. Here a challenging section of 35-40 degree snow leads to the abrupt finish of the climb on the crater rim of the World’s highest active volcano. At the top of Cotopaxi you can look inside the crater and see its sulphur fumaroles. The crater rim measures approximately 800 m / 2,600 ft in diameter. The view from the summit is spectacular. Transport to airport for flights home. (B, L)

Day 10 • Arrive home


Itinerary Notes: Mountain Gurus makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the particular needs of the group. Please request a detailed itinerary for a list of scheduled and non-scheduled meals.

Details

Land Cost

Cayambe Climb • 8 days
Price per person: $2100 (based on minimum of 2 climbers)
Price per person: $3200 (America guided, based on minimum of 4 climbers)

2 Peaks in Ecuador • Cayambe & Antisana • 11 days
Price per person: $2500 (based on minimum of 2 climbers)
Price per person: $3900 (America guided, based on minimum of 4 climbers)

3 Peaks in Ecuador including Chimborazo • 14 days
Price per person: $2900 (based on minimum of 2 climbers)
Price per person: $4600 (America guided, based on minimum of 4 climbers)

Antisana & Glacier School • 9 days
Price per person: $3200 (America guided, based on minimum of 4 climbers)

Single Supplement: $300-$500
Airport transfers $50 each way to/from Quito

Papallacta Hot Springs, $200 per person for 2 nights (sharing accommodations)


Deposit and Payments
$700.00 deposit includes reservation fee, due with application.
Balance due 90 days prior to departure


Services included
Park entrance fee
All scheduled land transportation in Ecuador
Accommodations in Quito, camps, haciendas and mountain refuges
Scheduled meals during the climb
Professional mountain guide
All group equipment for the expedition (including tent, stoves, group climbing gear)


Services not included
International airfare and meals during travel – USA – Quito
Non-scheduled airport transfers
Non-scheduled meals
Personal gear
Trip cancellation insurance
Medical and evacuation coverage
Staff gratuities

Gear List

Head and Face:
• Warm Synthetic/ Wool hat: One that covers the ears.
• Heavyweight Balaclava
• Sun Hat or Baseball cap
• Sunglasses: Essential eye protection at altitude. Bring a high quality pair
designed for mountain use. Attachable side shields are necessary, glacier glasses.
• Sunscreen: SPF 40 or more.
• Lip Balm: SPF 20 or more.
• Bandanas: Tied around neck they give good sun protection.
• Climbing Headlamp: Bring plenty of batteries.

Upper Body:
• Upper Body Layers: We recommend you have three warm layers for the upper body.
Items must be made of synthetic or pile. Make sure all layers fit comfortably
over each other and supply good insulation. A good combination is a long
underwear top, a sweater, and a pile jacket. Cotton items do not provide
adequate insulation and are completely useless when damp.
• Synthetic Fleece Jacket and/or Pullover: Medium weight
• Shirts: One synthetic shirts are best for trekking. Two cotton shirts for camp and lodges.
Two synthetic long sleeve shirts for climbing.
• Hard Shell Jacket w/ hood: Snow and high wind can be common. GORE-TEX© or
waterproof nylon that has been “seam sealed”.
• Down Jacket with insulated hood: 700+ fill down
• Wind Shirt: A nylon wind shell (not waterproof)

Handwear:
• Heavyweight Synthetic gloves: One pair (WINDSTOPPER© is recommended)
• Expedition Gloves w/ wrist straps: One pair

Lower Body:
• Quick Dry Hiking Shorts: One pair. Good for hiking at lower elevations in the mountains.
• Long Underwear Bottoms: Two pair. Synthetic, no cotton
• Pile/Fleece Pants: One pair that fit loosely and comfortable. These are
essential to be worn over the long underwear bottoms. (full side zips)
• Hard Shell Pants: Bring a good pair of rain/wind pants of GORE-TEX© or waterproof
nylon that has been “seam sealed”. (full side zips)
• Trekking/Climbing Pants: Synthetic, comfortable to climb in and provide good
warmth on cool misty days, dry fast and prevent sunburn. Schoeller© fabric is recommended.
• Gaiters: One pair of high gaiters to keep dirt and snow out of boots.
• Undergarments: Enough for the duration of the program.

Footwear:
• Double Plastic Climbing Boots w/ high altitude liners
• Lightweight Socks: Two pair of synthetic liner socks to wear under heavy socks.
• Trekking Socks: Two pair synthetic medium weight
• Heavyweight Socks: Two pair of synthetic socks to wear for warmth with climbing boots.
• Hiking Boots or Trekking Shoes: One pair medium weight hiking boots/shoes large enough
to be comfortable with one liner sock and one heavy synthetic sock.
• Sport Sandals: These are to wear in camp or lodges.

Sleeping:
• Sleeping Bag: Mountain temperatures can get below zero degrees Fahrenheit
so bring a warm bag (rated to 0 to -10 degrees Fahrenheit).
• Sleeping Pad: One closed-cell foam pad or an inflatable THERMA-REST© pad.

Packing and Backpack:
• Backpack: One lightweight large/medium size (5500 cubic inches) comfortable pack with some
support, adequate to carry personal gear. The pack should fit properly and have a
good waist belt. Carry gear between 40 and 65 pounds.
• Trekking Backpack: optional for trek.
• Duffle/zip Bag: One large size, transporting gear via yaks or porters.
• Duffle/zip Bag: One medium size, store non-mountain gear during the expedition.
• Travel locks, nametags, and contact information written directly on the duffels.
• Bags: (2) large plastic bags (2) large Ziploc bags (2) stuff sacks
• Passport

Climbing Gear:
• Trekking poles: adjustable and collapsible
• Ice axe w/Leash: 70cm recommended
• Crampons
• Climbing Helmet
• Alpine Climbing Harness w/ adjustable leg loops
• Carabiners Locking: Two large pear-shaped, screw gate
• Prussik Cord: 40 feet, 6mm perlon

Drinking:
• Water Bottle: Two, one liter wide-mouth plastic bottles. NALGENE©
• Water Treatment: We recommend you bring one bottle of “Potable Aqua” or a “Polar Pure”,
crystal iodine in a bottle, to treat drinking water.
• Water Flavoring: Lemonade, Tang, Gatoraid, etc.

Personal Health and First Aid
• Small personal first-aid kit and medications
• Plastic bowl, insulated mug, and Lexan spoon
• Personal Items

Gear: A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your program will be sent to you in the pre-departure packet upon reservation. For your safety and comfort, it is extremely important that you adhere strictly to the equipment list.

Travel

International Programs • Ecuador

Program start time & location: begins and ends in Quito

Visa/Entry Information: A valid passport is required for American citizens to enter Ecuador. American citizens do not need a visa for visits of up to 30 days for tourism.

Health & Immunizations: Immunizations are not required for entry into Ecuador

Flight Travel Information: USA – Quito (UIO)

International Departures: Our itineraries reflect the date and time you’ll need to arrive in country for a particular program. Mountain Gurus programs begin and end in the countries, destination city. When booking your flight you’ll need to account for travel time and crossing the international dateline if needed. It’s easiest to give your booking agent the day and time you’ll need to arrive.

Meals and Food: Please prepare snack food as this service is not included during the climbing portion of the program. (see itinerary for meal schedule) It is best for clients with special meal concerns (vegetarians, etc.) to bring additional food to help supplement breakfast and dinner meals. Guides will provide boiled water and do their best to accommodate your diet.

Gear: A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your program will be sent to you in the pre-departure packet upon reservation. For your safety and comfort it is extremely important that you adhere strictly to the equipment list.

Frequently Asked Questions

Even the most experienced climbers have questions and if this is your first time on an Expedition, Trek or Northwest Climb you’re sure to have them. We provide information about such things as travel dates, itineraries and required equipment throughout our website. However, if you can’t find the answers you seek anywhere else, we try to provide them here!

Travel & Insurance

When do I need to arrive and depart?

International Departures: Our itineraries reflect the date and time you’ll need to arrive in country for a particular program. Mountain Gurus programs begin and end in the countries, destination city. When booking your flight you’ll need to account for travel time and crossing the international dateline if needed. It’s easiest to give your booking agent the day and time you’ll need to arrive.

Domestic Departures: Regarding Northwest programs our itineraries reflect the date and time the program begins at a particular start location (North Cascades NP, Olympic NP, etc.). When flying to Washington State you’ll likely need to arrive the day before the climb begins in order to meet the group at the program start location. In regards to your departure flight, our return time to the program start location is often unpredictable. We suggest a hotel reservation for the night of the last day and plan to return home the day after the end of the program.

What if I want to arrive early or depart later than the program? Mountain Gurus can assist in arranging accommodations before or after the program. Our Operations Director can recommend things to do if you desire.

Will a Mountain Gurus agent greet me at the airport? For International programs depending on your arrival time, we coordinate ground transportation. We either greet you at the airport or arrange transportation to your hotel. In most cases the program formally begins the morning after arrival day.

Do you recommend trip cancellation insurance? Mountain Gurus highly recommends purchasing of trip cancellation and travel insurance. This comprehensive travel insurance provides coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, travel delays, loss of baggage and travel documents, baggage delays, medical expenses and emergency assistance.

Do I need any other insurance? Make sure you provide yourself adequate traveler’s medical and evacuation insurance for coverage should you have a problem during the trip.

Should I have concerns when traveling internationally? We recommend registering with the United States Department of State when traveling anywhere internationally. Registration is voluntary and is your sole responsibility. Also, the United States Department of State maintains a travel Warning/Alerts list for most countries around the world. www.travel.state.gov

Experience and Fitness

What are climbing and trekking grades? Mountain Gurus provides climbing and trekking grades to help our client choose which programs are best suited for their experience level, knowledge of climbing and overall physical conditioning. Mountain travel can be extremely challenging yet profoundly rewarding. We offer programs of various skill levels and difficulty. Regardless which program you choose we expect our clients to be physically and mentally prepared for the demands of the journey.

Can anyone participate on your MG programs? We feel that anyone in reasonably good physical fitness should be able to join us on many of our programs. Mountain Gurus guides will introduce basic trekking and climbing skills needed during the course of the program. Remember your ability to participate in the program is largely dependent upon your overall health and fitness. An expedition, trek or climb shouldn’t be taken lightly and we encourage you to prepare for it by physically conditioning yourself for the strenuous aspects of the program. We strongly advise anyone who is considering a climb with Mountain Gurus, who may have a medical condition or medical history that may affect their performance, first consult with their physician. If you have further questions or concerns please contact us and our Operations Director can discuss which program is best suited for you.

Domestic & International Programs

How can I find out about necessary visas or entry requirements for the country I am visiting? Mountain Gurus will send you all necessary visa information contained within our pre-departure package. In most case American citizens can obtain a visa upon arrival. It is your responsibility to send in all pre-required visa applications and associated fees. In addition most countries maintain websites that provide all necessary information and application forms.

How can I find about necessary immunizations for the area where I am traveling? As part of your itinerary, we’ll provide you with current recommended/required immunizations for the country where you are traveling. You can always consult the Center for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov

Can I hire an additional porter? On International programs Mountain Gurus can arrange hire of a personal porter if desired for an additional cost. Please notify MG in advance if you’re considering a personal porter.

Can additional gear or clothing be stored during the program duration? In most cases additional items can be stored at the hotel or with our ground operator.

What type of accommodations can I expect?

Hotels: During our stay in international destination cities you can expect to stay in high quality hotels. When available we opt to stay in smaller boutique style hotels that provide a friendly atmosphere and high quality experience.

Camping or Lodges: When camping we provide our clients with high quality mountaineering tents. Depending on the expedition or climb clients participate in setting up tents and help in establishing camp as well as participate in cooking. On Treks and Tours, Mountain Gurus provides our clients with a fully supported experience, your tent will be set up and waiting when you arrive in camp and you’ll be greeted with hot water and a cup of tea. Destinations like Nepal we often opt to stay in high quality lodges (also known as Tea Houses) as an alternative to camping. Due to our local knowledge we choose from the finest lodges available which provide great food and a friendly warm environment.

Do you provide single accommodations? International programs that include hotels, a single room supplement is available for an additional cost if desired. For those traveling alone who do not wish to pay an additional cost for a single room, we will pair you in a room with another same-sex team member. In the event another team member of the same sex is not available for room pairings, you will be assigned a single room. During Northwest climbs single tent accommodations are not available.

How heavy a pack do I need to carry?

On Northwest programs you will be required to carry a portion of the group gear and food, in addition to your personal gear. This should be taken into consideration when deciding what you should bring. Be prepared to carry between 40-65 lbs. depending on the length of the program and group size.

For International programs pack weight varies greatly depending on the type of program. On our fully supported Treks and Tours you will only be expected to carry a small to medium sized day pack with each trekking day’s necessary clothing and essentials. 15-30 lbs. Expeditions will be required to carry a portion of the group gear and food in addition to your personal gear. 40-65 lbs. On fully supported Expeditions we utilize high altitude climbing porters which greatly minimizes the need to carry group gear. 35-50 lbs.

Private and Custom Programs

I have a group of family/friends/colleagues and we have specific dates we would like to climb. Can you customize a program for us? All of our programs can be run on a private basis. The beauty of a private program is you climb what you want, with who you want, when you want. We’ll take care of the entire program. We are also able to provide you with a custom itinerary depending on your interests. We may require a $100 non-refundable deposit for custom program planning which will be applied towards your program cost at the time of reservation.

Equipment

Does Mountain Gurus rent equipment? We do provide limited rental gear on our Northwest programs. All rental gear is limited and needs to be reserved and paid in advance. See Northwest Climbs and Courses for details. Currently we do not rent any equipment for international programs. Also, many local climbing and outdoors stores rent gear for reasonable rates.

Where should I buy equipment? We can help you find a local climbing and outdoor shop where you can purchase the equipment you’ll need.

General

Is it customary to tip your support staff or mountain guide? On international programs where we utilize support staff (porters, cooks, kitchen staff, etc.); it is Mountain Gurus practice to take a group tip and divide it among the support staff. Tipping of Mountain Guides for a job well done is always appreciated.

How can my family get in contact with me when I’m on a on a Mountain Gurus program? After your application and deposit are accepted; you will be provided with a detailed itinerary which will include hotel and ground outfitter contact information for your program. Due to the nature of the wilderness areas we travel it is likely you will be out of contact during the duration of the program. Telephone and internet access is available in some destinations at you own expense.

What if my spouse, family or friends don’t climb; can they still join me on safari? We would be delighted to make arrangements for non-trekking family and friends to join you after the climb. We suggest you extend your safari a few days to take advantage of Tanzania’s remarkable wildlife parks and diverse landscape.

Can my son or daughter join me on the program? What’s the minimum age requirement? Possibly, we would prefer to talk with you about the program you’re interested in and see if it’s an appropriate choice for someone under the age of 18. We accept participants 16 years or older on our regularly scheduled trips, accompanied by a legal guardian.