Route
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Southwest Route, Cotopaxi (5 897 m / 19 347 ft)

Mountain: Cotopaxi (5 897 m / 19 347 ft)
Activity type: Mountaineering
Activity level: Moderate/ Challenging
Elevation: 4 600 m / 15 092 ft
Duration: 12 Hour(s)
Expenses: from$ 2 000
Image of Southwest Route, Cotopaxi (5 897 m / 19 347 ft)
Credit: www.andes-adventures.com

Overview

Route Name:
Southwest Route, southwestern face, Юго-Западный Маршрут
Activity type:
Mountaineering
Activity level:
Moderate/ Challenging
Type of Climb:
Snow & Ice
Location:
South America, Ecuador: (Provincia de Cotopaxi)
Starting Point:
Parent Range:
Mountain:
First Ascent:
28/11/1872 Wilhelm Reiss (Germany), Angel Escobar (Colombia)
Duration:
12 Hour(s)
Max. Elevation:
4 600m / 15 092 ft
Vertical Gain:
1 297m / 4 255 ft
Length:
8km / 5 miles
Climbing Season(s):
01 Jan-31 Dec;
Nearst
Airport(s):
Please update
Convenience Center(s):
National
Park(s):

Location

South America, Ecuador: (Provincia de Cotopaxi)
Guided Tour

Location: Ecuador

Price: $1440
8 Day(s)

Activity type:Mountaineering

Difficulty: Challenging

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Guided Tour

Location: Ecuador

Price: $540
3 Day(s)

Activity type:Hiking

Difficulty: Moderate

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Guided Tour

Location: Ecuador

Price: $230
2 Day(s)

Activity type:Mountaineering

Difficulty: Easy/ Moderate

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  • Your Chance To Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    Cotopaxi can be considered as a benchmark among volcanoes that poses full set of accompanying attributes - the ideal cone, round crater rim and massive snow-white ice cap. According to all of these reasons the Cotopaxi ascent is considered by the mountaineers as a unit of measurement, "litmus test" by which all others volcanoes are compared. Well-developed tourist infrastructure, proximity to the capital city and numbers of clear days per year - everything here does to try your hand at the one of the most classic volcano of our planet. None of the routes to Cotopaxi can be called boring - each of them required crampons, ropes and ice axes that can help you to climb steep ice slopes and traverse deep crevasses.
  • Description Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    This is the original route to the Cotopaxi summit that was climbed 1872 by Wilhelm Reiss and Angel Escobar. Till the early 70s of the last century it was the only route to the top. But since the construction of the hut "Jose Rivas Refuge" on the north side of the volcano, most climbers began to climb Cotopaxi via "Normal Route". In recent years, the safety of the northern routes has become decreased due to the threat of ice falls and climbers began to use the original route again. Infrastructure on the south of the volcano is not as well developed as its northern slopes. The roads are worse and no any shelters there. To reach the base camp "El Morurco" you have to spend one or two days hiking from the South Entrance of the Cotopaxi National Park.
  • Getting There Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    From Quito by car to the city of Latacunga and further to the South Entrance of the Cotopaxi National Park. Follow the trail from the park entrance to the "El Morurca" rocky outcrop where base camp is usually set.
  • Red Tape Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    Since the end of 2012 climbing all the volcanoes of Ecuador are not allowed without hiring an accredited local mountain guides. There is a lot of travel agencies in Quito that can help you with the organization of the climb.
  • Are You Ready? Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    The cramponing skill is required as well as good endurance and high-altitude tolerance. During your climb you'll carry you day-backpack only but it doesn't mean that gaining up to 1000 meters will be the easy walk especially on steep snow and ice slopes.
  • Tips Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    Usually climbers have an overnight in a base camp located near big rocky outcrop named "El Morurco". Go to bed early and wake up before midnight and be on the route at 1 am. During the night the snow is firm and it's easy to climb. The snow bridges are also more reliable in the night and early morning than after mid-day. Usually climbers reach the summit in 8 hours. The descent takes up to 4 hours and could be done via the same route or via "Normal Route" to "Jose Rivas Refuge" hut.
  • Parameters Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    Base Camp Elevation: 4 600 m / 15 092 ft
    Summit Camp Elevation: Please update
    Accommodation in Base Camp: Tents only
    Accommodation above Base Camp: Tents only
    Number of Camps: Please update
    Avg. Cost: 2 000 USD
    Age Restrictions: At least 21 years old
    Soloing: No, at least 0 people
    Avg. Descent Time: Please update
  • Key Points Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    Name (Elevation) Description
    El Morurco
    4 600 m / 15 092 tf
    A big rocky outcrop where southwest base camp 4 600 meters is situated.
  • Agencies Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates


    Guided Tours

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  • Did You Know Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    The popularity of the Southwest Route to Cotopaxi summit has been decreased due to construction in the end of the 70s the big shelter "Jose Rivas Refuge" on the northern slopes of the volcano. But in recent years the threat of ice falls on the "Normal Route" and "Rompo Corazones" route have been increased and   ... Read more
  • References Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

Last update: (07 Oct 2015) • History
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Hour 1


Usually climbers start climbing from "El Morurco" base camp at midnight following the south route. You have to deal with some crevasses and snow fields until you reach the south summit of the volcano after 6-8 hours of climbing. From here you'll follow the rim of the impressive crater to reach the main summit situated at the northern part of the rim.

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GEAR LIST

Created: Nataliya Gritsayenko

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Gear list1 elements

GEAR LIST

Created: Nataliya Gritsayenko

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