Climbing Cotopaxi in July 2012
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Oct 3, 2012 1:55 PM Last Post By: Effah
Jan 9, 2012 8:05 AM
Climbing Cotopaxi in July 2012Hello!
I am going to be in Ecuador this summer for 8 weeks. My first 6 weeks will be on the coast volunteering and then the remaining 2 will be mine for travel around the country.
One of my main goals is to climb Cotopaxi in July (between the dates of July 22nd and 28th) and would like to find others to climb it with me as it is taboo for a novice climber to do it solo.
Would anyone be interested in climbing?
Also, I am looking for guides and groups to climb with, but the prices seem exceedingly steep ($1200 to hike is not within the budget of a 21 year old college student, unfortunately). Can someone recommend cheap guides (i.e. $300 or less)?
Jan 9, 2012 10:07 AM
1It is very, very important to be acclimatised to high altitude when you climb Cotopaxi. When I did the climb in August last year I had been hiking in the Quilotoa area for a week, and before that I had been in Baños, Ingapirca and Cuenca so I was well acclimatised. As you are volunteering at the coast I hope it is in the end of the remaining two week that you plan to do the climb.
I arranged the Cotopaxi climb with Tovar Expeditions in Latacunga and I paid $280 to be alone with a guide. If we had been two tourists the price would have been $190, but if one of you can’t make it to the top both of you have to turn around, and I didn’t want that to happen.
Jan 11, 2012 3:40 PM
2I did Cotopaxi on Jan 8. Interesting with heavy snow conditions. Although in theory it is supposed to be the dry season it has been anything but with rain everyday and snow on the mountains. I did Illiniza Norte on Friday and it had a foot of snow on the summit.
Going with an agency will cost you about $200 when paired with another climber and this will include transportation, food and refuge costs. You may find it easier to set something up when you get to Ecuador.
You should do some climbs before, maybe Rucu Pichincha(cheap, easy and fun, I did it again for the hell of it this morning as it was not raining for a change and loved it) and Illiniza Norte.
Jan 13, 2012 3:49 PM
3As posters have hinted - you need minimum week of acclimatisation treks and climbs to get ready after being on the coast. Several good operators in Latacunga.
Feb 13, 2012 2:56 AM
May 22, 2012 3:15 PM
5I am planning in climbing Cotopaxi in the next week from Latacunga. I've been at over 4000m several times in the last ten months, most recently in Huaraz Peru area (4900m) about a month ago. Since then went to the Peruvian coast before heading to Vilcabamba, Cuenca and now in Banos - am I aclimatized for Cotopaxi? Any day climbs I can do near Latacunga if not?
May 26, 2012 11:44 AM
Jun 11, 2012 6:59 AM
7We just summited Cotopaxi a few days ago, and booked the trip in Quito with Condor Trekk in Mariscal Sucre (we actually paid through Safari Tours, which accepted credit cards). It was $220 per person, all inclusive, (two days, no acclimatization needed) and our guide was fantastic. Condor Trekk also had good equipment to borrow ... boots, etc.
There are several companies which offer similar prices. The key is to insist on a certified guide -- our guide had the Ecuadorian ASEGUIM certification, and some guides also have the rigorous international guiding certification. From what we were told, having a certified guide doesn't affect what you pay -- just how much profit the tour agency makes. We had an uncertified guide for Chimborazo (booked through Gulliver) and we definitely noticed the difference. (That trip was also $215 per person, but with some transport not included.)
Be prepared for foul weather, even in the dry season ... Cotopaxi was reportedly gorgeous a couple of days before we climbed, but on our summit day it was raining ice & we couldn't see anything.
Jun 17, 2012 5:04 AM
8rokia_traore, what do you mean with "no acclimatization needed"? Before the two-day tour to climb Cotopaxi it is defenitely necessary to get acclimatized to high altitude.You can't just fly in to Quito, book the tour and go.
Oct 3, 2012 1:55 PM
9I went to Ecuador a few months ago for several weeks and I tried out a lot of tour operators. It was really important to me only to book tours with local operators, because I thought they had more insider knowledge. Well, the truth is that many of them are unprofessional, unorganized and way too expensive.
But not all of them! I did a tour in the jungle with a great operator from Canoa (I hate to say that I forgot the name) and an amazing biking and hiking tour to the Cotopaxi volcano with " Gulliver Expeditions " from Quito (and I found that one in the LonelyPlanet book :) ).
The best thing about the last one: the prices are unbeatable (I'm a college student, too) and the guides are really competent (and not flirty all the time). They do city tours, too, but I haven't tried them.
(1 star Hotel)
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