Cotopaxi Summit Highlights 1/3
Cotopaxi National Park
The Cotopaxi national park is a protected reserve encompassing over 333.9 km of forested surroundings with approximately 200 plant species. The area holds Cotopaxi volcano as it main attraction among other neighboring volcanoes. With an elevation of 5,897 m, the volcano is a beauty to behold and a clear landmark of the area. The park is home to many animals in wild like Andean Hawks, Condors, Horses, the Andean Fox, Weasels, birds & others. The park houses a variety of vegetation zones with humid mountain forests predominantly taking over low elevations.
Cotopaxi Summit Highlights 2/3
Jose Rivas Refuge
A 45 minute hike from the parking lot will get you to the refuge at 4800 meters high. Built in 1971, extended in 1997 and refurbished in 2009, the refuge features a two floor construction, 50 bunks, bucket flush toilets, a fire place, lockers to store your extra baggage and gear, electricity and kitchen. The cost of staying at the refuge is included in your tour. Located in the northern flanks of the volcano, it can easily be spotted from afar on a clear day. Climbers will have a few hours sleep before departing the refuge at midnight in order to reach the summit at dawn.
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Cotopaxi Volcano Summit
Summiting Cotopaxi has a positive success rate under the right conditions, acclimatizing is highly recommended and will increase your probabilities and avoid AMS symptoms. The glaciers can be reached with a 40 minute hike from the refuge. Here climbers will be briefed on the schedule and use of technical equipment to be implented the next day. The route is well crevassed to the summit, rompe corazones (heart breaker grade II/PD) is the only current route allowed. Two to three hours of steep terrain will hardly let you catch a break, with no good resting spots in sight; hence the routes name. It can take from 5 to 6 hours to summit Cotopaxi, this is based on weather conditions and pace of fellow climbers. A 2 to 1 ratio is standard, avid climbers can consider hiring a private guide that will follow their pace.
Cotopaxi Summit Program 2018
2 Day Tour
|Pickup:||Please be ready at your hotel lobby for an early pickup, 7am|
|Cotopaxi Park:||Approximately 2 hours of travel to reach Cotopaxi National Park|
|Jose Rivas Refuge:||Hike from the parking lot at 4550m to the refuge at 4810m. A small break & lunch|
|Briefing at Glaciers:||An instructional briefing & use of technical equipment|
|Break & Supper:||Once back at the refuge/parking lot you will be provided with a box lunch|
|Cotopaxi Museum:||Return to the refuge for an early supper & a few hours of rest|
|Cotopaxi Ascent:||Depart the refuge at 01 am. Summiting can take from 5 to 6 hours|
|Summit & Descent:||Enjoy the summit for 20 minutes. Descent to the refuge – 2 to 3 hours|
|Quito Dropoff:||Return to Quito, hotel drop off at about 3pm|