Ski Ecuador’s Tropical Glaciers

  • Dates: Nov 3-19
  • Duration: 15 Days
  • Level: Advanced
  • Client Ratio: 5:1
  • Cost:
    • 1-2 people – $4,500 Total
    • 3-6 people – $2,250 Per Person
  • Included: Ground transportation, all meals while on the mountain, tents, stoves, cook kits, group climbing equipment, and guide services- Group transport; Food and accommodation, all airport transfers
  • Not Included: Airfare, gratuities for guides, Personal insurance; Individual transfers.

 

Book Online Now!

Ski Ecuador’s Tropical Glaciers of Cayambe and Antisana  with the first company to ski them all! These are the vanishing tropical glaciers of the Andes Ring of Fire(http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/features/vanishing-tropical-glaciers/) which will be gone too soon. The opportunity to experience these peaks on skis with one of the pioneers of ski touring in Ecuador is a once in our lifetime chance before they are gone! Pablo’s father founded one of the first mountain guide services in Ecuador and Pablo became the first person to ski all the volcanoes and guide them. One of his clients a few years ago was a scientist doing research on the Vanishing Equatorial Glaciers. The recent findings place the life span of the remaining glaciers between 10 to 15 years based on a 1C predicted rise in global temperatures in the next 80 years. We want you to experience the amazing descents of Cayambe and Antisana, true high altitude ski touring in one of the world’s most beautiful and uniques places.This is a small, flexible ski mountaineering expedition in the Ecuadorian High Volcanoes. Enjoy the phenomenal skiing, beautiful scenery and a fantastic cultural experience.

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ANDES TREK EXPEDITIONS

The Ecuador Ski Mountaineering Expedition is operated in partnership with Andes Trek Expeditions, a small family guide service run by BCAG guide Pablo Puruncajas. Our partnership combines BCAG’s experience guiding backcountry skiing, remote ski mountaineering, and AIARE avalanche training, with Andes Trek Expeditions decades of experience leading successful expeditions in Ecuador and South America.

AndesTrek_Wp

 

Old Quito Tour: visit colonial churches with their grand altars made of Inca gold, sculptures and intricate carvings

Standing at the top of Cotopaxi, and looking down inside its crater at its sulfur fumaroles

Recuperating in the natural thermal springs that flow from the mountain side at Baños

Sweeping views from the summit of Ecuador’s tallest volcano, on a clear day you can see down into the Amazon jungle basin and the many neighboring peaks.

The straightforward, moderately angled routes are well-suited for those who seek an introduction to high altitude ski mountaineering. The elevation approaches 6,000 meters, and combined with the ease of access and comfortable mountain huts to launch from they are on the must-do list for the more experienced mountaineers as well!

Objective
Ski the three highest volcanoes in Ecuador, an epic adventure and special way to experience Ecuador’s peaks! Nevado Cayambe, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo. The numbers speak for themselves, the vertical drop from the summits are big! We will attempt to ski from these peaks, while enjoying some of the most spectacular scenery Ecuador has to offer. Our travel schedule will remain fully flexible to allow us to make the very most of snow and weather conditions.

What to expect
The key to a successful mountain adventure is preparation. Our 15-day program is aimed at providing the framework for success. We spend the first five days acclimatizing to the altitude by hiking through the high mountain terrain of the surrounding peaks. Then the last ten days we focus on our summit attempts.

Starting in the city of Quito, we’ll first acclimatize on Fuya-Fuya and Imbabura. After we have had a chance to acclimatize we’ll set our sights on Cayambe the 3rd tallest Ecuadorian volcano; which offers an outstanding ski descent. Then we head to Cotopaxi, which is famous for its perfect cone-shaped and snow-covered crater. Last up – we’ll check out Chimborazo, the tallest peak in Ecuador, an exciting ski descent from near or above 6000 meters!

The Skiing
In a typical day on the volcano, we will gain around 1.300 m of ascent – which means we also get to enjoy a 1.300 m descent. The snow conditions are variable, however it’s usually spring snow or fresh powder on a firm base. On occasion, strong winds can affect the snow, making it a more challenging ski descent.

Our ski objectives will be interspersed with driving and sightseeing, such as: enjoy the cultural heritage and night life of the capital city, Quito. Spend rest days at hot springs and Stay at mountain lodges close to our climbs.

The volcanoes of Ecuador are ideal objectives for ski mountaineers of advanced abilities. Though climbing in Ecuador isn’t technically challenging, ascending it with skis (sometimes on your back) can be a bit more challenging. We skin as much of the route as we can – usually with ski crampons on. However, there are times when it gets too steep or icy and we will need to carry the skis on our back. Being able to carry your skis, when coupled with the high altitude makes it imperative to have a high level of physical fitness and some prior ski mountaineering experience. As much work as it may seem, standing on top of Cotopaxi and overlooking the stunning snow-covered crater is truly remarkable!

If the weather is poor we can always be flexible with the schedule to so you can get the most out of your visit.

Weather
Expect the same variety of weather and temperatures similar to those encountered while ski mountaineering in Europe or North America – it ranges from wonderful weather, to rain, snowstorms and high winds. However whatever the weather brings us, we always have a fantastic time.

Day 1: Arrival in Quito (2,800 m/9,186 ft)
Overnight: Quito
Accommodation: Hotel

Day 2: Hike around Cuicocha Lake (3,500 m/11,482 ft)
Overnight: Otavalo (2,550 m/8,366 ft)
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal: Breakfast, Boxed-lunch

Day 3: Climb Fuya Fuya (4,263 m/13,986 ft)
Overnight: Otavalo (2,550 m/8,366 ft)
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal: Breakfast, Boxed-lunch

Day 4: Climb Imbabura (4,630 m/15,190 ft)
Overnight: Otavalo
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal: Breakfast, Boxed-lunch

Day 5: Explore the famous “Plaza de Ponchos” and visit the small village of Peguche
Overnight: Otavalo
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal: Breakfast

Day 6: Transfer to Cayambe-Coca Reserva Ecológica Review glacier travel skills
Overnight: Bergé, Ruales, Oleas Refuge (4,650 m/15,257 ft)
Accommodation: Hut
Meal: Breakfast, Boxed-lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Ski tour day Cayambe
Overnight: Bergé, Ruales, Oleas Refuge
Accommodation: Hut
Meal: Breakfast, Boxed-lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Climb Cayambe (5,790 m/18,996 ft)
Overnight: Town of Cayambe (2,800 m/9,186 ft)
Accommodation: Hosteria
Meal: Breakfast, Boxed-lunch

Day 9: Soak in the famous Papallacta hot-springs or extra Cayambe summit attempt
Overnight: Quito
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal: Breakfast

Day 10:Transfer to Reserva Ecológica Antisana (4,340 m/14,238 ft)
Overnight: Base Camp (4,610 m/15,124 ft)
Accommodation: Tents
Meal: Boxed-lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Ski tour day Antisana
Overnight: Base Camp (4,610 m/15,124 ft)
Accommodation: Tents
Meal: Breakfast, Boxed-lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Climb/Ski Antisana Sur (5,758 m/18,891 ft)
Overnight: Quito
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal: Breakfast, Boxed-lunch

Day 13: Climb/Ski Antisana Sur (5,758 m/18,891 ft)
Overnight: Quito
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal: Breakfast, Boxed-lunch

Day 14: Free day with city tour or extra  summit attempt
Overnight: Quito
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal: Breakfast

Day 15: Fly home
Meal: Breakfast

Day 13: Transfer to Reserva de Producción Faunística Chimborazo
Overnight: Hermanos Carrel Refuge (4,800 m/ 15,750 ft)
Accommodation: Hut
Meal: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14: El Castillo High Camp (5,400m/17,717ft)
Overnight: El Castillo
Accommodation: Tents
Meal: Breakfast, Boxed-lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Climb Chimborazo (6,310 m / 20,702 ft)
Overnight: Quito
Meal: Breakfast Note:
Every effort will be made to adhere to the itinerary, but unforeseen circumstances may require last minute changes. Weather conditions, road conditions, vehicle breakdowns and the health of climbers can all contribute to schedule alterations. Please be prepared to be flexible when necessary.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WILL MY GUIDE (OR GUIDES) BE?
You will receive an introductory email with the instructor for your course. We are small company who enjoy working together in the mountains as well as highly skilled professionals who hold current Wilderness First Responder certification and are proficient in technical rescue and evacuation skills. Our guides are dedicated to the world of alpinism, many having first ascents and hold professional certifications with AIARE & AMGA. The AMGA is part of the IFMGA, which is the international body of certified mountain guides.

HOW MUCH SHOULD I TIP MY GUIDES?
Tipping is considered standard practice in the guiding industry. Tipping amounts vary – so $15-20 per day per person/per guide is average that works well for the guides without a serious blow to your wallet. Often 10% of the course cost is a good rule-of-thumb. If you feel that the program was exceptional or substandard the tip can reflect that.

CAN I RENT EQUIPMENT FROM BCAG?
Yes, we rent Beacons, Shovels, Probes and Packs here. If you need these plus touring equipment, Second Ascent rents avalanche safety equipment, alpine touring, tele and split boards click here. Quantities are limited so please contact us as soon as possible if you are interested.

HOW HEAVY WILL MY PACK BE?
You will carry 10-15 pounds, which will include everything on the equipment list.

WHEN DO I NEED TO PAY THE BALANCE OF MY TRIP?
Payable when you make your reservation by check, or credit card.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I NEED TO CANCEL MY TRIP?
If you should decide to cancel your trip, BCAG must be notified in writing. Your trip will be cancelled from the date we receive written notice. You will be assessed a cancellation fee according to the following schedule:
90 to 22 days from trip departure – 50% of trip cost
30 days or less – 100% of trip cost

WHAT HAPPENS IF I WANT TO CHANGE THE DATES OF MY TRIP?
Schedule changes are subject to a $50 fee per person up to 2 weeks out and $100 less then 14 days from the start of the trip and may not be possible. If conditions or circumstances preclude running a scheduled program we reserve the right to make the decision as to whether the program will be canceled, rescheduled, or an alternative provided.

WHAT HAPPENS IF BC ADVENTURE GUIDES HAS TO CANCEL MY TRIP?
In the rare circumstance where we need to cancel a program you can reschedule without a fee or receive a refund on your deposit. If circumstances arise that force us to cancel a program that is already in progress we reserve the right to decide whether a refund or credit, at a prorated rate, will be issued. We are not responsible for cancellation fees or costs arising from your changed or cancelled flights, lodging, or other arrangements. We strongly recommend obtaining trip cancellation insurance from your travel agent.

DO I NEED TO PURCHASE TRIP INSURANCE?
BCAG highly encourages the purchasing of trip cancellation and travel insurance on domestic trips and requires it on International trips. Europeans and Canadians use it because travel insurance provides coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, travel delays, loss of baggage and travel documents, baggage delays, medical expenses and emergency assistance.
Several options include Travelex or Travel Guard International at (1-877-248-8992) & www.travelguard.com for protecting your investment, however there are many companies to choose from and you may wish to do some individual research regarding which policy is right for you.

WHEN SHOULD I PLAN TO LEAVE A RETURN HOME?
We often get this question because most people need to know how much total time they need to take off work. Our Avi and Ski Tours begin by 8 AM at the trailhead and return to the car by 3. Our return to Seattle on the last day typically allows you to get back between 5-7 with the descent and drive back.