Climbing Ecuador’s Volcanoes

Mountaineering attracts an eclectic mix of people from weekend thrill-seekers to hardcore life-long adventurers. They travel to — even enjoy — some of the coldest and highest places on the planet. Why do they do it?


— An Excerpt —



The Highlands of Ecuador would be hard to describe without a mention of volcanoes. They occupy the skyline, the local history, even the original recipe for traditional ice cream.

unspecified-2Volcanoes’ prominence in Ecuador’s landscape is exceeded only by their place in local folklore. Stories scatter the landscape. Spanish conquistadors established their first fort on the slopes of a crater near Volcan Cayambe and the earliest forms of local ice cream — so the legend goes at least — were made from ice harvested from the upper slopes of Cotopaxi. At over 19,000 feet, that’s not exactly a short walk to Baskin & Robbins.

We were in Ecuador to attempt climbs on two of the country’s highest volcanoes—Cayambe, 18,996 feet high, and Antisana, a more technically difficult climb at 18,714 feet. Our group included two New Yorkers, three Washingtonians, and a lone Texan. Between the six of us, we each had our own reasons to be there, but we all wanted an adventure.



Guided Climbing: Ecuador Volcanoes

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