Climbing Iliniza Sur (17262 feet, 5263m)
This weekend, 5 people, including myself climbed Iliniza Sur (17 262 feet, 5263m).
On saturday, we drove from Quito towards El Chaupi (1 1/2 hours) the little village in the base of the Iliniza north and south. Then we drove for one more hour to the place called “la virgen” (For this part of the road you need a pick up or a 4×4 jeep). From this point we started walking, (2 1/2 hours) to the refugee of Iliniza (15252 feet, 4650m). -This refugee is very basic and small, you have to take your own sleeping bag and food, it has space for only 12 people-.
On sunday we woke up at 2:30 am, and we start walking at 3:30 am. The first part is a trekking in rock and sand (a little snow this the last 3 weeks), then the route continues around the base of iliniza sur from east to west. The hardest part is right in the end of this hike, because there is a 10 meter very exposed boulder, in the dark at 4800 meters. The glacier begins right after this tough part. The route follows a very logical ramp in the right hand side. All the route from this point is very steep, 60-70Âº with two parts to “rest” and a 10 meter pitch that reaches about 75-80Âº. The last 100 meters are a little smoother and goes to the right to reach the summit. The way back is about same in reverse, except for the boulder section that I think is better to rapel instead of climbing back. Karla and I got to the summit of Iliniza Sur at 8:00 am., the boyÂ´s group (Esteban, Marco and Manuel) arrived at 8h15, a little late for all of us, but we considered that the snow was hard enough for our way back. The view from the summit was awesome: Iliniza Norte, Cayambe, Antisana, Cotopaxi, Tungurahua and Chimborazo, just beautiful and sunny!