American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Ecuador, Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, El Altar

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1986

Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, El Altar. Although our expedition was committed to scientific aims, we did two ascents. On August 26 Nigel Bunn and I climbed Cotopaxi. It is well to avoid the route described in several books as it is heavily crevassed and perhaps impassable. This involves ascending the triangular scree slope above the refuge before climbing diagonally to the right towards Yanasatcha (the big black rock). Instead, contour right for 1½ hours before beginning a direct ascent up the glacier to Yanasatcha. Continue up the large gully to the right of Yanasatcha for 200 meters before climbing a snow slope to the left to reach the crater at its highest point. On September 9 Martin Holley, Bunn and I climbed Chimborazo. Although we did no serious climbing on El Altar, it is a stunning setting and has dozens of new routes for serious consideration. Although all the peaks have been climbed, these have been mostly from outside the crater. Only Obispo and Canónigo have had successful ascents from inside the Caldera.

David Hendicott, Queens’ College, Cambridge, England

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