Climb Illiniza Sur – 5263m

Rising 5263m tall this is Ecuadors 6th highest peak and one of its finest climbs. Rockfall over recent years has made the eastern ridge rather dangerous to climb the new ‘normal route winds up the northern glacier.

Aim to leave the refuge between 2-4am to reach the summit by 9am. Follow the path up to a Col between Illiniza Norte and Illiniza sur then continue down 2km to a green Laguna. From here contour round the base of the cliffs, then bare North, following a valley directly up the mountain. Roughly 1km further and you should reach the base of the glacier.

From here it’s all up: 500-600m climb, gradient of 50-75degrees, you’ll need rope, crampons and 2 ice axes (depending on conditions you may also want a couple ice screws). There are several crevasses to navigate on route and some beautiful ice caves that are worth exploring if you have the time/energy.

We summited at 8am to a beautiful view of Ecuador, the magnificent Chimborazo volcano to the South, the Pacific to the west and Cotopaxi across the valley.

The mighty Cotopaxi Across the Valley
Ice caves in the mountain are worth exploring 
Lenin on the Summit Approach
Summit at 8am

2 thoughts on “Climb Illiniza Sur – 5263m

    1. It shouldn’t be too expensive. Depends on whether you need to acclimatise first and also hire equipment. Some beautiful climbs in the area though! El Obispo (el altar) definitely worth a visit nearby. Drop me your mail and I can put you in contact with some of the local guides.


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