Cotopaxi Trip Report (#22400)

  • Signed By: Agnese
  • Date submitted: August 19, 2013
  • Date(s) climbed: August 16, 2013
  • Number of People Encountered:11-25 people
  • Recommend to a Friend: Highly

We started just after midnight from the Refuge José Rivas at 4864 m. The night was partly cloudy. A short walk on the moraine led us to a first tongue of glacier that we easily crossed with crampons arriving at another section of snow-free ground, hard enough to traverse in crampons. We reached the glacier and continued on it, climbing on a steeper slope.

The light iced rain that had started to fall turned into snow around 3 am, blurring the way ahead. We walked on steep, ice-covered red rocks, avoiding crevasses (we occasionally went by small cracks and holes in the glacier but never large crevasses).

We crossed an amazing area spread with penitentes and later another section of volcanic stones, granitic in aspect (or at least this is what they looked like to me) and frosted. The scenery was stunning to me.

After about two hours in the snow storm the weather improved, while we proceeded on sheer sections of the glacier, towards the rocky plate of Yanasacha at 5680 m. A final, steep stretch led us to a gentler short incline, and on it we walked to the flat, circular summit. Clouds surrounded us and covered our view of the crater and of the scenery, but a gust of wind cleared for a few seconds the view of Chimborazo in the south-west.

We descended easily until reaching an iced section that required much more caution, then retraced our way to the refuge.

Time to the summit: about 7 hours; descent in about 3 hours 20 minutes.

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