The Ecuador Grand Triple: Training Expedition

Cayambe, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo

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Ecuador is the "land of volcanoes", with more than thirty significant peaks in the small country. BBE's unique training program is a training expedition for mountaineers preparing for Denali, the Arctic regions, or 8000m peaks, especially Mount Everest, who wish to gain experience and solid skills at higher alpine altitudes whilst enjoying the chance to climb Ecuador’s majestic summits Cayambe, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo.

Upcoming Dates

20 Nov - 4 Dec

These are tough climbs, which require specific skillsets. Building effective storm camps, crevasse navigation and rescue techniques, climbing with full packs, fixed rope ascension, and formulating a climbing strategy are all necessary topics to cover. Participants should arrive with a healthy desire for enduring mountain conditions. Nonetheless, Ecuador’s lodges and hacienda’s are truly outstanding and offer amazing comfort and fine cuisine for in-between climbs, making this an amazing 'luxury climbing' opportunity. 

We begin our adventure in Ecuador with an orientation in Quito (9,400 feet – 2,865m), the world’s second highest capital after La Paz, Bolivia. Our time spent shopping and enjoying day hikes serves to acclimatize us before we depart to our first volcano. We then journey to Cayambe where accessible glaciers offer an ideal learning environment. After our summit of Cayambe and a relaxing night back in Quito we drive to Cotopaxi for more tuition and higher altitudes.

You will have a great sense of accomplishment as you stand on top and enjoy the incredible views! In the event that the conditions on Cotopaxi are unfavorable, we have the option to summit Antisana or the Illinizas. Finally we head to Chimbzaro where the trip cumulates with this epic climb as well as a final exam!

Course Topics

  • International Travel Considerations: respecting culture specific etiquette, cultural expectations
  • Moving skills and climbing techniques, and multi-pitch alpine rock climbing               
  • Belay techniques, rappelling, and rope management
  • High Altitude Physiology 
  • Acclimatizing strategies 
  • Heart rate and oximeter charts 
  • High Altitude Physiology AMS, HAPE and HACE: signs and symptoms, treatment, evacuations and common industry standards
  • Rope skills
  • The “Art” of Packing
  • Equipment awareness and care
  • Ice axe positioning, self-arrest, and balance positioning
  • Moderate and steep sow and ice climbing, crampon usage techniques, and proper application of combined skills in a variety of terrain
  • Glaciology and crevasse pattern prediction
  • Roped glacier travel, rope team management, route finding, and crevasse navigation
  • Everest climbers - ladder work
  • Crevasse rescue
  • How to properly set up a camp site, including construction of wind walls 
  • Proper hydration, including efficient snow melting protocols
  • Meteorology 
  • Trip planning using maps, compasses and altimeters
  • Discussion of the mountain environment and methods of evaluating both subjective and objective hazards
  • Personal maintenance, hygiene and sleeping in cold environments
  • Leave No Trace principals
  • Nutrition, and backcountry cooking techniques    

 

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Day 1:  Arrival in Quito     
Day 2:  Quito City          
Day 3:  Ruco Pichincha Climb and journey to Termas Papallacta
Day 4:  Mountaineering School Begins, and Acclimatization Hike
Day 5:  Journey to Cayambe and Acclimatization Hike
Day 6:  Glacier Training
Day 7:  Cayambe High Camp Hut, Mountaineering School 
Day 8:  Cayambe Summit Day and return to Quito
Day 9:  Move to Cotopaxi Lodge
Day 10: Mountaineering School and prep for Cotopaxi Climb
Day 11: Cotopaxi Summit Day, and return to Lodge 
Day 12: Journey to Hacienda Abraspungo (Chimborazo)
Day 13: Hike to Stubel (High) Camp, Chimborazo
Day 14: Chimborazo Summit Day and return to Quito
Day 15: Flights Home

Getting There
Several U.S. airlines offer daily flights to Quito, Ecuador (UIO). Flights generally arrive late in the evening on Day 1 of the itinerary. Flights departing Quito may be booked for any time on the final day of the program.

Travel and flight information
It can take months to make your travel plans and to obtain the necessary passport for your trip. We strongly recommend that you begin this process as soon as possible.
PLEASE CHECK YOUR FLIGHT ITINERARY WITH THE BBE OFFICE BEFORE BUYING!

Entry Requirements
A valid passport is required when traveling to Ecuador. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the expected return date. U.S. passport holders may stay up to 90 days without a visa.

We suggest making a copy of the first two pages of your passport and keeping them in a separate bag as a backup. A copy should also be left with your emergency contact.

Travel Advisories/ Warnings
Please confirm any current travel advisories/warnings as well as entry requirements with the U.S. Department of State.

In Country Transportation 
The provided transportation in Ecuador as stated in the itinerary is via private vehicle.

Airport Arrival
Upon arrival at the Quito airport, follow the signs to the Arrivals Building. Proceed to the Immigrations desk for foreign travelers. They will provide you with an entrance permit adequate for your stay. Please check the date to ensure it covers your complete stay in Ecuador.

Once you receive your bags from Baggage Claim, you will proceed to Customs. There will be a random selection of bags for inspection. Be sure to keep all your bags together.

After you have gathered your baggage and passed through Customs you will find a desk in front of the exit gate where you can ask for a taxi. Take a taxi to our hotel. A fixed price of approximately $25 to $30 is in place.

Communication
Ecuador – country code +593. Most areas will not have mobile access or internet availability.

Money
The current currency of Ecuador is the U.S. Dollar. Check a financial newspaper or www.xe.com for the current exchange rate prior to departure.

You should find that $200-$300 for spending money is adequate for restaurant meals, drinks and pocket money. You may choose to bring more depending on your shopping plans and length of stay.

Cash machines are readily available in Quito, but become increasingly difficult to find outside of urban areas.

Credit cards are accepted in most, but not all, areas.

Everyone has a preferred way to carry money. Some use money belts, others have hidden pockets. Whatever you do, be aware of pickpockets and thieves in any area which caters to tourists.

Electricity 
Ecuador has the same voltage as the USA 120 volts, you won’t need a convertor.

Food
All of the meals served on Benegas Brothers Expeditions trips are a combination of the best local and regional fares along with occasional specialty items brought from the US. We are happy to accommodate your dietary restrictions and/or allergies. We practice an expedition motto of “happiness through eating!”

Mountain Snacks
We recommend that you bring snacks to supplement the mountain lunches for 5 days. We may have a chance to purchase additional food in Ecuador, but we recommend you take what you need and only supplement with local food if necessary.

Take snacks that you genuinely enjoy. Eating well is the key to maintaining your strength while in the mountains. And in order to combat the loss of appetite at altitude, it is best to have a variety of foods from which to choose, from sweet to sour to salty.

Lunch snacks are eaten during short breaks throughout the day while in the mountains. Avoid packing any items that require preparation or hot water.

Recommended mountain lunch items: dry salami, smoked salmon, jerky (turkey, beef, fish), small cans of tuna fish, individually wrapped cheeses such as Laughing Cow or Baby Bell, crackers, candy bars, hard candies (Jolly Ranchers, Toffees, Life Savers), Gummy Bears, sour candies (Sweet Tarts), cookies, dried fruit, nuts, energy bars, GORP mixes, and drink mixes (Gatorade/Kool-Aid).

Breakfast and Dinners
The breakfast menu includes items such as instant oatmeal, cold cereals (granola), breakfast bars, hot drinks (coffee, tea, cocoa, cider) and local fresh fruit.

Dinner usually begins with soup and ends with dessert, followed by a round of hot drinks. Healthy one-pot meals, incorporating fresh local food whenever practical, are served as the main course. There are limitations, but the menu is planned to offer good variety and ample portions.

Hotels
Our international trips feature local standard four-five star accommodations in the larger cities and towns. These hotels offer all of the amenities you would expect; room service, laundry, wireless internet…etc. They are often close to the local points of interest, unique shops and colorful markets, and offer guests a comfortable place to relax between the trip activities.

Camping
During our treks and climbs we will be camping with Style. You might find yourself waking up to a hot tea delivered with a smile right to the foot of your tent each morning, or playing cards in the dining tent during afternoon tea with new acquaintances, or enjoying a fine meal prepared by our cook staff that is present on each trip. Camping will take on a new meaning for you!

Travel Advise 
Make two photocopies of valuables such as your passport, tickets, visas and travelers’ cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home. Be sure to inform your credit card company as well as your bank you will travel internationally into Argentina. This will eliminate any credit card holds for fraudulent activity.

Resources
http://wikitravel.org/en/Ecuador and http://www.lonelyplanet.com/Ecuador

Location: Ecuadorian Andes

Length: 15 Days

Trip Dates: 20 Nov - 5 Dec

Prerequisites: Backpacking experience; very good physical condition; snow and glacier travel skills

Primary Goals:

  • Acquire climbing skills on steeper snow and ice
  • Develop a good sense of glacier travel, self arrest skills, self-rescue skills, and fixed line skills
  • Acclimatization with intensive training at Cayambe, summit Cayambe (19,000 feet - 5,790m), then summit Cotopaxi (19,347 feet - 5,897m), then finally summit Chimborazo (20,702 feet - 6,310m) 
  • Experience Ecuador ’s culture and explore is varied ecology

Follow-up expeditions:
Aconcagua Expeditions, Mexico Volcanoes, Bolivian Alpinist, Elbrus

Guide Ratio: 2:1

Group Cost: $5,700 (group of 3);   $9,000 (group of 2)

Deposit: $1250

Trip price includes:

  • BBE Leadership
  • Hotel accommodations as indicated in the itinerary, based on double occupancy*
  • All park entrance fees
  • Sight seeing arrangements as indicated in the itinerary
  • All group transportation in country as indicated in the itinerary
  • All group cooking, climbing and camping equipment

Trip price does not include:

  • International airfare
  • Travel insurance, medical evacuation insurance and security evacuation insurance
  • Excess baggage fees and departure taxes
  • Meals not included in the itinerary
  • Bottled water and personal drinks
  • Customary guide gratuities
  • Additional room charges including laundry service and other personal expenses
  • Hotel accommodations not indicated in the itinerary
  • Transfer from Quito Hotel to Airport for outbound flight
  • Medical, hospitalization and evacuation costs (by any means)

* Accommodations are based on double occupancy. A Single Supplement Fee will be charged to those occupying single accommodations by choice or circumstance. The single supplement is not available in huts, tents, or in all hotels.