Posted: May 23, 2023
The Avela Foundation will be summiting the spectacular Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador this May, to raise funds for burn survivors in South Africa.
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Day 1: Arrive in Quito 2,850m/ 9,350 feet
Try and arrive in as early as possible on this day to allow for additional acclimatization. Quito sits at an altitude of 2,850m/ 9,350 feet. We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to our hotel for the night. It is important to rehydrate, relax and start adjusting to high altitude. If you feel up to it, you explore the city and you will find a wide range of dinner options.
Day 2: Acclimatization & City Tour
We will rise early have breakfast at the hotel and then out to explore the city of Quito. It is important to have this extra day for additional acclimatization before moving higher. Breakfast and Lunch included.
Day 3: Hike to Cotopaxipungo 3,150m/ 10,335 feet
After a drive of one hour, you’ll start hiking from the village of Rumipamba located in the Valley of Los Chillos at 3,000m/ 9,842 feet. The trek follows some cobble stone roads on the side of the Pita River, which flows from Cotopaxi National Park. You will visit the majestic waterfalls of Rio Pita. Close to the Hacienda Cotopaxipungo you’ll pass in front of a Shrine, a small religious place where locals come to worship the “Virgen de la Piedra”, the Virgin of the Rock. Today’s hike takes around 5 hours. You will spend your first night at an altitude of 3,150m/ 10,335 feet. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 4: Ascent of Pasochoa 4,200m/ 13,780 feet
You’ll set off early for the ascent of Pasochoa. The grassy trails winding to its summit are reminiscent of the garden of Ireland, apart from the common swirling mists, which can bring the sulfurous smell of simmering lava from below! From the summit you may see condors – Pasochoa is one of the few volcanoes where these huge birds glide. Overnight at Los Mortinios. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 5: Ascent of Rumiñahui 4,500m/ 14,763 feet
From the lodge it’s a short drive to Limpiopungo Lake where you will start hiking towards the central ridge of Rumiñahui, which leads to the middle summit. The volcano is located only 13km North West of Cotopaxi. Rumiñahui is named after a very well-known Inca General who fought against the Spanish when they were looking for the Inca treasure. This was around the year 1520. After the trek you spend the night at Los Mortiños Lodge 3,600m/ 11,811 feet. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 6: Hike to Cotopaxi Glacier 5,100m/ 16,732 feet
From our lodge the team drives to the car park for Cotopaxi 4,600m/ 15,092 feet, where you will hike for 45 minutes to the hut 4,800m/ 15,748 feet. When you step out onto the volcanic dust of a moonscape, you’ll find the thin air has a cold freshness, which gives a sense of vigor and vitality. From above the refuge, you will continue to walk, arriving at the edge of the glacier. After lunch at the hut, you will descend to Tambopaxi lodge 3,700m/ 12,139 feet, where you’ll spend the night. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 7: Drive to Yanacocha 3,400m/ 11,152 feet
Today is considered a rest day. We will drive from Cotopaxi to the Cayambe Region. On the way we will visit the ‘Middle of the World’ and Hacienda Guachala before reaching Yanacocha for the evening.
Day 8: Ascend to Cayambe Hut 4,600m/ 15,348 feet
Today we will make our way up to the Cayambe Hut at 4,600m/ 15,348 feet. The afternoon will be spent reviewing the glacier skills needed for the ascent, prior to the climb. Overnight mountain hut. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 9: Ascent of Cayambe 5,800m/ 18,900 feet
You will leave around 1am for the summit. The team will rope up to protect from hidden crevasses and steeper sections. After a long ascent to the summit, you will be rewarded with amazing views of the other volcanoes in the distance and spectacular valleys below. From below the hut our vehicles will meet us and you’ll drive back to Quito for your final night in Ecuador. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 10: Depart from Quito You can sleep in, get out on the town and pick up some souvenirs. We will transfer you back to the airport for your return flight home. It is best to schedule your flight for an evening departure if possible.
We wish the team the best of luck with this extreme trek for a great cause!
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