Our expedition to Cotopaxi

On Wednesday we headed out to Cotopaxi for a glacier lesson. Our goal was to get familiar with the technics of glacier walking, how to deal with a fall, and how to analyze the landscape. After a quick walk up to the refuge, situated at 4800m, we started the hike to the glacier. The landscape was lunar, between white and red rocks, and cloudy. Arrived at 5200m, we discovered that the glacier was actually higher than expected. A lot of water ran down from the top and small rivers were forming. Fernando our guide told us that it is actually the first time in his life he sees the glacier like this. It is thawing very rapidly and that’s directly linked to climate change! Because of that, the glacier was, unfortunately, unpracticable for us. We took a walk around the volcano and suddenly the top cleared up. As we went down, we could admire the impressive top of the volcan.

At the moment, the summit of Cotopaxi is closed due to volcanic activity since October 2022. It is still possible to go up to the beginning of the glacier, at 5200m, but we don’t know for sure when the top will reopen again. 

As an alternative, we propose the Cayambe volcano (5790 m). This beautiful mountain has similar characteristics to  the Cotopaxi as you will also be able to enjoy a glacier route. An additional highlight: the equator line passes right by Cayambe’s summit!

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