Hiking Corazon volcano (4784 m)

Hiking Corazon volcano (4784 m)

Normally summer in Ecuador starts in the beginning of June, but this year, we had quite a few untypically cloudy or even rainy days. When we wake up this morning, we are glad to be able to see almost all of the highest mountains of Ecuador already from the doorstep of Café & Hostel Andes Alpes in El Chaupi.

View of Cotopaxi (5897 m) and Pasochoa (4200 m) from the car on our way to volcano Corazon.

Duncan and his kids Jade and Mitchell, a family from Australia, just started the 11 day – 5 volcano project of Cotopaxi travels. After hiking volcano Pasochoa (4200 m) yesterday the next step is the Volcano Corazon, which is located 30 km southeast of Quito and reaches up 4784 m in the air. There guide is Fernando Iza, experienced mountaineer and owner of Cotopaxi-Travel.

Two Alpacas on the way to Corazon volcano. In the background the summits Iliniza north (left) and south (right) already await Duncan, Jade and Mitchell, who are going to climb Iliniza north tomorrow.
The Corazon Volcano (4784 m)

The hike starts with a gentle ascent through grassy land. The sun is shining and everybody is in a good mood. We are lucky and can even watch some Andean birds.

Break in Paramo with view of Cotopaxi volcano.  

After some time, the path gets steeper and we are reaching the ridge of the Corazon Volcano. From the other side of the ridge some clouds are rising up with the wind and soon we are caught in the fog. The territory gets rockier and steeper, so for safety reasons we put on helmets and harnesses to build a roped party.

Mitchell and Jade are getting ready for the summit.
Climbing in a roped party – Guide Fernando, Jade, Mitchell and Duncan

The next part of the path involves some easy rock climbing and is the most adventurous part of the Corazon hike. In high altitudes it is important to drink a lot of water to compensate the little oxygen in the air with the one in the water. We go slowly and soon reach the top, where we are taking a well-earned break and eat our box lunch. Sadly, we don’t have any view, but on our way down it starts to clear up again a little bit. We can even see a rainbow to round up the day.

Well-earned break at the top!
Hiking down the ridge of Corazon volcano.

Back in the Café & Hostel Andes Alpes everyone is looking forward to an hot shower and a delicious dinner cooked by Teresa, the wife of guide Fernando.