Climbing Iliniza North and South
The Iliniza and Corazón volcanoes are located about 40 km south-southwest from Quito near by Machachi village. Corazón is a perfect place to get acclimatization and scope excellent views of central valleys and neighbor peaks. Iliniza South peak has the distinction of being the sixth highest elevation (5250m), while Iliniza North the eighth one (5125m) in the Ecuadorian Andes.
According to geologists, in a certain era there was only one volcano that exploited and collapsed, transforming this huge volcano into two peaks separated by a saddle. In fact, while climbing either one, you will observe at the bottom of the old caldera the remaining green-blue lake,
the North Peak is especially recommended for people who are training and seeking acclimatization before attempting major peaks. Because of the poor services of the “Nuevos Horizontes” hut, (3740 m) we prefer staying overnight in local Haciendas located in the valleys below. There we have comfort, great local food and better rest for the next long day hike.
Iliniza North Peak (5215 mt)
DESCRIPTION: Iliniza North is a rocky peak and very seldom covered with snow. Its normal route does not present any big technical problems for trekkers, soft climbers or people seeking for acclimatization. Both, Iliniza North and South offer some of the most enjoyable climbs and views.
Climbing Iliniza North – Summary
Day 1 – Quito, Machachi, El Chaupi, Corazón volcano
Departure from Quito in the south direction towards Machachi village and afterward to El Chaupi and Corazón volcano checking point. Acclimatization hike in the “Paramo” towards Corazon Summit, back to a private Hacienda in Chaupi Village for overnight and dinner.
Day 2 – Iliniza North Summit Day
Early breakfast and transfer to the parking place “La Virgen” (4000m). Hike to the top (5125m) via Nuevos Horizontes Hut and the settle. Back to the parking lot via the sandy screed slopes. Transfer to Quito via Machachi.
Ice Climbing South Iliniza (5250m)
DESCRIPTION : Iliniza South is reserved for those who have good skills on ice climbing. Because of the glacier recession, its normal route has become more and more technical, so front point skills are mandatory. Therefore it is not recommended for beginners. This peak has the reputation of being an Alpine climb.
Climbing Iliniza South – Summary
Day 1 – Quito, Machachi, El Chaupi, Ilinza Hut
Departure from Quito in South direction towards Machachi and El Chaupi village to the parking place “La Virgen” at 4000m. Approach to the hut (4740 m). Dinner and overnight stay.
Day 2 – Iliniza South Summit Day
Early wake-up and breakfast. Approach to the glacier edge and climbing to the mountain top following the normal route (northeast face). Return to the hut and parking lot – Drive back Quito via Machachi.