Location: Ecuador, 150km SW of Quito
Summit Altitude: 6,263m
Climb Duration: 10 to 14 days
Best Time To Climb: June, July, December and January
There are several routes to the summit, but the easiest and least technical two are the North Side – Las Murallas Route and Original Route which are both Western ridge routes beginning at the Whymper hut and travelling over the Ventemilla summit up to the true summit (Whymper).
Both these routes are Grade II, which technically means they are technical routes but kind of like baby technical routes compared to a higher-grade climb. To give it some comparison, Elbrus is classified as a Grade IIb.
It will involve being harnessed together with your team, the use of ice axes, B2 mountaineering boots and crampons and moving over snow and ice terrain. Although this mountain requires you to use technical skills and some technical equipment, these 2 routes are the easiest of the potential 5 or 6. If you are just beginning in your mountaineering and trekking life then this is not the right mountain for you. If you’ve had some experience with the likes of Elbrus, Aconcagua, Mera Peak then this is a great stepping-stone for you to practice your skills before moving onto the bigger and more technical peaks.
As always, if you are an experienced climber or feel confident climbing a peak like Chimborazo solo then go for it but you classify yourself in anyway as a beginner or even intermediate then you should absolutely hirer a guide or join a tour providers team. It is a great way to learn new techniques and skills when you are in the safety of a professional guide.
Both the North Side and Original Route are classified as the easiest routes. The two common starting points are at Refuge Carrell (4,800m) and Whymper (4,999m). If you are starting from Carrell you should plan on starting an hour earlier to make the summit and return down the volcano before the sun is too strong.
From either of these refuges it is normally a 8-9 hour ascent with a 2-3 hour descent. For both routes, you must aim to start before midnight when the weather is most reliable and predictable. If you get your timing right, you’ll near the summit at dawn making for a pretty spectacular sunrise!
For a dedicated and specific training plan for Chimborazo, checkout this blog:
If you’d prefer to work with a High Altitude Training Coach then click here for more information about The Mountaineering & Trekking Training Program.