Tips for Ecuador

11:08 p.m. on March 24, 2009 (EDT)
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Last night a friend I hadn't spoken to in maybe 7 years said "Hey, I'm living in Ecuador, have you been?

The resulting conversation ended in a place for me to stay, a quick glance at lonely planet, and a $500 plane ticket to Guayaquil.

I've done a good bit of climbing in the Glaciers and Rain Forests of the Pacific Northwest, but Ecuador seems a whole different game. The mountains are twice as big, and I have never been in a jungle......and definitely not the Amazon.

So, what advice can you all offer me?

(specialized gear, locations, do's and donot's)

4:44 p.m. on March 26, 2009 (EDT)
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I've never been to Equador, lucky you!

When i was traveling in Guatemala I think i had a pair of shorts, sandals and a synthetic shirt. If i remember correctly, that's all i was wearing for 3 months. My memory is a little bit blurred, to many cervesas....

10:31 p.m. on April 18, 2009 (EDT)
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Been there a couple of times but not to Guayaquil, which is on the Pacific Coast. I've been in Quito, in the Andes, and in Amazonia. Started a web site with some info but never fully developed it. You can check it out at: [url=]

12:27 a.m. on April 19, 2009 (EDT)
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Jerry, I'd be very interested to get any advise you have, be it on Peaks to climb, or provinces to visit in the Amazon. We're flying into Guayaquil to surf a bit in Montanita and visit friends, but then shooting up to Quito and out east into the Amazon. Upon our exit from the jungle, and after an aclimitization hike of Pichincha outside Quito, the following two weeks will be spent climbing in the Andes. The idea is to work our way south towards Banos and then back to Guayaquil. Very curious if it is worth going into Sangay? My number is listed on my profile, please don't hesitate to call if you have the time.

Mostly I am curious what peaks I can bag with limited gear (crampons, ice axe, rope, and a few ice screws).

10:19 a.m. on April 19, 2009 (EDT)
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I climbed Mt. Antisana in December of 1996. There were just two of us plus an Ecuadorian guide. The trip was arranged by the American Alpine Institute. Antisana was great but it is remote and takes some time so it might be hard to fit into your plans. Cotopaxi would probably be convenient.

In January of 2008 my wife and I went to Ecuador on a trip organized by Global Exchange. On that trip we went into the Amazon (Coca, the Napo River, Rio Blanco, and a bunch of other places). Nowadays Quito is just full of tour guide companies. Many of them focus on rafting but quite a few do hikes and mountaineering. Climbing supplies are easy to get so you don't need to worry about things like fuel for your stove.

You might need some innoculations especially since you'll spend some time at lower altitudes. So check into that.

Also, check out "Climbing and Hiking in Ecuador" by Rachowiecki and Wagenhauser. I have the third edition -- it's very good -- but there should be a more up-to-date edition.

You could also look into climbing Cayambe and Chimbarazo. They are accessible and fairly popular as far as high altitude climbs go.

I don't know anything about Sanjay.

10:30 a.m. on April 19, 2009 (EDT)
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BTW, I also did an aclimitization hike up Gua Gua Pinchinca. That was relatively easy, considering it's over 15,000 feet. It was a treat -- volcanic steam and all that. It erupted a couple of months after we were there.

2:23 p.m. on April 19, 2009 (EDT)
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Thanks for the book info, I'll order it today.

Antisana is not really a consideration on this trip since it is, as you mentioned, remote and rather technical in nature. But Cotopaxi and Chimborazo are on the list for sure, and I'll look into Cayambe.

I've already got my inoculations covered, and am looking forward to departure, less than two weeks now! Thanks again for the info.

4:09 p.m. on April 19, 2009 (EDT)
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One more thing... Do you have a prescription for Acetazolamide, aka, Diamox? It helps with adjusting to altitude. Not essential if you adjust well to high altitudes but if you don't adjust and you don't have it ...

6:43 p.m. on April 19, 2009 (EDT)
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already got it. Never had any trouble with altitude, but i've never climbed much over 14,000. Got a script for vicodin too, never know when you'll have to walk out with something broken.....or improve the effectiveness of beer.

May 26, 2018
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