Chimborazo is a currently inactive stratovolcano in the Cordillera Occidental range of the Andes. Its last known eruption is believed to have occurred around 550 A.D. With a peak elevation of 6,263 m, Chimborazo is the highest mountain in Ecuador.
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Located about 200 km south of Quito, northwest of the city of Riobamba, Chimborazo is a massive stratovolcano with ice caps that majestically dominates the arid plateau of the Western Andes. Considered the highest peak and most isolated mountain in Ecuador, this giant of nature offers a panoramic view of the surrounding valleys from its summit. Climbing its steep and very steep slopes is a great thrill for mountaineering enthusiasts.
The Chimborazo volcano was first climbed on 23 June 1802 by Alexander von Humboldt. The famous German naturalist had great difficulty in climbing to the summit because of his altitude sickness. He suffered from numerous symptoms, nausea, bleeding gums, hallucinations, etc., which prevented him from reaching the top. It was not until 1880 that the summit was officially reached by a British mountaineer known as Edward Whymper. The highest peak of the volcano is named after the climber.
Chimborazo is now considered to be an extinct and inactive volcano. However, according to new studies, it may be waking up. Its activity interval is 1000 years.
Climbing Mount Chimborazo is a real challenge, especially for beginners. The lack of oxygen makes breathing difficult. Its steep slopes are mostly formed by sharp rocks of volcanic lava. Tourists who are keen on mountaineering are advised to bring crampons.
The route to the summit of the Chimborazo volcano is 300 km long. It includes Mount Fuya Fura at an altitude of more than 3,600 m and Imbabura at 4,630 m. In general, the trek to the summit of Chimborazo begins in the city of Riobamba, the capital of the province of the same name. This base camp is an interesting destination for community tourism. The typical dances of the region and the traditional dress of the indigenous people who live there are also part of its reputation.
At its summit, the volcano is covered with mist and ice. The natural landscapes that surround it are the reward for days of effort. Snowfall in Chimborazo attracts a lot of attention from trekkers. Indeed, due to its altitude and temperatures, the thick layer of snow accumulates on the slopes of the volcano.
The best way to reach the Chimborazo volcano is to first go to the city of Riobamba. You can take a bus from the bus station in Guayaquil. It is also possible to take a bus to Riobamba from the Quitumbe terminal in Quito.
It is clear that for beginners, the ascent to Chimborazo is likely to be challenging. Indeed, the summit is extremely high, and the higher you go, the more the lack of oxygen is felt.
It will nevertheless give you one of the most sporting and spectacular memories.
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