Ascent of Volcán Chimborazo on 2018-11-09

Climber: Alex Lennon

Date:Friday, November 9, 2018
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Peak:Volcán Chimborazo
    Elevation:19701 ft / 6004 m

Ascent Trip Report

While it's definitely a bummer that we didn't summit, I would definitely call this climb a success far more than a failure. After all, I was able to do pretty much all the hardest parts of the climb- all that was missing was the summit. There were a bunch of groups attempting the peak today- Carrel Refuge was completely full. As it happened, not a single party reached the summit today. My guide and myself made quick progress up to 6,000m and were far ahead of any other party. Unfortunately, we noticed the snowpack starting to change near the 5,700m mark and it gradually worsened until we decided to dig a pit at 6,000m. Upon examination, we immediately decided to turn around: the top two inches was a densely compacted wind slab, below which was 15 inches of sugary powder, and below that, ice. Just about the last snowpack you want to see on a 2,500ft, 45 degree, featureless face with climbers below. Turning around was an easy decision. Still, I call this a victory since physically, I was barely feeling the effects of altitude at all (turns out acclimatization really does work) and I was feeling more than strong enough to make it to Cumbre Whymper if the conditions had allowed. If nothing else, the climb proved that if contidions are good, that I am more than able to climb a massive, heavily glaciated peak like Chimborazo- and that feels great.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3953 ft / 1204 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Ski Poles, Guide, Hut Camp
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3953 ft / 1204 m
    Route:El Castillo
    Start Trailhead:15748 ft / 4799 m
Descent Statistics

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