Ascent of El Corazon on 2018-11-17

Climber: Alex Lennon

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, November 17, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:El Corazon
    Elevation:15696 ft / 4784 m

Ascent Trip Report

At this late stage of my trip to Ecuador, it took all my motivation to get out of bed and climb El Corazon. I was still pretty tired from Imbabura as well as the cumulative effects of previous climbs, but fortunately it was a beautiful morning and I knew it was now or never. I was staying in Aloasi, not too far from the Panamerican highway. Still, I opted to just walk to the summit from there (hence the substantial gain) rather than try to get a taxi truck to shave off an unknown distance for me. I'd been looking at various trip reports, all of which say to begin the hike near the Aloasi train station. I was also looking at Google Maps and was unable to tell where the roads went from there through the farms on Corazon's eastern slope. So I stupidly decided to take another road, nearby but appearing on Gmaps to lead slightly further up.

This road passes the Cerveceria la Cayetana, among other buildings, before leading into the farmland. I had little trouble navigating up through the fields, but once I hit the top of the highest farm I had no choice but to cut cross-country to reach the actual trail/4x4 road. This was perhaps half a mile in distance, if that. Still, I can say that generously this short bushwhack took me well over an hour. it was mostly thick grasses between 3 and 5 feet tall, or dense shrubs, equally tall, and I would have liked a machete to negotiate both floral zones. Lesson learned: Take the time to figure out the proper road to get up here. It's worth not having to do this heinous bushwhack.

I was pretty exhausted by the time I popped out on the 4x4 road, but from there the going was pleasant and easy. Cotopaxi loomed large as it was still relatively clear out. Antisana and Cayambe were also visible, as were Ruminahui, Pasochoa and Los Pichinchas. Corazon has a pretty unbeatable location as far as views go, in all directions. The scramble to the summit took perhaps 40 minutes- fun and easy. There was some heavy rain and thunder on the descent. Very enjoyable peak and I'm glad I fought through my lack of motivation to get up here before I left the country.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5919 ft / 1804 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:5919 ft / 1804 m
    Start Trailhead:9777 ft / 2980 m
Descent Statistics

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