Ascent of Volcán Pichincha - Ruku on 2013-06-17

Climber: Paul Brossier

Others in Party:Craig Morgan
Date:Monday, June 17, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Volcán Pichincha - Ruku
    Elevation:15354 ft / 4679 m

Ascent Trip Report

We left Quito at around 4:45am, from the bridge over Mariscal Sucre (Autopista Occidental) on Avenida Diaz de la Madrid (S0 11.022 W78 30.605).

It took us a long time to find the first trailhead, and even more time to find the second one.

First, locate the Water plant, at the end of the road, and enter it. At the end of the plant, there is a small unlocked door leading to the first trailhead (S0 10.506 W78 31.922). You can also access it without entering the water plant, crossing the garden of the small farm above it.

Follow the arrow pointing down on a well marked trail, and cross a first stream. Now look up on your left, and behind you. A few meters before crossing the second stream, you will see a sign (S0 10.498 W78 31.848) pointing to a tiny trail that follow a steep ridge in the forest.

This trail has signs every kilometres, but is not very well marked. Especially in the 'paramo', in the high grass above the forest, it is easy to loose it. Try to stay high on the ridge until you reach a saddle. From there, the trail is better defined, passing right under a pylon before heading straight toward the summit.

We climbed the rock ridge to the summit, hopefully helped by Gabriel, a local guide who was passing by and waited for us to show us the way. The ridge is quite impressive, especially down climbing the famous Paso de la Muerte.

The trail to the summit is well marked and easy. We hiked down to the Teleferico (S0 11.214 W78 32.233).

Note: the GPS track here include the 2 hours where we were looking for the trail head. A newer track is more direct.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5577 ft / 1699 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2283 ft / 695 m
    Round-Trip Distance:10.9 mi / 17.5 km
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Exposed Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:5577 ft / 1699 m
    Distance:7.8 mi / 12.5 km
    Start Trailhead:9777 ft / 2980 m
    Time:5 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2283 ft / 695 m
    Distance:3.1 mi / 5 km
    End Trailhead:13071 ft / 3984 m
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Paul Brossier
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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