Ascent of Volcán Altar on 2017-01-11

Climber: Harvest Mondello

Date:Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Peak:Volcán Altar
    Elevation:16259 ft / 4955 m

Ascent Trip Report

Volcan El Altar Cubre Obispo (The Bishop) ATTEMPT of the South Face (Arista (Edge) variation on the Italian Route). We turned around 400 meters from the summit at 16,250 elevation due to extreme avi conditions. 5,700 (of 6,900) net elevation gain & 18 miles RT. This climb is not for the faint of heart. The approach is brutal with heavy packs. The route is rated TD / Alpine Grade IV (80 degree AI 3 ice) / Class 5.7, however I did not make it to the cruxes on this attempt.

Climb party of 2. Manuel (guide).

The Approach: 3,650 net elevation gain & 7 very rugged miles with heavy backpacks (climbing gear / tent).

The approach begins at 11,500 & ends at Campamento Italiano 15,150.
Rugged class 2. The trail turns into a stream & bog hike when wet. Most people use horses for the approach. They're not needed. Allow at least 5 hours up and 3.5 down for a fit acclimatized climber.

The Climb:
Class 3 scrambling followed by glacier travel. 1,100 elevation gain of the 2,300 & 4 miles RT. 1200 feet (400 meters)from the summit we turned around due to avi concerns at 16,250 elevation.

Taxi from Riobamba. Possibly a bus - I saw several buses on the way up. The start of the trail goes briefly thru private property so be respectful. There's no National Park sign in or ranger on duty at the climbers trail.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4859 ft / 1481 m
    Round-Trip Distance:16 mi / 25.8 km
    Route:South Face
    Trailhead:11400 ft / 3474 m
    Grade/Class:TD / Alpine Grade IV
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble, Rock Climb, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb, Ice Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Ski Poles, Guide, Tent Camp
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Days 
Descent Statistics
    Time:30 Hours 3 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Ecuador Jan. '17 (6 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1(Attempt) Volcán Altar2017-01-114859 ft / 1481 m
2Volcán Tungurahua2017-01-127180 ft / 2188 m
3Sincholagua2017-01-154910 ft / 1497 m
4Volcán Pichincha2017-01-16 
5Volcán Pichincha-Rucu2017-01-16 
6Padre Encantado2017-01-16 
Total Trip Gain: 16949 ft / 5166 m    Total Trip Loss: 16949 ft / 5166 m

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