Magnificent Mount Carihuairazo

Many habitats in countries all over the world are declared protected areas because of the plant life, animals and bird life that are supported by healthy ecosystems. These zones ensure that the beauty of nature is not lost, and protecting these areas ensures that future generations are able to appreciate and marvel at the wonders of nature. In Ecuador there are a number of protected areas that visitors can explore, and one of the most picturesque is Mount Carihuairazo. Situated in the well known Cordillera Occidental, Mount Carihuairazo is as exciting as it is breathtaking.

The Cordillera Occidental is located in central Ecuador, and is a mere one hundred and fifty kilometers outside of Quito. Other cities located near to Carihuairazo, and which are used as a base for exploring the mountain, include Ambato and Riobamba. Its location in the midst of surrounding volcanic activity makes the Carihuairazo Glacier, situated on the mountain, even more unique. Most of the glacier has been lost due to the weather conditions affecting most life on earth, namely global warming, but it is still a fascinating sight. It is believed that Carihuairazo was once an active volcano, much like its neighbor Chimborazo, but previous eruptions destroyed its peak and left behind the caldera that can be seen today. It is therefore classified as inactive.

Carihauirazo is a popular attraction amongst mountaineers and hikers. The very first expedition up the mountain was led by Louis Carrel, Edward Whymper and Jean-Antoine Carrel in the year 1880. This party climbed the Mocha summit. Horacio Lopez Uribe, Jean Moraiecki and Arturo Eichler reached the summit of Maxima in the year 1951.

There are various routes that climbers can take on the mountain, and they vary in technical skill and difficulty. Acclimatizing correctly is recommended and even though there is no-one to officially collect fees or hand out permits to climb the mountain, climbers are reminded that it is a reserve and should be treated with the greatest respect. Carihauirazo can be climbed throughout the year and safe camping areas are available at no cost. To experience the true beauty of Ecuador’s natural wonders, a trip to Carihauirazo is definitely recommended.