High-altitude mountaineering on non-technical routes

Ecuador Volcanoes

Cayambe 5,790m / 18,996ft
Cotopaxi 5,897m / 19,348ft
Chimborazo 6,310m / 20,703ft

Ecuador is a country of exquisite scenery, friendly people and outstanding mountains. Those of you who are relatively new to mountaineering or experiencing altitude for the first time will thoroughly enjoy this programme.

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Difficulty Level Low ?
Fitness Level Medium ?
Duration 16 days
Elevation 6,310M / 20,702FT
Large view

Ascending the upper glacier on Antisana - Jeremy Devine - AAI

Large view

Climbers make the final steps to the Cayambe Summit (5,790m) - Jeremy Devine - AAI

Large view

The colourful markets of Quito - Tiffany Shervell

Large view

Ecuador is home to 27 volcanoes, including Cotopaxi - Tiffany Shervell

Large view

Lake Quilotoa - Mark Sedon

From May 04 to May 19, 2018
Departs from Quito, Ecuador
$3,760 USD $
From May 18 to Jun 02, 2018
Departs from Quito, Ecuador
$3,760 USD $
From Jun 01 to Jun 16, 2018
Departs from Quito, Ecuador
$3,760 USD $
From Jun 15 to Jun 30, 2018
Departs from Quito, Ecuador
$3,760 USD $
From Jun 29 to Jul 14, 2018
Departs from Quito, Ecuador
$3,760 USD $
From Jul 20 to Aug 04, 2018
Departs from Quito, Ecuador
$3,760 USD $
From Aug 03 to Aug 18, 2018
Departs from Quito, Ecuador
$3,760 USD $
From Jan 04 to Jan 19, 2019
Departs from Quito, Ecuador
$3,760 USD $
From Jan 18 to Feb 02, 2019
Departs from Quito, Ecuador
$3,760 USD $
From Feb 08 to Feb 23, 2019
Departs from Quito, Ecuador
$3,760 USD $
From Mar 01 to Mar 16, 2019
Departs from Quito, Ecuador
$3,760 USD $
From May 03 to May 18, 2019
Departs from Quito, Ecuador
$3,760 USD $
From May 17 to Jun 01, 2019
Departs from Quito, Ecuador
$3,760 USD $
From May 31 to Jun 15, 2019
Departs from Quito, Ecuador
$3,760 USD $
From Jun 14 to Jun 29, 2019
Departs from Quito, Ecuador
$3,760 USD $
From Jun 28 to Jul 13, 2019
Departs from Quito, Ecuador
$3,760 USD $
From Jul 19 to Aug 03, 2019
Departs from Quito, Ecuador
$3,760 USD $
From Aug 02 to Aug 17, 2019
Departs from Quito, Ecuador
$3,760 USD $
From Nov 01 to Nov 16, 2019
Departs from Quito, Ecuador
$3,760 USD $
From Nov 15 to Nov 30, 2019
Departs from Quito, Ecuador
$3,760 USD $
From Nov 29 to Dec 14, 2019
Departs from Quito, Ecuador
$3,760 USD $
  • Overview

    • Climb three mountains, including Ecuador’s highest peak
    • A cultural and ecological discovery
    • Experience high-altitude mountaineering on non-technical routes


    Our qualified guides introduce you to international-standard climbing techniques through our glacier school, and you climb three splendid volcanic peaks including Ecuador’s highest, Mount Chimborazo. We begin by climbing the trekking peaks Pasochoa and Ruca Pichincha near Quito. These completed, we ascend Cayambe where we practice our climbing skills before moving onto Cotopaxi.

    Chimborazo is the third summit that we climb on both névé and hard glacial ice. When travelling between our mountain destinations we stay in restored haciendas, some dating back to the early 1800s, which are now world-class resort hotels. On rest days we visit the majestic and wild ecological zone of the ‘cloud forest’ and revel in the region’s amazing biological diversity.

  • Why AC?

    Adventure Consultants is renowned for the quality of its service and strategy applied to high altitude expedition climbing. Our reputation is attributed to meticulous planning and experienced logistics coordination. We have a philosophy of investing in every expedition to offer our climbers the best possible chance of success.

    We employ strong and specialized Expedition leaders and support staff, who are some of the most pre-eminent in the industry. We pride ourselves on operating with small teams, the best back-up and support available. This includes nutritious and ample quantities of food, comfortable base camp facilities, reliable communications systems and the necessary medical back up.

    Our Ecuador High Altitude Expeditions are a joint Adventure Consultants/American Alpine Institute trip. We used AAI’s experienced and motivated staff for these trips, offering you the best possible price and high quality expedition.

    Many of our expedition members come to us because they have seen us in action on a previous trip and decide to opt for our level of service and proven experience. Others return because they know we do our very best to make expeditions safe and successful.

  • Payment Conditions

    Inclusions

    The price of your trip includes the following:

    • Qualified and experienced mountain guides
    • All expedition organisational requirements
    • Airport transfers
    • All land transport within Ecuador
    • Lodging in hotels, haciendas, huts, and tents on a shared basis during the expedition
    • All trek and mountain food ex Quito, excluding lunches & dinners in hotels, haciendas, and lodges
    • Group Equipment: ropes, tents, stoves etc. and all supplies necessary to make a safe and strong bid for the summit(s)
    • Climbing permits


    Exclusions

    The price of your trip does not include:

    • Personal clothing and equipment
    • Personal/ Trip Cancellation/ Medical Evacuation Insurance
    • Lunches & dinners in Quito and when staying at hotels, haciendas, and lodges
    • Extra nights in Quito
    • Personal expenses such as alcohol etc.
    • Return flights to Quito, Ecuador
    • Excess equipment over the 20kg per person allowance
    • Any rescue costs
    • Government and airport taxes
    • Inoculations

    Account Information

    All payments should be made by bank transfer to the following bank and account:

    Bank of New Zealand
    Offshore Branch
    1 Willis Street
    Wellington
    New Zealand

    for the account of Adventure Consultants Limited

    Account # 1000-594771-0000
    Account Type: US Dollars
    Swift Address: BKNZNZ22

    We can accept your deposit and balance payment by credit card – Visa, MasterCard or AMEX plus a 3% credit card transaction fee.

    Deposit & Balance Payments

    A non-refundable deposit of US$500 is payable to secure a place on the expedition and the balance of payment is due 90 days prior to your expedition start date.

    Cancellation & Refund Policy

    Once you have paid your deposit your trip is confirmed, subject to payment of the balance of fees owing 90 days prior to your trip commencement date. A climber may then cancel his/her participation on the following basis:

    • Cancellations outside of 90 days will result in the loss of the trip deposit.
    • For cancellations made within 89-60 days of the trip commencement date we reserve the right to retain 50% of the balance fee.
    • For cancellations within 59 days of the departure date a cancellation fee of 100% of the full fee applies.

     

    We strongly recommend you take out trip cancellation insurance via your travel agent.

  • Trip Notes

    Ecuador VolcanoesThe Expedition Trip Notes provide detailed information and background for Adventure Consultants' Ecuador Volcanoes Expeditions.

    You can view the trip notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the following link:

    Ecuador Volcanoes Expedition Trip Notes

    Team Membership

    The team will have a minimum size of 2 members and 1 guide and a maximum size of 10 members and 2 guides.

    Partnership with American Alpine Institute

    This trip is offered as part of our partnership with American Alpine Institute (AAI) in Bellingham, Washington. When you sign on we will alert the AAI office about our discussions and your choice of a trip and have them contact you. AAI will know about your background, how your last trip went, your skill level, and your current plan for a next program. AAI and AC will work together to assure that you are well taken care of and that all your planning and preparation goes smoothly, and that everything is in place to help you achieve your goals.

    For more on the partnership see our Partners page.

    Our Guides

    The expedition leader will be scheduled approximately six months out from the trip start. All of our trip leaders have extensive experience at altitude and a proven record of safety, success, and compatibility.

    Head Office Support Team

    Running successful journeys and expeditions is more about experience, knowledge and strategic management than any other factors. As an organisation, we place a substantial amount of time and resources into ensuring our trips are well planned and supported. You can be assured that the AC staff will provide you with friendly advice and knowledgeable support throughout the planning stages of your trip and we will be there to provide backup while the trip is running.

    Kelly MclarenKelly McLaren, Client Liaison

    Kelly brings a vast knowledge of AC expeditioning to her role as 'Rest of the World' Client Liaison. Having worked for AC since 2004, Kelly oversees those trips outside of New Zealand, Europe or the Himalaya. 


     

    AC Team 2016 Landscape

    Your Health

    Expedition members will be provided with pre-trip medical advice and a medical questionnaire and asked to visit their family physician to receive a full medical examination. This information will be sighted only by the expedition leader and our medical adviser and treated with full confidentiality.

    Level of Experience Required

    To climb these peaks you need to be physically fit, have strong mental stamina and be capable of strenuous exercise for several days’ duration. Expedition members can expect to be exerting themselves for about six hours per day and be capable of carrying a 20 kg pack.

    Climbing at altitude affects people differently; most climbers notice a lower performance rate than normal. Our climbing days are mostly short to accommodate this and vital rest days are usually welcomed! Our graduated acclimatisation program allows you to progressively consolidate your fitness. See our Fitness Training Programs for information on how we can help you prepare for the expedition.

    This expedition is suitable for those who are relatively new to mountaineering or have had some previous experience. Climbing skills and techniques will be instructed by your guides during the expedition.

    What You Carry

    Ecuadorian mountaineering rarely requires us to carry heavy packs due to huts being located close to the road end. Occasionally we will have to carry loads for short periods and it is worth training for this. An example is when we must carry our equipment and food from the road end to the mountain huts, taking about 40-50 minutes. Typical summit day pack should be no more than 15 to 20 pounds, or 6 to 10kgs.

    History

    In the late 1800’s as Edward Whymper and associates made their annual forays into the high country, they had no idea that they were stepping into mountaineering history as some of the first climbers to find alpine terrain directly on the equator at over 15,000ft (5,900m).

    Food

    During the expedition you will enjoy high quality ‘western’ food as well as popular local dishes. Please indicate any specific dietary requirements you may have on your application form.

    Clothing & Equipment

    Expedition members will be sent a list detailing all necessary individual clothing and personal equipment to be provided.

    Communication & Messages

    There is cell coverage throughout most of Ecuador and your guide is in contact cell phone coverage with our local agent. You will be able to contact friends and family back home from land line phones between climbs and you may have cell coverage also for your personal phones. Internet services should be available every few days.

  • Itinerary

     Day

     

    1

    Arrive Quito, hotel night

    2

    Quito City Tour, hotel night

    3

    Acclimatisation hike Cerro Pasochoa, hotel night

    4

    Acclimatisation hike Rucu Pichincha, hacienda night

    5

    Travel to Cayambe, hut night

    6

    Skills practice Cayambe / Hermoso Glacier, hut night

    7

    Summit Cayambe, hacienda night

    8

    Travel to Cotopaxi region, hacienda or lodge night

    9

    Travel to Cotopaxi National Park and hike to José Ribas Hut. hut night

    10

    Summit Cotopaxi, lodge night

    11

    Travel to Chimborazo, lodge night

    12

    Hike to Stübel Camp, camping night

    13

    Chimborazo Summit, hotel night

    14

    Contingency Day

    15

    Return to Quito, hotel night

    16 Depart from Quito

    Day​ ​1:​ ​Arrive in Quito and meet your guide and other members of the expedition. For those who arrive early, we will provide you with a variety of sightseeing options around Quito.

    Day​ ​2:​ ​Quito​ ​City​ ​Tour. The guides will brief you on the details of the expedition and conduct a gear check before leaving on a city tour to visit the colonial part of town including the Basilica, la Compania, San Francisco, the first religious building constructed by the Spanish in South America by the Spanish. If time allows, we can also drive up the hill of El Panecillo where there is an impressive statue (the Virgin of Quito) and a great view of the whole city. In the​ ​afternoon,​ ​you​ ​may​ ​also​ ​have​ ​the​ ​chance​ ​to​ ​visit​ ​the​ ​Native​ ​South​ ​American​ ​souvenir​ ​market. 

    Day​ ​3:​ ​Acclimatisation​ ​hike​​ ​Cerro​ ​Pasochoa​ ​(4,199m/13,776​ ​ft). The Pasochoa Wildlife Refuge has been protected since 1982, and exists as it did in pre-​Columbian times. In the forest below Cerro Pasochoa, we will hike among stands of pumamaqui, polyapis, podocarpus, and sandalwood trees as we​ ​watch​ ​for​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​more​ ​than​ ​one​ ​hundred​ ​species​ ​of​ ​native​ ​birds. 

    Day​ ​4:​ ​Acclimatisation​ ​hike​ ​​​ ​Rucu​ ​Pichincha​ ​(4,697m/15,413​ ​ft). We head to the East of Quito to the Pichincha Massif for our final acclimatisation hike on Rucu Pichincha. This hike involves first taking a cable car ride above the city, then hiking on trail through rolling hills with a few rock scrambles for good measure. The summit provides views of the central valley from high above Quito. In the afternoon, we travel to one of the oldest haciendas in Ecuador, Hacienda Guachala (built in 1580) for the night. The hacienda is a beautiful property, maintaining its rustic charm,​ ​and​ ​was​ ​used​ ​by​ ​Edward​ ​Whymper​ ​before​ ​his​ ​first​ ​ascent​ ​of​ ​Cayambe​ ​in​ ​1880.

    Day​ ​5:​ ​Travel​ ​to​ ​Cayambe​ ​Refuge. We make our way through the small village of Cayambe to have a close look at the simple rural architecture, which typifies villages in the Andean foothills. The road changes as we gain more elevation becoming more and more rigorous. Depending on road conditions, we may hike the last section of road and allow the jeeps to go on ahead with our equipment. When we reach the famous Cayambe Refuge, we will be treated with breathtaking views of the precipitous Glaciar Hermoso, the “beautiful glacier”. In the afternoon, we will take a short hike above camp as far as the entrance to the upper glacier. This trip may take up to two hours in total. In the evening, if the skies are clear, we will enjoy​ ​the​ ​alpenglow​ ​at​ ​sunset​ ​showing​ ​our​ ​route​ ​up​ ​the​ ​south​ ​and​ ​western​ ​flanks​ ​of​ ​Cayambe. 

    Day​ ​6:​ ​Skills​ ​Practice​ ​​Cayambe/​ ​Glaciar​ ​Hermoso. Much of this day will be spent discussing and practicing alpine climbing skills to prepare for our summit attempt on Cayambe. The glacier above the hut provides an excellent classroom for learning and reviewing basic glacier travel skills, ice axe and crampon technique, and self arrest. After spending the day​ ​on​ ​the​ ​ice,​ ​we​ ​return​ ​to​ ​the​ ​comfort​ ​of​ ​the​ ​refuge​ ​and​ ​discuss​ ​our​ ​plan​ ​for​ ​summit​ ​day.

    Day​ ​7:​ ​Cayambe​ ​Summit​ ​Attempt​ ​(5,790m/18,996​ ​ft) We start our climb in the middle of the night, making use of the firm snow conditions caused by the cooler night time temperatures. The route takes us up varied terrain on rock until we reach the glacier; we then configure our teams for glacier travel. The snow and ice climbing on Cayambe is moderate, and the steepness tops out at a comfortable 35 degrees. Our first major landmark is the Picos Jarrin (5,300m/17,390 ft), a big rock outcrop where we have a good opportunity for a break. Above this point the route becomes a bit steeper and more exposed to weather. As we near the summit, the final obstacle presents itself as a steep face passable through good route finding. We usually need to traverse around seracs and crevasses in order to gain the summit. The traverse creates an exciting finish to one of the great​ ​classics​ ​of​ ​equatorial​ ​climbs.​ ​Descend​ ​and​ ​spend​ ​the​ ​night​ ​at​ ​Hacienda​ ​Guachala.

    Day​ ​8:​ ​Travel​ ​to​ ​Cotopaxi​ ​Region​ ​(Recovery​ ​Day). We leave Cayambe and travel to one of the excellent haciendas or lodges located on the north side of the Cotopaxi National Park (most commonly we stay at Tambopaxi). We review the workings of our team on our climb of Cayambe and discuss the coming ascent of Cotopaxi. This will be a well-earned day of rest, but you’ll also enjoy stretching your legs on a walk and enjoying the great views. 

    Day​ ​9:​ ​Travel​ ​to​ ​Cotopaxi​ ​National​ ​Park​ ​and​ ​Jose​ ​Ribas​ ​Hut. Today we drive down the “Valley of Volcanoes” and turn east to Cotopaxi, eventually finding ourselves on a small altiplano beneath Cotopaxi National Park's towering summits: Ruminahui (4,755m/15,602 ft), Sincholagua (4,986m/16,360 ft), and Quilindana (4,917m/16,134 ft). We are fairly likely to get good sightings of wild horses, llamas, and condors while driving up to 4,602m/15,100ft. From there, a forty-five minute climb with full​ ​packs​ ​takes​ ​us​ ​to​ ​the​ ​José​ ​Ribas​ ​Hut​ ​on​ ​Cotopaxi's​ ​flank​ ​at​ ​4,794m/15,729​​ft. 

    Day​ ​10:​ ​Climb​ ​Cotopaxi​ ​(5,897m/19,347​ ​ft)​. On summit day we will leave the hut well before dawn in order to have firm snow conditions. We first climb non-glaciated slopes and then ascend a series of uniform snow and ice ramps of 30 and 35 degrees to reach a glacial platform at 5,181m/17,000ft. As dawn arrives, we enjoy views of the massive glacial slopes of 5,758m/18,714 foot Antisana, which rises to our north. We belay across occasional snow bridges, skirt large crevasses, and ascend moderate terrain towards the huge summit cone. We reach the base of the 400-foot rock wall Yanasacha (which means “black wild place" in Quechua), and to its side encounter a gaping bergschrund at the base of the final glacial slopes that we must climb to reach the​ ​summit.​ ​We​ ​move​ ​onto​ ​a​ ​steeper​ ​ice​ ​face,​ ​up​ ​to​ ​about​ ​55​ ​degrees. From there we belay up some of the most enjoyable snow and ice climbing pitches in Ecuador. The gradient eases off as we reach the crater rim and continue along easier slopes to Ecuador’s second highest summit. From the top we enjoy views of nine major equatorial peaks, the seemingly limitless Amazon Basin to our east, and Cotopaxi’s spectacular 1000-foot deep summit crater directly below us. We drive back down to our hacienda in the central valley where we enjoy a celebratory meal together.

    Day​ ​11:​ ​Travel​ ​to​ ​the​ ​flank​ ​of​ ​Chimborazo. We drive south, down the “Valley of Volcanoes” along the Pan-american Highway through the towns of Latacunga and Ambato. We will stop along the way for lunch. In the afternoon we move up onto the eastern flanks of Chimborazo where we spend an evening in a lodge at 3,499m/11,480 feet. It sits picturesquely in grassy plains below Chimborazo and allows us to rest and enjoy views of the Ecuadorian​ ​Altiplano​ ​surrounding​ ​Chimborazo​ ​and​ ​Carihuairazo​ ​(also​ ​known​ ​as​ ​“Chimborazo’s​ ​Wife”). 

    Day​ ​12:​ ​Travel​ ​to​ ​Chimborazo Basecamp From the lodge on the eastern side of Chimborazo we drive to the western side of the volcano passing through the town of Riobamba. Chimborazo Province is very hilly and is populated by a very high percentage of indigenous people. Great views of the Chimborazo massif, the surrounding rolling terrain and wild vicuñas and llamas will be had during our drive. Around noon we will reach the Carrel hut (4,800m/15,700 ft) for lunch. The afternoon will be used to complete a two​ hour hike to the Stubel Camp. Climbers carry their own personal gear to camp while porters carry water, tents, and food. In preparation for our alpine start, around midnight we will have an early dinner. Despite the building excitement for the next day’s summit climb we will go to bed early, with anticipation for a safe and rewarding climb in the morning. If conditions on the mountain are different and a direct route is more favorable, the team may stay in the Whymper or Carrel huts and make the summit attempt from there.

    Day​ ​13:​ ​Chimborazo​ ​Summit​ ​(6,310m/20,703​ ​ft). From Stübel Camp, we follow the Stübel Glacier until it joins the Castle Saddle (5,499m/18,044 ft). It takes an average of eight hours to get to the Whymper summit from Stübel Camp. By the time we reach the 18,500 foot ​level (5,640m), we will have surmounted most of the technical challenges on the mountain, and on the remainder of our route we will ascend compact and moderately angled snow. The summit crater area is a vast one that is normally covered in its entirety either in soft snow or nieve penitentes. Although this is our longest day, we will be well acclimatized from the conditioning we have achieved on our previous climbs. Round trip we will spend 10 to 12 hours on route, which includes some ice ramps, snow bridges, and sections of icefall. It is a very interesting route on an impressively large mountain. We will descend to the Carrel Hut and then continue in our vehicle to the lower altitude and oxygen​rich town​ ​of​ ​Baños​ ​at​ ​the​ ​edge​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Amazon​ ​Basin.

    Day​ ​14:​ ​Contingency day

    Day​ ​15:​ ​Return​ ​to​ ​Quito​. We will have an easy morning in Banõs and return to Quito in the afternoon. The last evening is usually spent recounting, celebrating our successes, and discussing plans for future adventures.

    Day 16: Depart Quito

  • Travel & Rescue Insurance

    Adventure Consultants recommends the following travel insurance and rescue insurance options, although this is only just a start! Once you book on a trip with AC, your Client Liaison will help you by sending through advice on your options;

    • Travel insurance
    • Trip interruption
    • Trip cancellation
    • Medical Evacuation and Rescue Insurance

    RIPCORD RESCUE TRAVEL INSURANCE

    Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance Logo webRipCord is the leading medical evacuation program offering elite evacuation and rescue services. With their new partnership with TravelEx, they can also now provide the benefits of a traditional travel insurance product with their just released, RipCord Rescue Travel Insurance™. This is specifically designed for the adventure enthusiast with unique trip cancellation/interruption, medical expense, sporting equipment and other coverage benefits to protect your financial investment.

    RipCord is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, an elite team of special operations veterans, Stanford Medicine affiliate physicians, paramedics, nurses, former intelligence officers and other medical/security experts comprising the most experienced team in the industry. They will rescue you from the field wherever your emergency occurs and evacuate you to your home country hospital of choice.

    RipCord rescues you from the field if you have an emergent medical condition that will result in significant permanent injury and/or death, but does not require hospitalisation.

    RipCord are proud to partner with Adventure Consultants to provide RipCord’s industry leading rescue, evacuation and travel insurance coverage to its clients.

    Adventure Consultants can also assist with purchasing polar cover for Antarctic expeditions and if interested in this, please contact RipCord directly for a specialised quote.

    GLOBAL RESCUE MEMBERSHIP SERVICES

    Global Rescue SnipAdventure Consultants also recommends the rescue evacuation and security membership/services provided by Global Rescue, which provides transport from the point of illness/injury back to your home countries hospital of your choice. TotalCare provides real-time access to medical information and coming soon, this includes urgent card and speciality consultations from some of the world’s health physicians at the Elite Medical Group and John Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore.

    Recently Global Rescue has released a new travel insurance product, the Signature Travel Insurance option. This has no height limitation and gives comprehensive cover for trip cancellation/interruption, medical and dental expenses, delays, lost luggage as well as optional add-ons to ‘cancel or interrupt for any reason. This is currently only available to US Residents.

    Click here to find out more about this insurance cover which covers climbing and is thus suitable for many of our expeditions.

  • FAQ

    • Expedition Documentation

      Please note you will be mailed a set of Team Reference Notes upon registration. This extensive booklet includes detailed information to assist in the planning of your trip; from travel and medical advice to equipment lists and photography tips.

      The following is to serve as a helpful guideline on our South American Expeditions. Please feel free to call or e-mail if you have any further questions. Our team is here to help!

    • Choosing a Provider

      How long has Adventure Consultants been in operation?
      Adventure Consultants started in 1990 and we have been guiding internationally ever since.

      A few outfitters ‘claim’ to have the same level of experience and prestige with that of Adventure Consultants. In this league, what makes you a first choice for your climbers?
      We are renowned for the quality of our service and strategy applied to our treks. Our reputation is attributed to our meticulous planning and logistics coordination done by our head office. Once on the ground in South America, our local agents and guides will ensure that the trip runs to the highest standard, so that you can relax and enjoy climbing through this amazing country.

    • Food, Accommodation & Facilities

      What showers and washing (clothes) will be available on the expedition?
      Showers will be available the city hotels that are utilised prior to and after your trek or climb. After your departure from town, please do not expect a shower each day but where possible, these will be offered. We advise people to bring wet-wipes for the impromptu wash in between available showers.

      Would you let us know what food will be available?
      If you have any special treat you like, we encourage you to bring some along. You’ll get breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks, and ample hot and cold drinks. We can cater for vegetarians as well as many other special diets as long as we are informed of this prior to the trip. All of our expeditions provide excellent local and western food!

      What is the food like?
      When staying in the cities, expect a wide variety of options. Once on the trekking/climbing program, our well-trained cooks prepare high quality ‘western’ food as well as popular local dishes. Please indicate any specific dietary requirements you may have on your application form. We are happy to accommodate for those with specific diets.

      What are the hotels/lodges like? Can I have my own room?
      Through our local agents, we book centrally located mid-range hotels and tidy, clean, modern lodges. Once on your trek/climb program, you will be staying in tents which will be part of a larger camp. Our standard trips are based on shared rooms, usually twin share.

    • Travel

      Do I need to arrive the day before the trip starts? And when should I book my flight to leave?
      No, our trip programmes all have an arrival day and a departure day built into them. You are welcome, and encouraged, to arrive a bit earlier to explore your arrival and departure city if you have the time.

      My travel agent says I can just get an ‘e’ ticket (electronic ticket) and will not need to be actually issued a physical ticket.
      'E' tickets are the standard practice these days and are now acceptable in most locations. Do ensure you print your itinerary and have your booking number with you, as this allows our local agents to assist with changing your return flight plans if need be, while you are in the mountains.

      When should I book my ticket?
      Generally we ask you to wait until 90 days prior to your trip start date to ensure your trip has met the minimum numbers and will operate. If you see a good deal and want to book your flights then ensure you can make changes to your tickets or you run the risk of losing your ticket if we do have to cancel the trip. In such situations we are usually able to help you book on to an alternate departure, either with us or another operator.

      Can I get a cheap ticket online?
      The problem with these tickets is that you usually end up having to pay quite a lot more if you have to make any changes to your ticket. Some of the places we go to aren't straightforward, and we highly recommend using a travel agent for such travel as there are many intricacies that they can help you with. In the long run they save you money! We use professional travel agents for all our staff and guides' travel bookings to our expedition and trek destinations.

      Where do we meet? Will I be picked up?
      Our South American departures tend to fly into Santiago International airports and from there onwards to Lima in Peru, and Mendoza in Argentina. Where possible, an Adventure Consultants representative will be there to pick you up off your flight on the scheduled arrival date. If you are arriving before the scheduled trip start date, we can often make arrangements for a pick-up, though taking a taxi is generally the easiest form of transport before your trip starts.

      What if I am arriving early or departing late?
      Adventure Consultants can make reservations for you and can often make recommendations for attractions you can enjoy while waiting for your trip to begin. Please let our office know your specific plans as we love to pass on sightseeing tips.

      Do I need to get a visa to travel to Peru, Chile or Argentina?
      Most visitors to Argentina who stay for less than three months do not require a visitor’s visa, but you must check this with your local embassy or travel agent for updates. Australian, Canadian and US travellers should be aware that both Chile and Argentina charge a reciprocity fee, so please do check this prior to travelling.

    • Clothing & Equipment

      Do you have a recommended list of clothing we should bring?
      Yes, you will get be sent a personal clothing and equipment list once our office has received your trip registration form and deposit.

      Do I really need all the equipment on the equipment list?
      Yes, these lists have been carefully prepared so that you have clothing/equipment for all eventualities. Please bring everything on the list!

      How warm do we need our sleeping bags to be?
      This will be clearly stated in your recommended gear list. It will depend on where you are going, but in general you will need a sleeping bag warm enough for you in conditions that can be as cold as freezing. We suggest buying a sleeping bag big enough to allow you to wear some clothes in if it is especially cold. Sleeping in a warm hat can greatly improve a bag's warmth.

      Will an altitude tent be carried or available during the trek?
      On our Aconcagua departures, a PAC bag and oxygen are available at the Plaza Argentina Base Camp doctor's tent.

      What altitude medication will be available on the trek/climb? Do we need to take tablets before/ during the trek/climb?
      All our guides carry extensive medical kits on the treks. You need to bring any medications you regularly use (don’t forget to tell us about them) plus extra. Also bring a small first aid kit including a blister kit and mild headache medication for the normal altitude headaches.

      How much weight can we carry on the trek/climb?
      When on the trekking portion of your itinerary, you will carry your daypack with warm clothes, water, snacks, sun block, camera and whatever else you need for the day. Generally it will be light, 5 to 10kgs (10 to 20 pounds). When climbing the likes of Aconcagua and Alpamayo, your packs will be much heavier so do make sure that you are 'pack fit' prior to arriving onto the expedition.

    • Guides & Team Members

      Who goes on your trips?
      Our climbers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, countries and skill levels. From those seeking skill development, to those seeking assistance with the world's highest mountains or purely adventure, we provide courses, expeditions, treks and guided ascents for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts.

      I would like to arrange a private trip, is this possible?
      We are happy to arrange a private group trip to the destination of your choice and we have run many successful private trips and expeditions including summits of 8000m peaks such as Manaslu and Kanchenjunga, all Seven Summits and remote destinations such as Antarctica. There is no specific group size, but obviously larger groups are more cost effective.

    • Health & Fitness

      What kind of physical condition should I be in for a trek/climb?
      We cannot recommend enough in regards to being fit prior to the expedition as this will make all the difference to your acclimatisation, and ultimately, your enjoyment. For our South American expeditions, you should be comfortable walking for 6-8 hours with a light pack. Walking a few hours each day, then 6-8 hours on the weekends is generally a good realistic training programme.

    • Communication & Electronic Devices

      Will there be any access to a satellite phone? If yes then what would be the charges for usage?
      Yes, most of our expedition guides take satellite phones and you are welcome to use these at US$3-$4 per minute depending on the region. Most often, your guide will post daily dispatches on the AC website in which your friends and family can follow your progress.

      I want to contact my friend or relative, who is on one of your trips, how can I reach them?
      Many of our treks and climbs send daily internet dispatches, and we receive updates from our guides while they are in the field. The best place to reach a loved one is through our office.

      Will there be any power source for charging batteries, etc. available throughout the trek? What voltage requirements?
      We take solar panels and sometimes battery power packs on our treks and expeditions. Our first priority is to charge our computers, satellite phones and expedition electrical equipment. There is usually enough power to then charge your personal electrical equipment. If your equipment has a cigarette lighter type car charger, bring that and you can plug it in to charge. We do NOT recommend bringing rechargeable digital cameras; they tend to run out when power is not available. Use cameras with replaceable batteries and we recommend lithium batteries. We can cater for special power requirements at an extra cost - please enquire with our office.

    • Insurance

      What insurance do I need to get?
      On all of our international treks there is a requirement for each trek member to have travel insurance covering medical evacuation and repatriation insurance for when trekking. This should cover you in the event that any mishap occurs whilst climbing, where an expensive evacuation is initiated. We do also highly recommend that you purchase a standard comprehensive policy that would likely include cover for trip cancellation cover (in the event of an injury or mishap prior to your trip start date), delayed flights, lost luggage and at times, medical evacuation and costs.

      Do I need evacuation insurance?
      Yes, it is very important. Many of our expeditions are in remote places with no roads and third world medical services. In the unlikely event you get sick, you want to get to good medical care ASAP.

      Who do you recommend for insurance?
      Coverage varies based on your nationality and the trip that you are taking with us. When you have booked on for a trip with us we will send you comprehensive information on various insurance options which will serve as a good starting point for obtaining the best coverage available for yourself.

      What is Trip Cancellation Insurance?
      Trip cancellation insurance is an option that may allow you to cancel your trip without losing the total cost of the trip. Adventure Consultants highly recommends cancellation insurance for all of our trips, including our courses. If circumstances cause us to cancel a trip (minimum numbers are not reached or travel to a country becomes too dangerous) then we refund your fees paid but trip cancellation insurance covers your airfare and any other costs you may have incurred.

    • Fees & Payments

      Can I pay by credit card?
      We can accept the trip deposit payment on credit card, and we add a 3% fee to accept the balance payment by credit card for your trip. Please contact our office or visit our secure credit card page to send us your credit card details - your card is not charged at the time as we process this here in our office and not via an online payment system.

      What is included in the cost of my trip? Does it include airfare?
      Each specific trip page on the website has a section as well as a downloadable pdf document with exactly what is and what is not included on the trip.

      Why are you sometimes more expensive than other operators?
      Many of our trips are very similar in price to our competitors. Some companies even wait for us to set our prices and use ours as a guideline!! Some of our main selling points, which sometimes do cost more, are; internationally qualified western guides, proven dependable local operators, small group sizes and safe client:guide ratios, quality equipment and high summit success rates, among other things. You do get what you pay for which is why we stand out from the rest. Many clients come to us after failing on one of our competitors ‘cheaper’ trips.

      How do I sign up for a trip?
      The best way to reserve your space on a trip is to call our offices or complete our online booking form. Return this with the trip deposit either through a telegraphic transfer (information is on our trip notes downloaded from the specific trip page) or by using our secure credit card page. Phone our New Zealand head office on +64 3 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 5:30pm PST + 19 hours) or Freephone 1-866-757-8722 from North America.

    • Photography

      What is the best equipment for photography in Alpine environments?
      There is an extensive section in our reference notes, which are sent out on receipt of your trip registration form and deposit, explaining about photography in the mountains.

      Remember photos are wonderful records of your expedition but keep camera gear simple and light to best enjoy the trip you are on. Disposable and digital cameras are the lightest weight, but all cameras have maintenance issues that need to be carefully considered before bringing them to high elevations.

    • Employment

      I want to become a mountain guide, where do I start?
      Those with limited experience generally start by taking an alpine climbing course and then go out and climb for a few years. You generally should have at least 5 years of climbing and/or teaching/guiding experience. You need avalanche and medical training and then you can apply to do a NZ Mountain Guides Course or the equivalent in your country, aligned with the IFMGA. Check the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association web pages for a complete description.

  • Dispatches

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Good guides understand that part of the payoff is the opportunity to help create one of life’s most powerful experiences for someone they’ve just met. I salute the Guides of Adventure Consultants, who do just that every time they lead an expedition.
Vinson Massif Expedition

Dave Mauro
USA
climbingmt blanc

AC provided a great experience, which I would not hesitate in recommending to friends. Based on my experience, AC's reputation as a premium guiding company is consistent with the high level of service they provide.
Mont Blanc Ascent 2016

John Riley
Australia