Chimborazo is an extinct volcano that has not erupted in recorded history. It is the highest mountain in Ecuador and is located 150 km SSW of Quito. With the summit at approx. 20,700 feet, it was believed to be the highest mountain in the world until the early 19th century. In one respect, however, it is still considered the highest mountain in the world. With its height and sitting on the equatorial bulge (it sits 1 degree from the equator), the summit is the furthest point from the center of the earth (2.1 km further from the earth's core than Everest).

A Vicunia

We drove the van to this lower mountain hut and then had to hike a little ways to the Whymper hut where we would spend the night

It had been very cloudy but it broke just enough to see the Whymper hut (center bottom) dwarfed by the mountain

Andy and Eva coming up the path to the hut

Finally arriving

Eva, Andy, a German climber, and Jim relaxing by the fireplace

Joey preparing some dinner (quesadillas)

The sun came out later for some good views

Looking out away from the mountain

Whymper hut

All prepared and ready to start the climb at midnight
(l to r) Joey, me, Hernan, Diana

Eva (center) joined us and we we off

Here we are after 2 hours into the climb. We started out by going through several rock bands on our way up to gain the main ridge. Here, Joey and Hernan are evaluating the snow pack. It had snowed alot the night before and the temperature over the past few nights was not getting cold enough. They determined that the snow pack would be prone to avalances in the early morning sun. There had been several avalanches the day before and alot of rock falls in the area that we had passed through. Since the climb to the summit would take another 6 to 7 hours, we wouldn't be back to this point until after the sun had come out. The danger of an avalanche and/or rock falls was deemed to risky. We decided to climb another 1/2 hour to the ridge before turning back.

Our route went up and through the rock bands on the left and then came to ridge just above the little saddle (the saddle is just to the right of the rock at the top left)

The following pictures come from various sites on the web