Route: Pichincha Traverse (Ecuador)


Route submitted by Tyler Andrews:

This is the classic traverse of the Pichincha Range from Quito to Lloa. The route hits 4 summits: Rucu Pichincha, Ladrillos, Padre Encantado, and Guagua Pichincha (the high point at 4770m). Note that altitude is a serious factor as the entire route is between 3000m and 4770m with the majority over 4000m. This route is extremely exposed with little possibility for exit after passing the Rucu summit point and thus should only be attempted on days with consistent and clear weather. Thunderstorms can still develop quickly and storm clouds should be monitored closely even on days which start clearly.

This full traverse starts at the BOTTOM of the Teleferiqo and runs up the trail paralleling the cable-car and finishes in Lloa town center (or reverse), about 30km. A significantly shorter route would be to take the cable car up to 4100m at Cruz Loma and finish either in Lloa or at the parking lot at the base of the Guagua Refugio trailhead. Note that the cable car does not open until 08:00-10:00, however, depending on the day, which would make this a challenge given that the early morning weather is often the most clear and stable.


This looks good!

I (Tyler Andrews) will be attempting this route along with fellow HOKA runner Anne Mae Flynn on Saturday, Jan 18, 2020. Note that we will be starting via the Polichasqui trail as the climb alongside the Teleferiqo is currently closed to hikers/runners. We will be doing the attempt self-supported, though will have the opportunity for a supported climb if we need supplies at Guagua Pichincha.