1. Do I have to be an experienced mountaineer to climb a mountain?
Mountain climbing is mostly thought of as an extreme and dangerous sport for the few passionate and experienced, but it can be accomplished by anyone with the desire and will. Mountain Climbing is a unique and safe activity when done with the right guides. All it requires is a good physical condition, good acclimatization and a burning desire to reach the top.
2. Why is acclimatization important prior to trekking/climbing in higher altitudes? Acclimatization is very important and should be taken seriously. Even if you are in a great physical condition, the acclimatization is crucial for a successful climb. Acclimatization is about gradually adjusting your body to the lack of oxygen in the high altitudes. If you attempt high mountains too early in the process it could have serious consequences concerning your health.
3. Can I get altitude sickness?
If you don’t acclimatize properly, then yes you can. Altitude sickness is the effect of altitude on those who ascent too rapidly to elevations above 3.000 meters and it is not related to your fitness level or age. The early symptoms are headaches, loss of appetite and sleeplessness. These symptoms SHOULD NOT be ignored. Go slowly and listen to your body. If you have any symptoms at all, tell the guide and he will assist you.
4. How can I improve my chances of acclimatizing once I arrive?
Once you arrive in Quito and have been transferred to your hotel, we suggest that you take a nap for a few hours or rest. Avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water (not from the tap). Also make sure that you get enough sugar – we suggest eating dark chocolate, which is produced locally in Ecuador.
5. What equipment is required for high mountain climbing?
In all of our climbing trips technical equipment is included, but we do recommend that you bring your own equipment if you already own it. The reason is that it’s always better to use the equipment that you are used to and familiar with.
6. Can I climb solo?
High mountains require that you climb with an experienced and licensed guide (National Park rules). For medium altitude mountains it is highly recommended that you hire a guide as it gets very foggy and easy to get lost. We work with the best professional and licensed guides.
7. What should I eat and drink the days prior to climbing a high mountain?
We recommend eating light and healthy. Carbohydrates are very important for the body’s energy reserves. So, foods like pasta, rice, potatoes and fresh fruits are the best sources. Try not to eat red meat the days before the climb, as it takes a long time to digest. This is a problem, as digestion gets much slower and difficult in the altitude. Drink 2-3 liters of water daily. All of our meals included in our tours are planned according to the activities.
8. Do you have access to radio communications for any emergency needs?
Yes, all of our guides work with radios in the mountains. They are connected with a rescue team, red cross and the mountain refuge.