Duration: 3 days – 2 nights
Walking distance: 28km
Rating: Moderately Difficult
Altitude: We will be hiking from 3550 m to 4400 m. First two days we will be ascending gradually.
Best time to visit: From June through September since are the driest months. Rain and fog are common at other times of the year.
Observations: This is a challenging and physically demanding trek, since we’ll be increasing in altitude. Be prepared for snow and below-freezing temperatures overnight. If raining, mud slogging and cold may add some extra difficulties to it. Even under the more ideal conditions water streams keep parts of the route muddy all year around. Weather in the sierra can change regardless of the season; so raining boots are a must. We will walk in the company of arrieros (mule drivers) and mules, which will carry the gear, equipment and food.
TREK DESCRIPTION: Between Chimborazo and Carihuayrazo lies the broad valley of the Río Mocha. This trek follows this valley, along the north flank of Chimborazo to the Continental divide and the Negra Cocha lagoon. Chimborazo is an extinct volcano rising to 6310masl, and its sight is among the most impressive in all the Andes. Volcanic debris on tis western flanks forms the arenal, a harsh, high semidesert comparable to the altiplano of Bolivia. Eight kilometers northeast of Chimborazo is its relatively diminutive companion, Carihuayrazo, another extinct volcano that reaches 5018masl. Its several peaks have been heavily eroded by glacial activity, giving Carihuayrazo a particularly craggy appearance. The vegetation here is that of a relatively dry páramo: tussock grass on the hillsides, a variety of cushion plants in the valley floors, bushes such as the chuquiragua and very few stands of fical trees. There is plenty of water streams and rivers along most of the route, inviting birds, rabbits, deer and vicuñas to live in this place. Views along the way are magnificent in clear weather; not only the impressive Chimborazo and Carihuayrazo so close to us, but the Tungurahua, Altar and Sangay in the cordillera in front of us.