Is snowboarding a volcano high on your bucket list? If so Ecuador is the perfect place to tick that box with a number of 5500m or higher volcanic peaks. With 30 volcanoes running north to south, Ecuador has been aptly nicknamed, “The Avenue of the Volcanoes.”
Since Ecuador has no ski resorts, riding a snow covered volcano would be your only snowboarding option here. Of course you will need to climb your way to the top first. You can find the most snow on these four volcanic peaks:
- Chimborazo (6268 meters)
- Cotopaxi (5911 meters)
- Cayambe (5790 meters)
- Antisana (5704 meters)
The best and safest option is Cotopaxi, it will take about 5 hours to trek to the top from the refuge hut. Cayambe is also a possibility but hidden crevasses and unpredictable weather conditions make this a more dangerous option.
Unfortunately Artisana and Chimborazo are less viable. Artisana has no refuge huts and is the most dangerous climb of the 4 so very few climbers even venture here. High daytime temperatures on Chimborazo mean falling rock and ice make it ‘daylight dangerous’ so unless you prefer riding pow at night, Chimborazo is not recommended.
To snowboard Ecuador’s volcanoes, you need hire a professional guide. Avalanche danger is very high and due to past fatalities, Ecuador has made it illegal to climb any of Ecuador’s glaciated peaks without a professional guide.
If you are intent on finding the freshest tracks in Ecuador, fly in to the capital- Quito. All of the volcanic peaks are within a three- hour drive. Your guide would be able to meet you in Quito and transport you from Quito to the volcanoes.
However, If you have decided that Ecuador pow can wait, look to neighboring Argentina and Chile for ski resorts and friendlier snowboarding mountains.