Photo by Rodrigo Salas
|Difficulty:||Basic Snow/Ice Climb|
|Best months for climbing:||Jun, Jul|
|Year first climbed:||1880|
|First successful climber(s):||Edward Whymper, with guides J. and L. Carrel|
|Nearest major airport:||Quito, Ecuador|
|Convenient Center:||Ambato, Ecuador|
Chimborazo, an extinct volcano, is the highest peak in Ecuador. Its towering ice-capped peak is awesome when seen from the Pacific, and in 1745, it was believed to be the highest mountain in the world, a belief which was sustained until the discovery of Dhaulagiri (8167m/26,794 ft.) in 1808.
In fact, Chimborazo still lays claim to being the highest mountain in the world, if measured from the center of the Earth. It is positioned one degree south of the equator, where the diameter of the earth is greatest, and Chimborazo is over 6,384 kilometers (3,967 miles) from the earth's center, compared to only 6,382 kilometers (3,965 miles) for Mount Everest.
Chimborazo receives high precipitation and has a large summit ice cap. Beneath the summit ice cap is a crater that today is old, eroded, and contorted, suggesting that Chimborazo may have been even higher in its younger years.