Chimborazo

Photo of Chimborazo

Photo by David Pearcy

Details

Elevation (feet): 20,565
Elevation (meters): 6,268
Continent: South America
Country: Ecuador
Range/Region: Ecuador Andes
Latitude: -1.469175
Longitude: -78.817034
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

Description

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.