Fri 27 Apr - Tue 08 May 2018

OVERVIEW

What to expect

ITINERARY

What you will do

COSTS

Ways to pay

INFORMATION

All you need to know

Everything you need to know

This page provides you with a variety of information about the challenge that you might find useful.

Level of Difficulty

Money

Visa

Vaccinations

Flights

Insurance

Group Size

Leadership

Climate

Terrain

Luggage allowance and valuables

Responsible Tourism

A typical day

Accommodation

Food & Drink

Clothing and equipment

Cayambe Ascent

Toilets

Phone and WiFi

Safety advice for the Avenue of the Volcanoes

Emergencies

Training

Training Weekends

Level of Difficulty

The Avenue of the Volcanoes Challenge is graded as extreme. This challenge is tougher than Everest Basecamp and Kilimanjaro, and anyone undertaking this challenge should have experience with altitude trekking in extreme climates. Training and high levels of fitness and endurance are required.

During the Avenue of the Volcanoes challenge, you will be:
•    Trekking between 6-8 hours a day
•    Hiking everyday at altitudes above 4000 meters
•    Reaching a maximum altitude of 5897 meters above sea level.
•    Beginning your final summit attempt at approximately midnight and trekking for up to 12 hours.
•    Using crampons and ice axes to reach the summit, over some inclines of 30-40 degrees.

Money

Currency: The Ecuadorian currency is the US Dollar. They do not accept US $100 bills, and lower denominations are advised. For up to date currency exchange, go to www.xe.com.

Credit Cards: Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in Quito, but will not be accepted in the rural challenge areas. Check with your bank regarding any charges applicable.

ATMs: ATM’s are widely available in Quito, and you should ensure that you have enough cash with you for your trek.

How much to bring:  All accommodation and meals are included within the price of the trip, as well as water during the days of your trek. You will not need to carry a lot of money with you during the challenge, and other than at the start and end of the challenge, you will be in rural areas away from any foreign exchanges or banks. You will only need money for tips, hiring specialist equipment, additional food & drink, gifts & souvenirs, departure tax and any additional activities outside of our itinerary.

Tipping: Tipping is at your sole discretion and all staff are paid a fair wage. However, tourism is a tipping culture, and Ecuadorian guides will generally receive a tip at the end of a job well done. We recommend approx. US$12 - US$15 per person per day (approx. $100--$120) and this should be given to the challenge leader at the end of the challenge who will distribute it evenly amongst the support team.

Visa

You must hold a full ten-year passport with at least six months to run from the end of your challenge. No visa is necessary for British Citizens for stays of up to 90 days. For citizens of other countries please check travel advice on the Ecuadorian embassy's website.

Vaccinations

For up to date vaccination information please check the NHS ‘Fit for Travel’ website: http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home.aspx. Although the Charity Challenge team are travel professionals, they are not medical experts and we would encourage you to visit your GP or travel nurse to discuss vaccination requirements. Your GP may ask questions about the specific locations that you are visiting in China, and as such it may be useful to take a copy of your itinerary with you.

Flights

You will be flying from London Heathrow to Quito with a stopover via Bogota. The total flying time is approx. 18 hours. Your flight tickets will be issued to you upon departure at the airport.  If you choose to book your own flights please confirm with the Charity Challenge office first, otherwise you may be liable for your included group flights (please contact flights@charitychallenge.com for further assistance). For more general flights questions, please refer to our main Q&As page.  Please note that an International Departure Tax of approximately $56.66(only cash is accepted) will be charged when leaving Quito.

Insurance

It is a condition of booking that you have a suitable travel insurance policy whilst participating on the challenge. We have a special policy which covers among other things, medical (emergency, evacuation and repatriation) arrangements, cancellation and curtailment of the challenge, and more specifically for the adventurous activities undertaken on this challenge. If you have your own travel insurance policy, you must ensure that it provides at least the same level of cover as our recommended policy, including protecting the charity in the event of your cancellation 56 days or less prior to departure. Please ensure that your policy covers you for altitudes up to 6000 meters above sea level. If you choose not to purchase our recommended policy when you book we will send you a disclaimer which you should complete and return.

For more general travel insurance questions, please refer to our main FAQs page.

Group Size

Each group is intended to be 16 people minimum in order to run and maximum of approx. 20 people. We will be able to run this challenge for 10 to 15 people by charging a small group supplement of £75 which will be added to your final balance invoice (self funders) or charged to your charity (minimum sponsorship or flexi).

Leadership

There will be an English-speaking challenge leader who will be responsible for the logistics and co-ordination of your challenge. There will also be numerous support staff to assist them. The challenge leader will be ultimately responsible for the running of the itinerary and the safety of your group. All Ecuadorian guides are qualified members of the ASEGUIM (Mountain Guides Association) and you will use these guides on Illiniza and Cayambe ascents.

The itinerary may change due to unusual weather patterns, the strength of the group, and so on. While we will do our very best to maintain the advertised itinerary, we cannot be held responsible for any last minute changes that might occur. In all such circumstances, your challenge leader will have the final say and will act in the best interests of the group.

Climate

You can expect Andean mountain weather throughout your challenge. Daytime weather can change from hot and clear with temperatures around 25 degrees centigrade to cold and damp with temperatures closer to zero. Night times, especially when high on Cayambe, will be very cold, with temperatures well below zero. You must be prepared for the worst, as mountain weather conditions are extremely unpredictable.

Terrain

The route is mountainous, steep and uneven on all of the volcanoes. During your final summit attempt on Cayambe you will be using crampons and ice axes, roped up 2:1 with another participant and a guide. You will be given a day of technical training to teach you some of the skills required for glacier trekking, however you should be mentally prepared for the ascent as the gradients may reach up to 40 degrees.

Luggage allowance and valuables

The luggage allowance will depend on the airline we are using for your challenge, but in general it will be one piece of checked baggage at around 23kg. However, we suggest that for our Avenue of the Volcanoes you should only need around 15kg-17kg. If you don’t need it, don’t bring it, is a good rule. For any valuables, safe deposit boxes are usually provided in Quito for guests’ use in the hotels, but will not be available in campsites. Use a padlock on your luggage when in transit to reduce any risks. Carry your passport with you and make sure you have a photocopy of your documents (travel insurance etc.) in case they get lost or damaged.

Responsible Tourism

At Charity Challenge we are committed to sustainable and responsible tourism, and work closely with bodies such as the International Porter Protection Group and Climate Care to ensure that our challenges benefit the local environments and communities in which they take place. We ensure that all rubbish is disposed of responsibly, and following local guidelines on cultural and environmental protection and respect, we aim to limit our impact on the natural environment. In addition to taking these practical steps to ensure that our challenges are sustainable, we also make a contribution each year to a number of local community projects, so as to give something back directly to the communities that we visit. Since 2000 we have donated almost £200,000 to such projects, supporting a range of initiatives, including schooling for children in Africa, shelter for street children in Brazil, and Orang-utan conservation in Indonesia. We recommend that any gifts brought over for children are given to the UK challenge leader and distributed where needed by them and our local Ground Agent. If you wish to do more, you should consider buying drinks, postcards and souvenirs from the local vendors. For many, it is their sole source of income. For more information, please visit our Responsible Tourism pages, where you will be able to view a list of the projects that we currently support.

A typical day

During the trekking days you will rise early and pack up before breakfast, then trek carrying only daypacks for 6-8 hours. There will be a picnic lunch on route and plenty of time to stop and view the remarkable scenery. The trekking area is remote and home to a wide array of rare flora and fauna. The evenings are spent in basic, though beautifully located, camps and lodges where the food and facilities are fairly simple. On the summit night, you will rise at around midnight and arrive at the summit between 7 and 8am

Accommodation

In Quito, the hotel will be a two to three star family run hotel, located near to the centre of town. Rooms are usually en-suite. During the trek we will be staying in mountain refuges and lodges with one night camping in two person dome tents (sharing with someone of the same sex). If you are travelling with a friend or partner who you wish to share with, please ensure you submit this information at the time of booking or email challenges@charitychallenge.com

Foam sleeping mats are provided, but do take your own if you require extra comfort. You should take a good four-season sleeping bag for the more basic refuges and camping. A four season with liner is ideal.

Food & Drink

The food in Quito is varied. During the trek the food will be cooked on camp cookers and will be fairly simple. We cater for vegetarians, but please remember that Ecuador has a strong meat-eating culture and provision of vegetarian dishes is not as common or as comprehensive as in the UK. There will be plenty of soup to keep fluid intake high. Please let Charity Challenge know prior to departure if you have any dietary requirements or allergies.

Clothing and equipment

Good quality, durable kit could mean the difference between a fantastic challenge experience and an uncomfortable one. For this challenge, waterproof, well-worn in boots will be indispensable, particularly coupled with some really good quality walking socks. The benefits of a comfortable day sack cannot be underestimated, so make sure that you train with this. Other essentials are a high quality gore-tex waterproof jacket and technical/wicking t-shirts rather than cotton shirts.

The climb of Cayambe entails walking on the glaciers of the volcano. You will therefore need to hire a pair of plastic boots with crampons, an ice axe, harness, helmet and karabiner. This will cost approx. £70 for the days required, and you will be given professional instruction on how to use the equipment, as well as half a day’s practice before the climb. If you have feet smaller than size 36, or larger than 45, please advise us ASAP as boots may be difficult to hire.

A full kit list for this challenge can be found here, and once you book you will have access to kit discounts with our partners The Outdoor Shop, Outdoorhire and Cotswold Outdoor.

Cayambe Ascent

You will be roped up to a guide on a 2:1 ratio to summit Cayambe and as such if your trekking partner has to turn around for any reason (usually altitude sickness), you will also have to return with them. Our acclimatisation profile is designed to ensure maximum success, but it is likely that 1 or 2 members of the team will succumb to altitude related illnesses during the summit attempt. If you would like to hire your own guide for the summit, please let Charity Challenge know at no later than 2 months prior to departure, and we will advise you of any additional supplement.

Toilets

Hotels in Quito provide ensuite facilities, as you would expect in the UK. In camp, toilets will be simple long drop toilets with bowls of water for washing.

Phone and WiFi

You will have mobile phone and internet signal during your stay in Quito. After that, you will have extremely limited mobile phone or internet reception.

Safety advice for the Avenue of the Volcanoes

Charity Challenge considers the safety of all of our participants and staff to be a top priority, and as such we have set up Challenge Safe, one of the most advanced and thorough safety management systems in the industry. Challenge Safe formalises our ethos when it comes to safety, and brings together the procedures and risk management strategies that we use to audit all aspects of our challenges, from vehicles to accommodation to the challenge activity itself. Your welfare is absolutely paramount!

In terms of your Avenue of the Volcanoes Challenge, there are a couple of important points that you should be aware of:

  • You will be hiking at high altitude (above 4000 meters)
  • You will be sleeping at altitudes between 3000 and 4000 meters
  • You will be sleeping at local refuges during the trek.
  • It will be very cold especially at nights, reaching down to below zero degrees
  • You will be roped up to a guide on a 2:1 ratio to summit Cayambe and as such if your trekking partner has to turn around for any reason (usually altitude sickness), you will also have to return with them. You can avoid this by paying a supplement to hire your own guide if you would like.

Emergencies

The event is not run as a race and there is always a large discrepancy in people’s walking abilities. This is allowed for. There will be a staff member at the back of the group at all times to ensure that you are not left behind and can take things at your own pace Back up support will never be far away and can be called in should there be an emergency. Contact will be maintained between guides and the support team where possible.

On Cayambe you will need to be roped up on a 2:1 ratio with a mountain guide. If you or your partner on the rope have to turn around on the mountain there is a chance that you will have to go down too as you cannot continue un-roped. If you want to have your own guide for Cayambe then this is available at an extra charge of around £225. If you would like to book this please do so by calling Charity Challenge no later than 8 weeks prior to departure.

Training

Endurance training should be your primary focus. Begin slowly, without the weight of a pack, eventually adding weight as you increase your training pace. Take long hikes (7-8hours) with a weighted pack, up and down hills or mountains (weight your pack with water containers and pour out the water before your descent to minimize knee stress).

Supplement this activity with running, cycling, and/or swimming, for additional aerobic conditioning. This challenge is regularly undertaken by people who have previously summited Kilimanjaro, who are surprised by the huge step up in terms of the level of mental and physical strength needed. You can also look to join one of our training weekends.

Training Weekends

We offer superb training weekends across various locations in the UK, from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon. These training weekends not only help you become physically prepared for the challenge, but our experienced instructors and leaders will talk you through your clothing and equipment, camp craft, health and wellbeing, trekking skills (walking on different terrain/at altitude/at night/using walking poles), teamwork on expedition and many more themes designed to make you get the most out of your challenge. The weekends are great ways for you to get out into the mountains of the UK, while also meeting other Charity Challengers and sharing your experiences. To read more about our training weekends, please click here.

Back to top

BELIEVE >> ACHIEVE >> INSPIRE

ATOL protected

We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 6546. Many of the flight-inclusive challenges on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This ATOL protection only covers challenges that include flights booked by Charity Challenge and that originate in the UK. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate

Charity Challenge

Developed by Mercury1. Site design by Huddle Creative

Cookies:

We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn YouTube Blog
charitychallenge:mercury1:status:ok
Version details
Version: 2.10.2
Build: bebff7efc9d7-RR
Time: 2017-12-08 15:48
Session expired

Your session has timed out after 30 minutes of inactivity.

Please click OK to continue.

Share this page

Link to share:

https://www.charitychallenge.com/expedition/info/2646/Avenue-of-the-Volcanoes

Share link via:

Done