Ecuador Climbing, Hiking and Trekking, by VIVA Travel Guides Kindle Edition
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Easy to read, substantial amount of specific detail of each climb with good summaries.
I especially liked the Hiking and Climbing matrices at the back.
Plenty of maps and photos too.
I have enjoyed reading it and have used it for planning an upcoming climbing trip (3 x volcanoes in Ecuador). I have not been there yet, so I can't comment on the accuracy of the information.
Definitely a worthwhile purchase if you are planning atrip there and haven't got local knowledge.
However, is a bit out of date (2008 vs 2013, soon 2014). One must have into account prize inflation during this period (+4% annually=+20%)
Intended for those independent hikers and andinists who want to get a deep knowledge of the wild Ecuador
Despite erupting volcanoes, avalanches, and unpredictable weather, the Ecuador Hiking and Climbing Guide (V!VA Travel Guides, 2009) has kept leisurely day-hikers and hard-core climbers pointed in the right direction for more than two decades. Now in an updated and expanded sixth edition with a new publisher, Rob Rachowiecki and Mark Thurber's guide retools dozens of trips, from coastal day-hikes to high-páramo treks to multi-day jungle jaunts.
Also an essential outfitter's resource, the guide includes where to buy food and hardware, rent a full rack of climbing gear and hire guides and porters. New quick-reference hiking and climbing "matrices" list the particulars of every trip, including distances, altitude, weather and the exact topo map to buy at the Military Geographical Institute (a visit to this buttoned-up institution is all part of the fun).
The hikes are the guide's biggest strength. The authors interpret plenty of easy and moderate tramps that are perfect for newbies, even at 10,000 feet above sea level, and for long-haul trekkers there are detailed backcountry routes through the Avenue of the Volcanoes, including such classics as the Trek of the Condor and the northernmost end of the Inca Trail. If birds, rural life, or hot springs are your thing, the matrices will help you pick out the best trail, and the hiking maps have been entirely revamped and now show GPS coordinates.
Mountaineers can select from more than a dozen milder ascents to prepare for tough technical peaks or big summits over 18,000 feet. The authors threw out the last edition's tired black-and-white mountain graphics and opted for super-imposing the climbing routes over high-quality photographs. This fresh scheme gives sharper, more accurate perspectives of the climbs, ones that should dull less quickly against the surprisingly swift pace of change in Andean terrain. The climbing instructions, however, ultimately work best as intelligent planning advice and pre-ascent psych-outs rather than as substitutes for certified guides (unless your crampons are truly well worn).
For the armchair climber who opts to hang by the fire while his buddies set out on a moonlight climb, there's also good reading about Edward Whymper's record-breaking summits during the 1880s, long before Gore-tex and climbing guides hit the market.
My review of the new Ecuador Hiking and Climbing Guide, by Mark Thurber and Rob Rachowiecki (V!VA Travel Guides), appeared in the April 2009 edition of South American Explorers Magazine and at my blog, Coolcoper, at [...]. I am a co-author of Lonely Planet's Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands, Peru and South American on a Shoestring.