Kayamba Volcano
Ecuador, Cayambe

Kayamba Volcano is located in the western part of the Cordillera Central ridge, in the Kayamba-Coca National Park, 15 km from the city of Kayamba and 70 km from Quito. Cayamba Volcano is the third largest mountain peak in Ecuador and the highest peak in the Andes north of the equator, its height is 5790 meters above sea level, the width of the base from north to south is about 18 kilometers, from east to west - 24 kilometers. The peak of Kayamba is covered with a snow cap, the glacial tongue on the eastern slope descends to 4200 meters above sea level, on the western - to 4600 meters above sea level. The area of the glacier is 22 square kilometers, the maximum thickness of the snow cover reaches 30-50 meters. The volcano has three peaks - the western Puntas Jarrín (5100 meters), the central Cumbre Espinosa (5790 meters) and the eastern Cumbre Oriental (5487 meters), as well as several fumaroles. The equator line crosses the southern slope of the Kayamba, the point of intersection is at an altitude of 4690 meters above sea level, this is the highest point on the equator and the only section in the center of the Earth covered with eternal snows. Kayamba is an active stratovolcano, its last eruption occurred in 1785-1786, in 2003-2005 an increase in seismic activity was recorded in this area. The first to climb the Kayamba peak in 1880 was the legendary English climber Edward Wimper and the Italians Juan Antonio and Louis Carrel. They climbed the southwestern slope of the volcano. Today, this route is the most popular among climbers. Climbing Kayamba has UIAA difficulty category III (not very difficult), but can be quite dangerous due to active glaciers, cracks and avalanches. Snowstorms and strong winds are more frequent here than in other five thousandths of Ecuador. However, Kayamba attracts thousands of climbers from around the world. Having reached its summit, you can see one of the most beautiful mountain glaciers in the world, go skiing at an altitude of 5000 meters above sea level and watch the flight of the Andean condor - the largest flying bird in the Western Hemisphere.