When to Go
Ecuador has two preferred climbing periods throughout the year; mid-May to mid-August and mid-November to mid-Feburary. Months in between are considered the rainy seasons and yield lots of snow at the higher elevations making avalanche danger of higher concern and climbing conditions much more challenging.
Training & Skills
Many factors contribute to whether or not a climber is successful on this peak. Physical conditioning is among them, as is adequate alpine climbing experience and technique. It is recommended that interested climbers first determine by which method they intend to approach this peak. Will they carry bivy gear and overnight higher on the mountain? Will they travel fast and light from the car and make an attempt in a single push? This peak allows both, although each requires its own approach and preparation ahead of time.
Iliniza Sur is considered a high altitude peak. Its summit is higher than any in the lower 48 states of the United States of America and all but one in Europe (Mt Elbrus 5,642m). Interested climbers will want to gain experience at altitudes beyond their regular capacity and, when possible, increase their cardiovascular training in this simulated terrain.
Technical alpine climbing skills are necessary to make the summit. This includes prior experience traveling on glaciers and ascending vertical ice and snow. An ability to understand snow conditions and appropriately mitigate avalanche hazard is also strongly recommended.