The Wild Road to Edward Whymper Refuge
Refugio Edward Whymper is a high mountain hut at an elevation of 4.855m (15,928ft) above the sea level located in Chimborazo, a province in the central Ecuadorian Andes. It's one of the highest roads of the country.
Located in the Cordillera Occidental of the Andes of central Ecuador, the road to this large, well-built, maintained mountain hut (also known as Carrel Brothers Refuge) is unpaved but in surprisingly good condition. Mist and foggy conditions are typical in this area and it is easy to get lost if you don't have a clue of where the parking lot is located at. You’ll need a 4WD, high clearance vehicle. Your vehicle needs to be in good shape and be prepared for a lag in power.
Make sure the gas tank is full. Near the hut there’s a parking lot for travelers on the way to Chimborazo, a stratovolcano at an elevation of 6.263m above the sea level. The summit of Chimborazo is said to be the point on the Earth's surface that is farthest from the Earth's center. The refuge is named after Edward Whymper, the British climber who in 1880 made the first ascent of Chimborazo along with the Swiss Carrel brothers as guides. It was built by Dirección Nacional de Turismo del Ecuador DITURIS in June 1979 and it is owned by Ministerio de Turismo del Ecuador.
The remote and exposed road to the refuge is pretty steep. It’s 7.2 km (4.47 miles) long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 485 meters. The average percentage is 6.73%.
Pic: Juan Carlos Zamora C