1. Ecuador: Half-Day Guided Rock Climbing Tour
The city of Baños is surrounded by natural walls of basalt rock, formed by the eruptions of the Tungurahua volcano. Travel by car just 20 minutes from the city to this popular rock climbing site and admire the beauty of the landscape. Your guides will explain the program and provide a safety briefing. You’ll be able to practice the climbing exercise more than one time if you wish! There are different levels of activities ranging from beginner to expert on this half-day program. Beginning climbs usually range in difficulty from 5.5 to 5.8, and involve using a top-rope setup within 50 feet of the ground. Using this technique, you can easily receive instruction and return to the ground at any time. Intermediate guided climbs usually range in difficulty from 5.7 to 5.9, and take place utilizing a top-belay setup or multi-pitch techniques. Top-belay setups require that you have general climbing knowledge and are proficient at belaying technique. You would belay the guide to the top of the cliff, and then join the guide at the top, where you would once again be under direct guide supervision. Advanced guided climbs usually range in difficulty from 5.8 to 5.11 and beyond, and typically involve multi-pitch techniques. Multi-pitch techniques are required in order to cover the significant amount of climbing involved. At this level you would be required to be alone at a belay station while the guide climbs to the next belay station. In addition, you would have to exit the belay station and clean the station by bringing along all of the guide’s equipment used to construct the belay. You will discuss advanced topics such as rope management, descent systems, anchor placement, and station management, with your guide.