SPOT Image processed by Charles A. Wood
This homely rock mass 13 km northwest of Cotopaxi was named after Atahualpa's stoic general (who in turn takes his name from the Quichua "rumi," meaning rock, plus "ñawi," for eye). The straightforward climb is a mixture of uphill hike and rocky scramble, but since the quality of rock can be very poor a rope and climbing protection is recommended for the more exposed stretches. Rumiñahui has three peaks: the northern, highest peak (4,712 meters); a southern peak (erroneously labeled Rumiñahui Central on the IGM map), and a central peak .
The east side of Rumiñahui
is reached through Cotopaxi park along tracks that skirt Lago Limpiopungo
to the north or south. A path toward the central peak is clearly visible
along a well-defined ridge. From the lake to the base is about a two-hour
hike, and camping along the way is possible. The route to the central peak
follows a sandy stretch up to the east known as the "W" for its peculiar
shape. It can be snowy or wet and slippery on occasion. The south peak
involves some moderate technical rock climbing (class 5.5). Traverse south-southeast
to a ridge joining the central and southern peaks, then head south to gain
the peak. The northern peak is reached by following the central-southern
connecting ridge to the north. The IGM 1:50,000 Machachi and Sincholagua
maps cover this area .