Overview: June 19-29, 2009

Joining with the international climbing company, Rainier Mountaineering Inc., Lee Hoedl sets out again for another high altitude adventure. This time, he ventures to the equatorial highlands of Ecuador - in particular, the rapid ascent and summit attempt of dormant volcanoes, Cotopaxi (19,348 ft. elev.) and Cayambe (18,997 ft. elev.).

Our trip begins in the city of Quito, which sits in a high altitude valley known as the "Avenue of the Volcanoes." Located fifteen miles south of the equator and at an altitude of 9,350 feet, Quito has a mild, spring-like climate year round. The temperatures in the valley range between 45 and 70 degrees F. Quito was once a prosperous Indian town and later became the northern capital of the Inca Empire. The city is partly modern, but it has one of the best preserved colonial sections in all of South America. The architecture, art and local culture are just fascinating.

Both Cotopaxi and Cayambe offer superb alpine climbing and are easily accessible, being within a day's drive of Quito. Climbers are to be in excellent physical condition and have prior knowledge of rope travel.