Photo by Russ Meehan, all rights reserved.

Cayambe is the third highest mountain in Ecuador. It is a huge extinct volcano, its snowy flat-top summit rising above the capital city of Quito, which is forty miles southwest of the mountain. The mountain is the highest point on earth through which the equator passes. Its summit is positioned just north of the equator. The summit is composed of three craterless domes, all blanketed by a single glacier. The normal ascent is a glacier climb, and though it is not technically difficult, crevasses and avalanches are serious hazards, and have killed climbers in the past.

Elevation (feet): 18,996
Elevation (meters): 5,790
Continent: South America
Country: Ecuador
Range/Region: Ecuador Andes
Latitude: 0.025105
Longitude: -77.989197
Difficulty: Basic Snow/Ice Climb
Best months for climbing: Jan, Oct, Nov, Dec
Year first climbed: 1880
First successful climber(s): Edward Whymper and party
Nearest major airport: Quito, Ecuador
Convenient Center: Cayambe, Ecuador

Trip Reports

There are 24 trip reports for Cayambe.

  • Log #21573 - by john on Jan 12, 20093.00 stars
    Climbed Cayambe on new years eve 2007-2008. Had an awesome view of the new year's effigy burnings in Cayambe. Climbed with a guide from Safari - excellent guide - same guide who took us up Cotopaxi....
  • Log #795 - by ALvaro Villamar on Jan 24, 20043.00 stars
    My partner got altitude sickness and we weren't able to summit. We climbed to around 17,200 feet. Recommend spending at least three days getting acclimated to the altitude. We spend the previous two...
  • Log #797 - by James Lynch on Jan 26, 20043.00 stars
    We left the refugio at 1 AM on January 15, 2004. The weather and conditions were perfect. Just below the summit we encountered a huge crevasse. Our guides were unable to find a safe route around,...
  • Log #798 - by Chris Beaben on Nov 09, 20033.00 stars
    A spectacular and technical route, with huge crevasses and awe-inspiring glaciers. Ecuador is a wonderful place for climbing volcanoes. We did smell sulfur on the route, indicating at least a little...
  • Log #799 - by Ulrich Onken on Mar 02, 20033.00 stars
    It was relatively warm on the lower part of the glacier, and two team members stepped into hidden crevasses. We reached the summit after 6 hours (from the hut) without further problems.
  • Log #800 - by Mike Mays on Mar 09, 20023.00 stars
    Climbing partner's Jim Key of Idaho Falls, Idaho; and Dave Meehan of Pheonix Arizona; and myself; guided by Freddy Ramirez and Abraham of Sierra Nevada Expeditions fought our way up thru blowing wind...
  • Log #801 - by Jon Zigmond on Dec 10, 20013.00 stars
    easy walk (only used trekking poles)
  • Log #802 - by Mario Dutil on June 03, 20013.00 stars
    TRES TRES belle montagne, a faire absolument. Si vous desirez des infos en francais pour cette montagne ainsi que Cotopaxi,Antizana, Ilinza Norte, Ilinza Sur etc. appellez-moi, il me fera plaisir de...
  • Log #803 - by Mark on Feb 10, 20013.00 stars
    Pretty easy slog to the summit except for crossing the bergschrund just below the summit ridge. In late 2000, one had to go far left to a small [1m] and weak snowbridge, then hop across, going...
  • Log #804 - by Tim Francis on Feb 10, 20013.00 stars
    Everyday I could see Cayambe from the house where I used to live in Quito. For me, Cayambe and Antisana are 2 Ecuadorian mountains that asked to be climbed - not well visited and all the more special...
  • Log #805 - by Uwe Kraus on Feb 09, 20013.00 stars
    Cayambe is well-known for its unpredictable and unforeseen weather. The conditions can change immediately. For me it was already the second attempt. The first attempt on 24 December 1995 failed...
  • Log #806 - by Willi Kuhn on Feb 16, 20003.00 stars
    Weather o.k. strong wind, there was a big bergschrund about 30 meters just before the top. Possible to climb by a small gully 60 degrees. No other climbers this day.
  • Log #807 - by Mike Ostby on Jan 31, 20003.00 stars
    6 to 8 inches of new wet snow. Many hidden cravasses on lower portion of glacier. Bridges across the larger cravasses good and firm early but soften by late morning. High winds and blowing snow on...
  • Log #808 - by Carl Malmfeldt on Jan 24, 20003.00 stars
    Great trip w/ American Alpine Institute. My thanks to Matt and Andrew (the guides) and the rest of the group. This is the first time I have been present for a military coup in a country. It made for...
  • Log #809 - by Jim Clash on Jan 08, 20003.00 stars
    Climbed it with Phil Ershler's group. Challenging crevasses, white out on top which, I believe, is directly over the equator.
  • Log #810 - by Paul Hawman on Dec 19, 19993.00 stars
    Lot's of snow - at lower elevations it rained signifincantly during the days leading up to the climb and up above 5000 m it was snow. Good climb with a great finishing hour.
  • Log #811 - by John S. Moore on Sep 01, 19993.00 stars
    One of my best high altitude climbs, in terms of how well I felt and climbed. Age 51.
  • Log #812 - by Frank Abissi on July 24, 19993.00 stars
    Was on the mountain in December of 1997. Stormed off and never got above the refugio. Maybe next year???
  • Log #813 - by Agustin Yerovi on June 29, 19993.00 stars
    it has always been my favorite peak in Ecuador, where i was born to an ecuadorean father and a american mother
  • Log #814 - by Ton Biesemaat on May 15, 19993.00 stars
    I climbed the peak with Ben Stiefelhagen. Straightforward glacier climb, easy crevasses, not as difficult or dangerous as often stated!
  • Log #815 - by Don Gregory on Dec 15, 19983.00 stars
    Deep wet snow and not being fully acclimatized made this a grind. Saw almost noone else on the peak. A great 40th birthday present to myself.
  • Log #20929 - by Bill Stevens on Aug 04, 20073.00 stars
    We climbed with guides Freddy Ramirez and Estalin of Sierra Nevada. Guides were not necessary as the route was well established and the weather great. Had a great time nevertheless. The hut was...
  • Log #21104 - by Mateo Villalba Andrade on Dec 04, 20073.00 stars
    Incredible glacier hiking. It was a long trail; we stared from Ruales-Oleas-Berge hut at 12:30 and reached the summit at 7:30. At the beginning we wasted a lot of time in the rocks because we were a...
  • Log #21113 - by Rafael Rosales on Dec 10, 20073.00 stars
    Great climb