Thank you for your interest in our next Cancer Climb for Prostate Awareness expedition. My name is Ken Malik. I am a prostate cancer veteran of over 13 years. I am also the co-founder and executive director of the Prostate Awareness Foundation. You can visit for information about the foundations prior climbs, mission, etc. PAF is the organization for which we will all be donating our time and fund-raising energy. The foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, based in San Francisco, CA. All contributions you raise are tax deductible.
PAF has participated in all eight previous Cancer Climbs for Prostate Awareness. These expeditions have raised upwards of $250,000 for awareness and outreach programs.
The goals of the expedition:
Safely place a team of prostate cancer veterans and their supporters on the summit of Mt. Cotapaxi.
Raise critically needed funding for PAF
Inspire men and their families with the knowledge that there can be a rich and rewarding life after a prostate cancer diagnosis
Past expeditions have climbed some of the highest mountains on four continents including: Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Aconcagua, El Misti and Mt Blanc. These high altitude treks/climbs require you be in excellent physical condition to reach the summit. They are not walks in the park, but they do not require prior technical climbing experience. We will not be climbing sheer ice walls or hanging from ropes on this expedition. Past participants have ranged in age from twenty five to seventy six years of age. If you are in good physical shape you will feel comfortable on either the climbing or trekking team and have an excellent chance of reaching the summit.
We will be departing for Quito on June 15, 2008 for this year’s expedition to Mt Cotapaxi (19,347′) in the Ecuadorian Andes. This region is called the Pacific Ring of Fire and the locals call the region the “Avenue of the Volcanos”. Mt Cotapaxi is a semi-active volcano which last erupted in the early 1900’s.

You can make a choice between being on the climbing or trekking team. To participate on the climbing team and a chance to reach the summit you will need to take an alpine course the afternoon before summiting. This course will give you the necessary technical skills needed for this challenge (the course is included in your expedition fee). Our actual time on the mountain will be seven days. There will be two teams on the expedition: the climbing team and the trekking team. Both teams will be together for the first five days during the acclimatization segment of the expedition. The only time they will not be together is during the last two days, while the climbing team attempts the summit. Both teams will arrive in Quito together. We will acclimatize together, hiking and climbing while building team spirit and unity of purpose. We will all share the beauty of the Andes while learning about prostate health and how to take a proactive part in prevention and healing. Our number one priority while on the expedition is safety.
For our expedition to Mt Cotapaxi we will have a maximum of thirty participants. We have a number of participants already committed. The remaining places on the expedition will be on a first come first come first in basis. The expedition will consist of a mix of prostate cancer veterans, their family members and concerned citizens. As always, women are welcome and encouraged to participate. All potential candidates will undergo a screening process by the PAF Climb Committee. The review process will insure that all participants are a proper fit with the goals, expectations and safety of the expedition.
Ideally, we would like to have final commitments no later than March 1st. But the earlier you can commit the better. This will allow you to make plane reservations at the best possible price. It will also allow our expedition outfitter and our hotel provider in Quito to plan for our expedition. Any sign ups after 3/1/08 will be based on available space. Your early commitment will also allow you to put yourself in the proper physical condition to ensure your success on the expedition and also allow you the time to reach your minimum fundraising requirement. We hope you will give serious consideration to taking part in this challenging expedition..
Please read the following information carefully. It will provide answers to many questions that you may have. After you read the information, please call me at 415-661-2691 or email me at with any questions.
We need your participation and support to help PAF remain a viable source of patient driven, non-biased information about prostate cancer healing and prevention.
Get involved. Give yourself something to brag about! Join us for a great adventure in one of the most beautiful places on the planet for a once in a lifetime opportunity!

Ken Malik
Executive Director

PAF Climb Committee:
Ralph Lake, Brad Neal, Tom Hyde, Doug Menelly,Ken Malik
The Climbing Team: is for those in top condition. The actual ascent of Mt Cotapaxi will take a total of two days. The first five days on the mountain will be spent with the trekking team acclimatizing to high altitude while trekking and climbing as a group.
The two most critical components of successfully reaching the summit are proper acclimatization and teamwork. Acclimatization will take place at altitudes between 10,000′ and 15,545′. The day before we summit we will be given a chance to practice the basic technical skills required to successfully climb to the summit. The last 3500′ of our ascent will be on ice and snow. We will be using professional licensed guides for the course and ascent. Our outfitter will be supplying ropes, crampons, ice axes and carbiners. They can also provide us with special climbing boots but they recommend you bring your own for comfort sake. You will also need to bring your own helmet. Everyone on the climbing team will need to be in good enough physical condition to carry a pack of up to 25 lbs for upwards of twelve hours on summit day. Safety is our number one priority. High altitude climbing can be dangerous. This all said, Mt Cotapaxi is considered a basic technical climb. We will be roped together and walking with crampons. If you are in good shape and have an adventurous spirit you can do this climb.

The Trekking Team: The trekking team is designed for those who do not want to be involved in a technical climb but want to participate in the expedition. Trekkers will spend the first five days on the mountain acclimatizing with the summit team. (Between 10,000′ and 15,545′) This acclimatization will include the ascent of the Ruminahui volcano. This is a high altitude trek and not a technical climb. The last two days of the trek can include mountain biking and canyon cable riding while we wait for the climbing team to summit. We will be hiking between five and eight hours per day. You will need to carry a 25 lb pack that will include water, food for the day and some clothing. This is not a “walk in the park”, but if you are in excellent physical shape you will get full enjoyment from this experience. This is a great way to be part of the action while learning more about prostate health and helping a good cause.

The Expedition Outfitter:
Tierra del Volcan is this year’s expedition outfitter. They are based in the Mt Cotapaxi area and know the mountains in this region. They will be providing a fully licensed English speaking guide leader and the necessary staff for the expedition. They own the haciendas we will be staying in. They will be providing services for both the trekking and climbing teams. You can visit their website at to learn more about them. Your expedition fee will include the following:
Guides, all transportation while on the expedition including pickup and return to the hotel in Quito. All lodging while on the expedition including haciendas, tents, sleeping pads, three meals per day, some technical gear for the climbing team including ropes, carbiners, crampons, harnesses, ice axes and boots. Mountain bikes and horses are also included in our fee.

Equipment for the trekking team is pretty basic and the same as you would normally bring for an alpine day hike, where dressing in layers is the key.
There will be more information on equipment over the next couple of months but to start: trekkers will need a sleeping bag, good hiking boots, hiking poles, headlamp and a day pack to carry about 25lbs. The climbing team will need the same gear as the trekkers and also the following technical climbing gear: helmet & mountaineering boots. (Our outfitter can provide these boots but recommend we bring our own). Please Note:Â Equipment manufacturers have supported a number of our past climbs with free gear. We are working on this for Mt Cotapaxi and will keep you posted.

Date Day # Itinerary Lodging
6/15 Mon 1 Travel to Quito, Ecuador Hotel Antinea
6/16 Tues 2 Rest, sort gear, buy supplies Hotel Antinea
6/17 Wed 3 5 hour trek / 1,600′ elevation gain Hacienda El Porvenir
6/18 Thur 4 Trek 9 miles Tent camping
6/19 Fri 5 Trek 6 miles Tent camping
6/20 Sat 6 Climb Mt Ruminahui 6 hours / 15,545′ Hacienda El Porvenir
6/21 Sun 7 Rest day: Horse back riding, relaxing Hacienda El Porvenir
6/22 Mon 8 Climbing team: 985′ climb to refuge for
technical training. Early dinner and sleep Padre Jose Ribas Refuge
Trekking team: climb to refuge then
mountain bike down to hacienda Hacienda El Porvenir
6/23 Tues 9 Climbing team: rise at midnight. Summit
at sunrise. 6-7 hrs up / 4 hrs down Hacienda El Porvenir
Trekking team: El Canon del Salto canopy
cable riding. Hacienda El Porvenir
All Celebration dinner.
6/24 Wed 10 Travel back to Quito. Rest, shop Hotel Antinea
6/25 Thur 11 Early flight back to USA For some
R& R in Ecuador Others (see options Hotel Antinea
below including: Banos, Galapagos, Amazon
(*this extra day in Quito may be used as an extra day on the mountain in the event of bad weather.)

Expedition Costs:
The climbing team and trekking team will be together for all but the last two days of the expedition. Climbing team fees are slighting higher primarily because of the increased guide to participant ratio the last two days.
The below costs do not include hotel stay in Quito pre and post climb, airport pickup, meals in Quito, tips and incidentals.
Climbing Team: $1,035 ($518 due now to reserve your spot / $517 due on May 15th)
Trekking Team: $835 ($418 due now to reserve your spot / $417 due on May 15th)

Hotel Costs:
Hotel Antinea is our hotel for the four nights we will be in Quito. You can visit their website @ to select the type of room or apartment that fits your needs. Rates vary from $19 to $27 per night per person depending on what you select, and include a continental breakfast. PAF participants have been offered a discount of 30% off the regular room rate. (Please note: there is a standard 22% tax on each room per night). Please contact Ken Malik before you make your reservation so we can set you up with a roommate(s) if need be. You can then book on line but make sure you specify you are with the PAF to take advantage of the discount. The hotel requires a deposit of 30% payable by credit card. The dates for the hotel are:
Monday night, June 15th
Tuesday night, June 16th
Wednesday night, June 24th
Thursday night, June 25th (if you are staying in Ecuador for R&R)
Tuesday night, June 30th (If you are staying in Ecuador for R&R)

Air Travel and Ground Transportation:
You will need to be in Quito on Monday night, June 15th. The most reasonably priced carrier as of October 27th is American Airlines. Below is their roundtrip price from some locations around the US thru Miami to Quito:
Flight #931 leaves Miami @ 3:35pm and arrives in Quito at 6:30pm
The return from Quito Flight # 932 leaves at 6:20am and arrives in Miami @11:20am
San Francisco @ 929 Newark @ $770 Austin @$984 Miami @ $647
*Continental also offers service through Houston but the fare is a little higher than American!

Fundraising Requirements: While PAF wishes to provide as much help as possible to each fund-raising participant, our 501(c)(3) educational service also is required to follow certain IRS guidelines regarding how many of your donated dollars can be used to help cover expenses. Here are the financial goals and guidelines you will need to meet in order to make the Mt Cotapaxi Cancer Climb for Prostate Awareness a success:
Each participant will be required to raise a minimum of $2,000 in contributions for PAF to participate. After this level is reached, any additional contributions are eligible for a rebate until you have reached the full amount of your “hard costs”. These hard costs include roundtrip airfare to Quito, Ecuador, expedition fees, hotel accommodations, airport pickup and return during the expedition. “Hard Costs” do not include equipment cost, the “out of pocket” post climb R&R and any other incidental expenses. For each dollar you raise over and above the minimum requirement of $2000, 1/3 of each dollar raised can be applied toward these documented hard costs. If you choose to take this rebate it will be sent to you after the expedition is completed.

Fundraising Flier and marketing materials:
We have a fundraising flier that will aid you in your efforts. It is two sided and describes the climb and its goals on one side and a list of incentive gifts at various different contribution levels on the other side. We will also supply you with copies of the PAF tri-fold brochure and a packet including other marketing materials, sample fundraising letters, copies of the PAF newsletter Prostate Self Help, lapel pins, wallet cards and resources to aid you in your fundraising efforts. These materials will be mailed to you after you are approved by the “climb committee” and pay your deposit.

Fundraising Support:
We will support you in your fundraising efforts by providing promotional literature, premiums for contributors and helpful media awareness press releases tailored to your city and location. We will also help you with ideas to efficiently fundraise to assure your success. We feel there is more than adequate time for you to accomplish your individual goal. The time to start is now! If you would like guidance, ideas and to learn how other climbers are reaching their goals, you can contact Ken Malik to arrange a phone meeting at 415-661-2691.

Team Approach to Reaching Your Goal:
A provision has been made for significant others, and family member participation. If you have a spouse or “significant other”, father, brother, or sister who would like to participate, the minimum contribution for a two person team will be $2,500. Once this level is reached, you are entitled to claim a rebate for the “hard costs” just like individual fund raisers. All teams must be reviewed and approved by the PAF expedition review board. (If your team is larger than two people, please notify Ken Malik to determine minimum fundraising requirements).

Approval Policy:
The PAF review board will sign-off on each potential participant to retain the integrity of the expedition. We are trying to put an emphasis on men with prostate cancer and their families. However, the expedition is not limited to that profile. First priority will be given to men with prostate cancer. The second criteria will be a family member with the disease. We also welcome socially conscious individuals and health professionals who want to participate.
Please Note: First time participants will be required to provide a credit card number which PAF will keep on file. In the event that your fundraising objective is not met by June 14, 2009 your card will be debited the remaining fundraising requirement.

PAF will keep a full and fair accounting of all incoming donations by mail and at the website. We will send formal thank you letters to all your contributors and generate reports to each climber as to the status of their fundraising efforts. All contributions should be made payable to PAF and are tax deductible.
IMPORTANT – Please ask your donor to reference your name on the check memo line of the flier so we know which climber to credit.

PAF can accept either checks or credit card contributions. However, we do not have an in-house credit card system. We use to manage credit card donations. You will be able to feature your picture and story at this site. Details will be provided when you commit to the expedition.

Picture & Story:
We need your photo by email along with a story about the reason you are climbing. You can visit our website for ideas and to read what other climbers have written. We can also help you edit your story. The important thing is that it comes from your heart. Please try to limit the story to no more than 300 words. The story and picture will be placed on the website at and at

R & R:
Many of us plan to stay in Ecuador after the climb to recover from the expedition, relax and see the sights. This is not part of the expedition nor can it be counted toward the hard costs associated with the trip. Ecuador is a beautiful country and very reasonable in price. Some options include:
1) Amazon River: allow three to five days and expect to pay around $500 for a trip to the headwaters of the Amazon River.
2) Galapagos Islands: allow five to seven days and expect to pay around $500 for roundtrip airfare from Quito and between $2,000 – $3,500 for an all inclusive cruise ship between the islands.
3) Banos: (My personal choice) This spa town is famous for its hot springs. It is located at the base of Mt Tungurahua an active volcano, three hours southeast of Quito. The area offers great mountain biking, whitewater rafting, canyoning, hiking and a little nightlife. We have arranged discounted rooms at the Hotel Posada del Arte ( My budget for five days in Banos (Friday, June 26th and returning to Quito on Tuesday, June 30th) is well under $75 per day all inclusive. Please contact Ken if you are interested in joining us in Banos or if you would like information about other opportunities for R&R.

To Reserve Your Place On The Expedition: Contact Ken Malik at
415-661-2691 or the climb committee will review your request and decide if you qualify. Once you are formally accepted you can make your deposit check payable to the Prostate Awareness Foundation and mail it to:
PAF / Attn: Ken Malik
2166 12th Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94116

Please pass this information on to others who maybe interested in the joining the expedition.