Warm-up Climbs - Pasochoa and Pichincha
Trip Start Jan 22, 2009
7Trip End Feb 13, 2009
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To conquer these beasts, I had to warm up on some "babies," Pasochoa (13,780 feet) and Rucu Pichincha (15,413 feet). I met my climbing partner (Howard) and our guide (Diego) the day before we tackled Pasochoa. Howard is an older fellow from Montreal, but he is an experienced climber who has a lot of guiding and mountaineering experience in the Northern Appalachians. It goes without saying that the Appalachians are a littler lower than Ecuadorian volcanoes, so Howard ventured to Ecuador to test himself on some higher peaks (as did I). Our guide Diego was a fun-living Ecuadorian (as most are)
Pasochoa was a great warm-up. It's extinct and below the vegetation/tree-line, so it was green pretty much all the way to the top (amazing at that altitude). The day was cloudy (as are many Ecuadorian days), but it was a beautiful hike nevertheless and a good, taxing warm-up. Everyone made it with no problem.
Pichincha was a different story. We got more sunshine and some beautiful views of the city. Howard had a little trouble on this day but managed to power through to the top. We also got a fun bit of slightly dangerous rock scrambling up to the summit. On the way down, we got pelted with rain for two hours. FUN!!!!!
Acclimatization - check.