Cerro Pasochoa is located about 30 km south of Quito. It is an ancient and heavily eroded volcano which has been inactive since the last ice age and now stands at 13,776 feet (about the same height as the Grand Teton). The Pasochoa forest, which sits at the lower part of the mountain, is protected and exists as it did in pre-columbian times, free of non-native plants.
We were going to hike up only to about the 12,500 foot point for our first acclimitization hike. This was the first time that we had all the team members for the trip together and ready to get things going. Besides myself and my friend Andy who came with me, the other members included Joey Elton, our guide from American Alpine Institute, Jim Fortson from Tampa, Eva Szakacs from just outside of Chicago, Diana Moore from Boulder, and Angelina Trujillo from Princeton. Angelina would have some breathing problems on this hike and decided to skip the rest of the trip.

Hiking through the Pasochoa forest is Joey followed by Diana, Andy, and Angelina

Andy coming up the trail

After a couple of hours hiking through the forest, I finally trade the shade for the sun

Me with Diana in the back

Resting at the forest's edge is Eva, Diana, and Andy

Eva leading the way higher up

Eva, Joey, Andy, Jim, and Diana

Our high point around 12,500 feet and ready for lunch.
(l to r) Jim, Joey, Diana, Eva, Andy

Higher above our lunch spot. The white dots near the top right are other hikers.

I hiked up a bit further to capture the group relaxing after lunch

Me standing by the edge of a very steep dropoff

heading back down

Some locals on the side of a small store in a little town on the way back to Quito