Pichincha Rucu as seen from a trail from Quito to the top
|Elevation||4,784 metres (15,696 ft)|
|Location||Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador|
|Prominence||1,652 metres (5,420 ft)|
|Volcanic arc/belt||North Volcanic Zone|
|Age of rock||Pleistocene|
Pichincha is an active stratovolcano in the country of Ecuador, whose capital Quito wraps around its eastern slopes. The mountain's two highest peaks are the Guagua (4,784 metres (15,696 ft)), which means "child" in Quechua and the Rucu (4,698 metres (15,413 ft)), which means "old person". The active caldera is in the Guagua, on the western side of the mountain.
Both peaks are visible from the city of Quito and are easily climbed. Guagua is usually accessed from the village Lloa outside of Quito. In October of 1999, the volcano erupted and covered the city with several inches of ash. Prior to that, the last major eruption was in 1660, when about a foot of ash fell on the city.
The province in which it is located takes its name from the mountain, as is the case for many of the other provinces in Ecuador (Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, Imbabura, etc). On 24 May 1822, in the context of the war of independence of Latin American, Patriot forces defeated a Spanish colonial army on the slopes of the Pichincha. The encounter, known as the Battle of Pichincha, sealed the independence of the lands that constitute modern Ecuador.