Tom Ritland, 49, firefighter and climber
In October, Ritland, of Quechee, Vermont, and 11 others set out to hike three of Mexico's tallest peaks, including 18,898-foot (5,760-meter) Pico de Orizaba. To give back to the local community, the group donated a Mercedes-Benz Unimog ambulance to the mountain village of Tlachichuca. Learn more about the MEX-AMbulance Climbing Project 2004 at www.mexambulanceproject2004.net
"I took this shot while climbing Mexico's Iztaccíhuatl, which means 'white woman' in the Aztec language, referring to the snowcapped volcano's feminine curves. After each bend in the trail, I'd eagerly look back to see the new view, like this one of neighboring mountain Popocatépetl. 'Popo' is off-limits to climbers due to ongoing volcanic activity. Both peaks rise over 17,000 feet (5,182 meters) and are some of the highest on the continent. The hike up the mountain's loose, crumbling rock surface was like walking on ball bearings. But with sights like this, we were content to take it slow."