Climbing Huayna Picchu

Trip Start Mar 07, 2013
Trip End Mar 18, 2013

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Flag of Peru  , Sacred Valley,
Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Huayna Picchu (Young Mountain). This is the towering mountain behind the site of Machu Picchu. They said it was an intense climb but from the top are some of the most amazing views of Machu Picchu and homes and structures built on the hilltop.

There are only 400 tickets sold daily and these are divided into two groups. The first group is from 7-8AM and the second group from 10-11AM. Russell Sr wanted to do this climb and we were able to get a tickets in the early group. We were #143-145 for the day.

The climb was difficult. The Peruvian authorities must have great faith in their fellow man's ability. There are hundreds of places where you could fall...a very long way..that have no railing or any kind of system to keep you from dropping hundreds of feet should you miss a step. The park manger told us on the way out that several people per year die hiking this mountain. Apparently, it works better if they share this information with you after the climb.

All that said, it was awesome. There was an adrenaline rush around every corner. The view from the top was incredible and worth all the effort. You can look over 1000 feet straight down with nothing to stop you from falling except your own balance. The views to Machu Picchu are incredible. When you are at the top looking over, you know that your are seeing something special.

You always see pictures of people siting and looking at Machu Picchu from some high point. I always thought they were sitting to contemplate life's great mysteries. The truth is that most are just out of breath from climbing to the high spot.

We contemplated one of life's great mysteries when we got to the top, which was how are we going to get back down.... Going down took much longer than going up. Pops was a trouper. It was harder for him than any of us. He hung in there and powered through the whole thing.

We tried to take a few photos but our minds were mostly focused on not falling during the 3.5 hour climb.


When it was done, we headed back to Aquas Calientes where we found a local pizza place where we ate pizza and celebrated being alive. None of knew what we were in for this morning but we are all thrilled to have the experience with no injuries to our group.

We are heading back to cusco by train. We will spend the next 2 nights there. Trey and I will be river rafting tomorrow. Pops is thankful for a day of rest. He is expecting to be very sore and a day walking around cusco will be perfect for him.

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