Friday, July 1, 2011

Wayna Picchu

As you'll recall from my post about Machu Picchu, I lucked out and got to be one of the 400 people permitted to climb Wayna Picchu on the day we visited.  It is probably the steepest hike I've ever done (without crampons and and an ice-axe, at least), and it certainly was one of the most dramatic settings for any hike I've done -- a double-whammy view of ancient civilization and a spectacular canyon.  But still, a hike is basically a hike, no matter where you are.  You keep putting one foot in front of the other until you get to the top of the mountain, and then you turn around and walk back down.  You get hot and sweaty and out of breath, and when you get done you think you probably could have done it faster or stayed at the top longer or should have brought more water.

What's really interesting are the pictures.  So without further ado, here are the highlights of the hike:
Wayna Picchu is the peak on the other side of the ruins

The Ascent
Entering the trailhead at 11:40am;
hiker No 381
View from the trailhead
Down into the first saddle
and up onto WP proper
View of Machu Picchu from part-way up

Steps going up

Nearing the summit; the walls seen from below
Looking across to another outcropping

Almost at the top, with Machu Picchu in the background
(my sunglasses are off because I was sweating so
much they kept running off my face)
The downward view from where I am standing
in the previous picture (and no, there were
no handrails between me and the void)

Final tunnel to the summit
(had to crawl on my stomach to get through)

The Summit

Machu Picchu from the summit
of Wayna Picchu
Same shot, but zoomed in

Me on the very tippy-top
(a little bit terrifying, but also really cool)
There were only a couple of buildings on the top;
the rest was just terraces

The view in the other direction
from Machu Picchu

More of the view away from MP

The Descent

Steps going down from the top
(yes, they really were that steep)
Returning triumphant, 1:00pm
Note: The guide said it would take two hours to climb the peak -- an hour up and an hour back.  I knew Amanda would be waiting at the bottom, so I decided to pick up the pace.  I got to the top in 30 minutes, took pictures and hung out for 30 minutes, and then made the return trip in about 20 minutes.

Another note:  According to other websites, the hike entails an approximately 1,000 vertical rise and is classified as a Yosemite Decimal System (YDS) Class 3 climb.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! Reminds me of the climb Frodo and Sam made up the mountain outside Mordor. Glad you didn't get altitude sickness. Fabulous pics!