Guide Jacob Kyungai is excellent. Everyone on the team interesting. Including supermodel Heidi Albertsen. But for me the highlight were the two kids on the 45 mile hike: Hansi Mmari and Nicole Wineland-Thomson,
Dreaming of climbing Kilimanjaro is childlike. Full of wonder.
Our favourite hike to Machu Picchu is Salkantay. (Even better would be Choquequirao to Machu Picchu — but that might be difficult to do independently. One guided 7-day adventure for 2 people would cost USD $2275 each.)
I’m recommending they instead take the bus Cusco to the Ollantaytambo ruins. Stay there one night. Then take the train to Aguas Calientes. Walk up to Machu Picchu – 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) in about 90 minutes. Best is to walk in the early morning to arrive at the gates before the tourist buses.
So … Cusco and Machu Picchu to acclimatize. Their first hike would be Ausangate , about 100km south of Cusco.
Next they’d head south towards Lake Titicaca on the well trod Gringo Trail. There are many tourists stops en route.
From the lake they are hoping to detour into Bolivia. La Paz and the local attractions.
For hiking, I’m recommending they bus up to the mountain town of Sorata, Bolivia. Speak to locals on recommended hiking options.
Returning to Peru they’d continue up the coast towards Lima.
Variant no. 2 may be the easiest, but it leads through the roads used by cars, which may be tiresome.
Variant no. 1 is more demanding.
Variant no. 3 is the fastest traverse from all of the options. Going east-west requires more time and planning, and it is combined with bigger difficulties (less roads, more paths and sometimes the wilderness, crossing the rivers, long distances with no water). Choose it, if you are sure of your skills and you can survive far away from people. …
This time daughter Delaney Adlard joined in the adventure.
In fact, Dave and Lisa were celebrating their 19th wedding anniversary.
We had great weather … on the way up. That’s Mount Hood in the distance.
Dave explained that one difference between hiking and mountaineering is using crampons and/or ice axe.
We set up our tents at the Lunch Counter, a relatively flat portion of Suksdorf Ridge.
Siesta until 3pm. Then we set off towards “Pikers Peak”, the visible false summit that looks close.
It gets steeper.
I loved the clear vistas.
Unfortunately, due to low snow fall and MANY hot days in 2021, Dave had never seen worse snow conditions. We were slow.
In fact, we didn’t quite make the false summit, turning around in time to make it back to camp in daylight.
That night it got very WINDY. None of our 3 tents broke, but we collectively got very little sleep.
Next morning dawned clear again. It was fast and easy downhill on both scree and morning cold ice.
This was Delaney’s personal elevation record.
NEXT TIME we’ll do the middle-of-the-night start with harder snow and ice for the crampons.
Overall, an EXCELLENT adventure. A lot of fun.
Not making the summit was no big deal.
Pro tip — Society Hotel and Hostel in Bingen, Washington — en route to Adams and Hood — is my favourite hostel in the USA, so far. Very cool, you get a complimentary spa and hot springs visit with each stay. That costs $25 by itself.