Sunday, October 23, 2011

Yanama to Colpapampa

The hand warmers, a few layers of fleece, and my sleeping bag kept me nice and toasty warm all night, but it was COLD  and windy in the morning when we first started hiking. I'm wearing a couple layers of fleece, my down jacket, and my windbreaker.

The hike from the campground started off as a gentle incline, through villages and farms. We saw several students walking to school, carrying 2-3 pieces of wood for the fire used to cook their breakfast and lunch.

After about 45 minutes, we were leaving the pastures and getting into higher and dryer grounds.

There were still lots of springs and waterfalls along the way. We had approx. 25 water crossings along the way.

After steadily climbing for about 3.5 hours, we finally reached a grassy meadow where we stopped for a rest (nap) and a snack.  The snow capped peaks of Pumasillo were to our north.

and the peaks of Padreyoc were to the south. We will be heading over the pass about 2/3 from the left in the picture (under the biggest blue section of sky).

Because of the altitude and the possibility of somebody getting ill, Vilmar and the emergency horse walked with us instead of the rest of the crew. I think the rest of the crew would be jealous of they saw him resting with us!

After the break, we tackled the final climb to the pass.

Here we are getting closer.

Arturo instructed us to wait at the rocky section just below the pass until the rest of the group arrived. It was really cold and windy but the rocks provided a bit of a wind break. When Emilie and I got there, we saw this family and their mules taking a break before heading down (they were going the opposite direction as us).

We are almost all together.

Brad finally caught up.
Yeah, we all made it to the top (4850 m / 15908'), without the emergency horse! Unfortunately, the clouds blocked the view of the Santa Teresa valley below. We snapped a few pictures, then headed down the other side to get out of the wind.

Even as we started our descent, we still couldn't see the valley below us.

We also ran into another mule train on the way down.

Finally we got our first clear view of the valley below. Now we just have to get there to set up camp.

Between the more gradual slope of the path and Ben and Karryn taking tons of pictures, I wasn't hiking downhill alone at the back of the pack for a change. After about 2 hours of hiking from the pass, we stopped for a lunch break.

Then we started hiking again. The bottom of the valley is getting closer. The light line on the right side of the picture is the trail we were on.

After hiking another 1.5 hours after lunch, we crossed this river, then reached a gravel road that went through several villages and would lead to our campsite.

There were a few shortcuts through the fields that bypassed some of the long switchbacks on this road. About half of them were very narrow and steep, so I evaluated each one. Instead of going really slow on the steep ones, I took the longer route on the road, but at least I could go at a faster pace and not worry about twising an ankle or my knee. On the more gradual ones, I took the short cut.

I arrived at camp about 10 minutes after the group, and just before dusk.At this point, we shared a campsite with lots of other groups - all the groups doing the Salkantay trek. The campsite was a lot noisier, with other groups, villagers (a baby crying all night), and livestock. Between the tent on a slope and a pig grunting outside my tent all night, I didn't sleep well. I woke up to the sounds of what sounded like a pig and rooster fighting to the death. Not a good sound!

Trail Stats:
Distance: 21 km / 13 miles
Duration: 9 hours
Elevation gain: 700 m / 2296'
Elevation loss: 1900 m / 6232 '

Camping elevation: 2682 m / 8800'

1 comment:

Andres Olivera said...

Hey, atom i want to ask somequestions about Yanama during Trek to aguas calientes if you can contact me i would be glad