Huayna Picchu: the 1,180 foot ascent

Almost to the top!
Almost to the top!

Huayna Picchu ended up being amazing.  In theory, however, it was not a good idea at all.  Our knees were aching from the “Tourist Killer” steps from the previous day, and the steep climb up was supposedly not for anyone afraid of heights (aka me).  Not to mention the steps were wet from the morning’s rain, and who knew if we could even see anything through the fog.  But, you only live once, and if I was going to fall off of a huge mountain, then well at least I would hopefully get a good view down.

That, however, was not the mentality I had during our hike.  I probably hated life for half the way up, and pretty much the entire way down.  There were cables nailed into the side of the mountain for about 65% of the mountain, so trying to hold on with one hand while holding onto your walking sticks with the other, and avoiding letting your knees buckle out of pain/fear was definitely a task.  But man, those views!!!

Miraculously, the rain stopped shortly before we embarked on our hike.  It took about an hour to go up and another to come down in total.  Basically, it went like this: step step step step, stop to catch our breath, step step step, look down and nearly pass out, step step step.  Repeat 100 times.

Anyways, these pics will speak for themselves!

Our nemesis, Huayna Picchu from down at Machu Picchu
Our nemesis, Huayna Picchu from down at Machu Picchu
Photo Aug 22, 11 39 17 PM
The zigzagging roads you see here are actually the easy way to Machu Picchu…one could take a train to Aquas Calientes and then bus over to MP at the top of the mountain.
In between some quickly moving clouds
Seeing Machu Picchu from 1,000 feet above is as aerial as it gets!
Doug trying to capture Machu Picchu
Doug getting a “handful” of Machu Picchu
Our life for one straight hour
Inca stairmaster.  Now would not be a good time to fall…
Made it to the top!  Eeeep!
After unexpectedly having to scramble over some rocks, I finally made it to the top! Eeeep!
Proof :)
Proof 🙂
The stairs down.  First slew from the top were about 8 inches deep and 2 feet wide with steep drops on either side.  Thank goodness for Doug walking me through this.
The stairs down. An earlier set of stairs closer to the top were about 8 inches deep and 2 feet wide with steep drops on both sides. Thank goodness for Doug walking me through this and not letting me die.
Photo Aug 23, 12 07 47 AM
The steps we took to get both up and down…it really is as steep as it looks
Photo Aug 23, 12 18 04 AM
Thankfully, the clouds had parted a bit more on our way down so we could enjoy some pretty unbelievable views

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