Salkantay Trek

After hiking the Inca Trail I met Edith and Glenn in Cusco for the Salkantay Trek. The Salkantay is an alternate, and less crowded, route to to Machu Picchu. We joined Mountain Lodges of Peru for their eight-day luxury trip. Two Peruvian guides lead the trip. 

Glenn and I have climbed together on Mount Baker, Mount Bona, Mount Logan, in Ecuador, in the Talkeetna Mountains and in Bolivia. This was my first trip with his wife Edith. 

Glenn about to destroy a postre at Cicciolina Restaurant in Cusco. 

Approaching Salkantay Lodge at 12,700 feet, the first lodge on the route. The high distant mountain is Nevado Salkantay, one of Peru's highest at 20,574 feet. First climbed in 1951, Salkantay is not a straightforward climb and becoming more difficult as the glaciers melt away. Most of Peru's glaciers are expected to be gone in the next 50 years. 

Celinda, the lead guide for Mountain Lodges of Peru with fresh-roasted coffee. Celinda was one of the most patient and dedicated guides I have ever worked with. Inspirational. 

Darwin, a new guide for Mountain Lodges, drinking the fresh-roasted and brewed coffee. 

Edith and Celinda chat while Glenn shops for carbon-fiber, helium-filled trekking poles.

Our group at Salkantay Pass, the high point of the trip at 15,213 feet. 

Glenn confused among the cairns at Salkantay Pass.

Mules and horses carried our personal gear from lodge to lodge.

Edith and Glenn below 17,443-foot Mount Humantay near Wayra Lodge. They are walking on the only remaining portion of stone Inca trail on the Salkantay Trek. While the Inca Trail is a famous four-day trek, there is actually about 45,000 kilometers of stone Inca trails in South America. 

The football world cup was in full swing. Brazil won this match with Chile. The Peruvians were pleased since they hold onto old grudges against Chile.  

Glenn walking through cloud forest at Llactapata Pass (9,000'). 

Our first view of Machu Picchu from the Salkantay Trek. Machu Picchu is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Joe's Wish List of Seven Wonders includes: the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, Petra in Jordan, Easter Island, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Potala Palace in Lhasa, the Great Wall of China and Machu Picchu. 

Machu Picchu and even more Cusco, are famous for stonework. Five hundred years ago the Incas fitted 100-ton stones together so tightly that a knife can't be slotted in. 

Glenn near the summit of Huayna Picchu, the small peak rising above Machu Picchu.

Thanks for a great trip Edith and Glenn! I'm looking forward to more adventures with you two in the future!