Entries By mike king
We got up today at 3:30am, this put us in the Sun gate for the sunrise over Machu Picchu and we got a great view. There’s something about seeing glaciers from a high jungle ridge and taking in the most complex stone structures built onto the side of mountainous terrain that’s put the last 5 days into perspective.
The steep step section named the “gringo killer” didn’t slow this team of gringos down. Our group has adapted from cold and wet to hot and humid conditions exceptionally well. While this is a hiking trip, the mileage, consistent high altitude, and awkwardly placed stone steps are not for the faint of heart.
We toured Machu Picchu for a couple of hours and took in the amazing stone work and sheer size of this important cultural site for the Quechua people. As the crowds began to swell we decided that a beer, warm shower, and burger (that was the actual order) was well overdue so we headed for our hotel.
Tomorrow we will take an early morning visit to Machu Picchu and a hike up Huayna Picchu before heading to the train and our return to Cusco. This has been a great trip through the Andes, while a little cold and wet at times we got unprecedented views of the glaciated peaks while hiking through scenic valleys and learning about one of the great civilizations and their impressive achievements.
RMI Guide Mike King
This morning we got out early ahead of the other groups and were rewarded with phenomenal 360 degree views of the lush converging valleys and glaciated peaks. Usually the clouds hang between the trail and these tall mountains due to our proximity to the cloud forest. As we wrapped up our time at Phuyupatamarca Pass, 12,130’ the clouds began to rise from the Urubamba River and the glaciers were hidden.
The day was filled with great views, warming temperatures and elaborate ruins. In particular the terraces of Intipata and Winaywayna captured the groups attention due to the scale of such a project completed on the side of a steep and heavily vegetated mountain. We are all looking forward to walking into Machu Picchu at sunrise, getting a shower at the hotel is a close second.
Hi Dori. What a sport you are! And it appears that you have an excellent leader. I’m looking forward to hearing about your trip when you’re home. You, Rhonda and I have a date August 7. Enjoy the rest of your time in Peru!!
Posted by: Jessie Strauss on 7/24/2019 at 8:58 am
Hey Lara Lee. Hope you are having fun! Enjoy Machu Picchu tomorrow. We love you! Tell Louis, Bruce, and Paula we say hello.
Posted by: Brayden Wilkie on 7/21/2019 at 3:24 pm
We got an early start this morning due to the two passes and 10,000 stone steps we needed to ascend. The first couple of hours took us to Warmi Huanusca Pass at 13,760’ where we got some great pictures of the mountain with fresh snow and receding pocket glaciers. From there the Team got their fill of Incan stone steps as we descended 2000’ to our lunch site. Enjoying the most sunshine we have had all trip, the group took some cat naps and enjoyed the lush forest that fills the Pacaymayo Valley. Once we got up and over Runkurakay Pass at 13,022’ we got more randomly spaced stone steps and the scenery kept getting better. Our day wrapped up with a tour of Sayacmarca, the most elaborate of ruins we have seen yet.
From getting snow, rain and chilly days we have walked into the cloud forest where birds are singing, noseeums are biting and the air is humid. The blooming flowers have been a pleasant surprise since it’s technically winter here. The group spotted a few Andean condors soaring above today. The trekking traffic has increased today as we draw closer to Machu Picchu and that’s ok, we got four days of solitude. Everyone is doing well and looking forward to tomorrow’s shorter hike and spectacular ruins.
July 19, 2019
Posted by: Mike King
Today we had a long day out of the Salkantay Valley and into the Inca Trail. We enjoyed our first sunny weather and warmed up as we descended into the archeological site of Paucarcancha. Our horseman left us at Wayllabamba and our porter team loaded up the supplies and took off in a healthy jog to show off how fit they are. We spent the next three hours hiking into a more dense forest and dogging the rain showers that have followed us since day one. We got into some Incan stairs and rocky trail. The Team is doing well and enjoying some rest in their tents. The trip has been amazing and we are all looking forward to the next few days as we get closer to Machu Picchu.
July 18, 2019
Posted by: Mike King
Thursday, July 18, 2019
The skies cleared last night after dinner and we got a nice moonlit view of Salkantay. Well fed and feeling the cold in our toes we turned in for the night after a long day. The snow started about 3:00 am and left a thin white blanket on our camp and trail to Incachiriaska Pass. The Team did well with the altitude and the trail was in great shape with a little snow and moisture. While at the pass the low clouds lifted to provide a spectacular view of Humantay, Salkantay and a few peaks to the North.
We walked in the rain and sleet to our lunch spot and continued after lunch in a nice dry breeze. Our wet rain gear dried out and we enjoyed a nice walk down valley into the small subsistence village of Pampachuana located at 13,120’. The Team is doing great and has really enjoyed the solitude of this trip so far. We are tucked into our tents to avoid the current squall of rain. We are warm, dry and happy.
July 17, 2019
Posted by: Mike King
We left Cusco at 5 am and headed for the small village if Mollepata. Our drive took us down a spectacular winding highway from the high Andean steppe into a heavily forested valley. With rain hitting the windshield we could see fresh snow up around 18,000’ when the clouds would break. Once our shuttle arrived at Soraypampa we ate a light breakfast and began hiking. The day was a mix of sun, wind, rain, snow and a little bit of “just right”. The Team got to use all their layers today and we didn’t envy the less prepared “backpackers” who had ponchos and jeans on.
We are having a great time and enjoyed some views of Nevado Salkantay 20,452’ until the weather rolled in. The hike follows a narrowing valley and eventually parallels an enormous glacial moraine. The good eating has already begun, trout, rice and potato soup for lunch; we get spoiled on these programs. Our local staff and horseman are extremely nice and hardworking. Thanks for following along. We will check in tomorrow after going over the 16,000’ Incachiriaska Pass.
Miss you all and am thinking of you! I went to the doctor today - my wrist is fine, but I have a raging respiratory infection. Spent the day in bed with meds! I made the right decision to stay behind - I’m coughing like a 2-pack a day smoker!
Posted by: Dori on 7/18/2019 at 8:13 pm
Keep up the good work!!
It must have been Chad wearing jeans:)
Posted by: Eddie Leonard on 7/17/2019 at 7:29 pm
July 16, 2019
Posted by: Mike King
The Machu Picchu Trekking Team arrived in Cusco a few days ago with all their luggage in tow. Since we are currently at 11,151’ there are a few acclimatization days planned into the schedule. Yesterday we toured the Sacred Valley that is carved from the Urabamba River and contains many agricultural and cultural areas vital to the Quechua people of this area.
We got our first look at the impressive Incan stone work and a brief walk on a trail similar to what we will walk on over the next week. Following the great interpretative tour at Ollantaytambo we were fortunate to observe a local celebration and parade in Pisac Market. There were small groups of families and friends in colorful costumes and dress. Each group had their own music and choreographed dance, it was something else.
Today we will visit a few more Incan sites and the temple of the sun before getting our gear ready for the trek. Everyone is doing well and adjusting to the dry air and high altitude. We are eager to begin walking towards Machu Picchu.
RMI Guide Mike King
July 4, 2019
The Four Day Climbs led by RMI Guides Steve Gately and Mike King reached the summit of Mt. Rainier at 7:30 AM PT. RMI Guide Joe Hoch reported warm weather and dying winds on the summit. Joe said, “It’s finally starting to feel like July!”
The teams will spend some time on the summit before beginning their descent. They will return to Rainier BaseCamp in Ashford this afternoon.
Happy Fourth of July and congratulations climbers!
Awesome job girls! Knew you could do it.
Posted by: Steven Graves on 7/4/2019 at 11:24 am
So proud of y’all!!! You did it
Posted by: Elizabeth Poynor on 7/4/2019 at 9:32 am
June 22, 2019
Saturday, June 22, 2019 - 4:07 PM PT
We got an early start, up at 12:30am at 11k Camp and got to the airstrip by 8:30am. In the process we kicked, pulled, punched and cussed our heavy sleds as they barrel rolled, tipped and flipped down Ski Hill into 7800’ Camp. From there the clouds and ominous skies that had hung over us from Kahiltna Pass began to clear and we got some spectacular views of the surrounding peaks. We hit the bottom of Heartbreak Hill and 50 minutes later were at the airstrip. All sorted and ready for the De Havilland turbo Otters to arrive we kicked back for a few moments to reminisce on a great trip and felt kind of bad for the fresh meat just heading out for their first day on Denali.
Currently back in Talkeetna, a quick breakfast at the Roadhouse and now sorting gear for flights home. Looking forward to showers, burgers and beers, not necessarily in that order. We will reconvene for dinner and a session at the Fairview to bring a close to a wonderful 3 weeks on Denali. RMI-5 signing off, thanks for all the blog comments and support along the way.
On The Map
Sign Up For Denali Expedition June 3, 2019 Emails
Congratulations to you all. What an unforgettable experience.
Enjoy your achievement - and the beers burgers and showers.
Thanks to your great guides as well.
Posted by: Stephanie on 6/23/2019 at 10:38 am
Fantastic!! Congratulations to you all. Thank you for the updates it’s been good reading them. Take care xx
Posted by: Anna Naylor on 6/23/2019 at 10:24 am
June 21, 2019
Friday, June 21, 2019 - 7:55 PM PT
We got up and started packing when the sun hit the tents this morning. It’s nice to have the Buttress to yourself and not have to contend with uphill traffic. The Team probably could have used a few more hours of sleep after the big summit day but the weather was splitter and we launched with the hopes of getting to 11 Camp.
The descent was fairly warm and provided for lots of photo opportunities as we traveled on the ridge that was obscured in clouds during our ascent just a few days prior. After getting down the fixed lines we spent 3 hours at 14 Camp to collect our cache of food, trash, human waste and equipment. Our friends of RMI 6 had some water for us and we said our goodbyes. Pulling sleds around Windy Corner is always an ordeal but the new snow made for good trails and traction. A little under 3 hours had us down Squirrel and Motorcycle Hills. We are settled in at 11,200’ waiting for some dinner and water. Our plan is to launch in the early AM and head for the airstrip. Cooler temperatures will make traveling on the Kahiltna glacier easier and first flights are around 9 am. Unless we get pinned down by weather the next dispatch will come from Talkeetna. Thanks for following along.