Entries By mike king
We descended into the cloud forest today in route to our camp, Chaquicocha (9,900 ft). The temperature has increased and the vegetation is abundant after hiking over 2 passes. With the passes consisting of 1,800+ Incan steps on the descent the Team is enjoying having their boots off and a refreshing bowl of water to cool off and clean up.
Our weather has been great, a little cold for some the first two days, no rain and we got some clouds and cool air today to make for great pictures and respite from the sun.
We had the trail to ourselves except when porters would run by which allowed the Team to explore two Incan sites without fellow trekkers present. The meals continue to impress and we are excited to get into Machu Picchu for sunrise in two days time. Until then, we have more stairs to climb, card games to play and spectacular mountain vistas to absorb.
Today we are checking in from our camp, Llulluchapampa at 12,303 ft. We had a warm day walking out the Kusichaka river valley through more small villages and got to spend some time in at an Incan site. The series of terraces and walls are believed to have been a trading post for agricultural goods arriving from the jungle and high mountains to be dispersed throughout the Incan empire.
After another delicious lunch we joined the traditional Inca trail at Wayllabamba where our mule drivers departed and our porters arrived to shoulder our camp. The 16 porters are from the same village in the Andes and work as a crew. During the high season they work four to five 4 day trips, carrying 55 lbs each day. The Team is grateful and amazed with how they bound up the trail above 10,000 ft with relative ease.
So far we have not seen another group of hikers the entire trek, that will changed tomorrow evening as we approach the final 2 camps before Machu Picchu. We will get an early start so we can enjoy a quite day. Everyone is feeling great and taking in the amazing vistas of the Andes.
Thanks for following along.
RMI Guide Mike King
Cold morning when we pulled out of our camp at 7 a.m. Not 30 minutes later did the sun start to warm our fingers and toes along with illuminating the glaciers of Salkantay while we climbed towards Incachiriaska Pass at 16,010ft.
The team is doing great after our seven-hour day. After the pass we walked through a beautiful valley filled with dry grasses and expansive boulder fields. We are camped in a small village (read 3-4 stone houses with thatch roofs) listening to the bleating of sheep and watching dogs heard the mix of horse, llama, sheep and pigs back to rustic stone corrals. We are settling into our tents and getting warm as the sun has already left our valley at 3 p.m. Tomorrow our horseman will depart the group as we enter the National Park. Porters will join us to continue the excellent meals and difficult but much appreciated job of carrying our camp towards Machu Picchu.
Wow, what a day! After waking at 3:30 am to leave the hotel we drove for a few hours only to wake to the sunrise and Salkantay Peak, 20,500 ft dominating the horizon.
After getting our gear rigged for the horses and porters the team started up a dusty road passing through small settlements above the Rio Blanco. ‘Mountain Plush’ is how I’ll describe our living and eating arrangements due to our hard working local crew. Upon retiring from our dining tent during lunch, members of the team napped in the sun and gentle breeze before ascending the final stretch into camp.
We are currently camped beneath Salkantay at 14,500 ft with tent doors open and our feet hanging out enjoying beautiful views of the glaciers, seracs and fluted snow couloirs.
The team is doing great and sends their love to friends and family who are following along. Tomorrow we ascend to our high point of Incachiriasca pass, 16,010.
Today the group toured the Urubamba River Valley that was and continues to be a fertile farming area for the local people of Cusco. With large varieties of corn and potatoes being grown, we could see terraces that the Inca used reaching well above 12,000 ft.
We had several stops on our way to Ollantaytambo, a wonderful Incan site featuring farming terraces, ceremonial stone work and intact buildings used for storing food. Our impromptu stop to sample chicha, a fermented corn drink that locals enjoy while playing a fun coin toss style yard game also yielded two cute puppies sleeping by a fire and a guinea pig farm. Cuy, or guinea pig, is a common form of protein consumed by locals and tourists alike.
We wrapped the day finalizing our packs for an early departure. Tomorrow morning we begin our Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu, the entire group is excited to leave Cusco.
Not there yet?? Steve, I thought you’d have run all the way up on the first day ;P Sounds like you are having lots of fun on the way!! Hope the weather holds out for you all and you have enjoyable travels back down.
Posted by: Audrey on 8/8/2016 at 7:43 am
Sounds exciting, wish we were young enough to join your excursions.
Posted by: Uncle John Aunt Jan on 8/3/2016 at 7:26 pm
This is RMI Guide Mike King checking in from Cusco. Our team has arrived with high spirits and all luggage accounted for. We spent the day touring 3 Inca sites and admiring the phenomenal rock work and immense size of the what the Inca accomplished without iron and wheels in just 80ish years. Cusco sitting at 11,400ft elevation requires the Team to acclimate before we reach 16,010 ft on our second day trekking. Tomorrow we will tour the Sacred Valley along the Urubamba river.
We will check in tomorrow, thanks for following along!
July 23, 2016
The Four Day Summit Climb July 20 - 23, 2016 led by RMI Guides Mike King and Kel Rossiter reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning with clear skies and winds around 15 mph. The team began their descent from the crater rim just before 8 am.
We look forward to seeing them at Rainier BaseCamp later this afternoon.
Congratulations to today’s Summit Climb teams!
awesome job brooke! can’t wait to hear about it and see pics!
Posted by: scott on 7/25/2016 at 12:56 pm
Congrats Mike! That should be your 50th summit right?
Thanks again for all you did on the seminar.
Posted by: Matt Voswinkel on 7/24/2016 at 1:11 pm
July 15, 2016
The Expedition Skills Seminar - Paradise led by RMI Guide Mike King wrapped up their week of mountaineering training with a successful summit of Mt. Rainier. The team will descend off the mountain and be back in Ashford this afternoon to celebrate.
Congratulations on a successful expedition!
Posted by: Bart Couture on 7/15/2016 at 6:01 pm
Congratulations guys! Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: Jill Wachter on 7/15/2016 at 12:57 pm
July 6, 2016
Posted by: Mike King
The Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons team led by RMI Guide Mike King reached the summit of Mt. Rainier via the Emmons Route early this morning. Mike reported clear skies an great climbing. The team will be descending back to Camp Schurman and spend the remainder of the week training before returning to Rainier Basecamp Thursday afternoon.
Congratulations to the Emmons Team!
Wow folks!! Great job!!! Happy that it was a successful climb, and all are set for a safe return!! Rebecca, so proud of you for reaching your goals!!! Whoot Whoot!!!
Posted by: Kim Dean on 7/6/2016 at 6:08 pm
Way to go everyone! Special shout out to Rebecca! So proud of you!!!!
Posted by: Mary Louzan on 7/6/2016 at 4:45 pm
June 28, 2016
The Five Day Emmons Climb led by RMI Guide Mike King reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning via the Emmons Glacier Route. It’s a beatiful day with little wind and clear skies. After spending some time on the summit the team started their descent around 6:30 am PT, they will return to high camp for their final night on the mountain.