One day after reaching Machu Picchu via the Inca Trail through the Sun Gate, 52 Peaks hiked Peak #2 and the second peak in Machu Picchu – Wayna Picchu. After 4 days / 3 nights on the Inca Trail, the a night in a hotel in Aquas Calientes was greatly appreciated. The hot springs town is a thirty minute (often perilous) bus ride up or down from Machu Picchu. We enjoyed a restaurant meal, a somewhat warm shower, and a night of sleep in a bed.
On June 11th, we went back to Machu Picchu to attempt the summit of Wayna Picchu. This date is a special one for Tami as it’s the three-year anniversary date of her hike to Half-Dome which is what ignited her great love for hiking. It’s also the hike that introduced Tami and TJ to one another and it was during the training for Half-Dome that the idea of 52 Peaks in 52 Weeks was born.
Wayna Picchu is also a special peak. We did it last year and it was the first one of the world’s “20 Most Dangerous Hikes” that either of us had ever done. We learned about this list of dangerous peaks when we researched Wayna Picchu and were so intrigued that we now plan to do them all over the next few years. In fact, we will hit a great many of them during the next year on our 52 adventure. Personally, neither of us think Wayna Picchu is that dangerous. It’s a mile hike round trip and there are steep sections and slippery rocks. But it does have chains and if you take your time and use caution, it’s perfectly safe.
We did reach the summit with a slightly different group of seven from our Machu Picchu Mountain team. Again, it was quite special to have them there cheering us on and sharing the significance of the first two peaks with us. Strangely, there was a Machu Picchu employee at the summit and he would not allow us to take a picture with our 52 Peaks banner. Instead we took a picture of us standing on the highest rock (it’s a boulder field at the top) and we took pictures with the banner at the sign which is right below the summit. We also didn’t linger at the summit because there were giant, stinging ants. Tami got stung by one and they really hurt! We took stunning photographs of all of us with the Machu Picchu ruins below us.
We are so proud of everyone who hiked with us on the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu Mountain and Wayna Picchu. Nothing about the five days is considered easy hiking. We were inspired by people we saw working through injuries and amazed by people who did things in spite of intense fears and phobias. There was much laughter, some tears and a lot of companionship during our trek that will make these first nine days of 52 Peaks forever memorable!
TJ Hiker will be leading another group to Machu Picchu along the Inca Trail in June 2017! Check out details at http://www.tjhiker.com/ and sign up for the trip of a lifetime!
See the photo gallery for more fun photos from the hike up Wayna Picchu!