This took my breath away, literally, I mean its almost 6000m. Christ!
I’d regret not doing this if I hadn’t done it. I just don’t think you can see the layers of colours like you do here at any other place on earth. From the very start the scenery was magnificent and I love a llama in shot, cute buggers very photogenic, they wander all over the shop here. It was an early 3am rise out of Cusco doing the 1 day tour with a 3 hour bumpy, hair curling road climb to the 3000m+ start line. Everything about this hike and day destroyed me and it was totally worth it.
I did this with two fit ozzy chaps I met in Wild Rover hostel where I stayed for a few WILDER nights in Cusco. In fact if it hadn’t been for them pestering me to do the trek I probably would have missed out on this blinder of an adventure, cheers lads!. We set out with a strong pace heading up the mountain and by 4300m we were in hysterics, unable to control the laughter due to lack of oxygen at altitude. We sharp realised rest stops, rehydration stops and glucose in take stops were essential.
The locals do it with ease, practically sniggering at our scrawny white legs even attempting this but they did offer snacks, teas and cocoa leaves along the way (read my post here on why you should chew leaves, you must read it!) . If anything just do it for the above photo, I mean who doesn’t want a photo on a mountain called rainbow mountain. It’s like something Thor would have his throne on. Baggsie The Hulk.
- Attempt this after a full day, ideally two, of acclimatising in Cusco
- Stay in Wild Rover, it’s just an endless fun party. Great for a few nights.
- Rest the day before and stretch everything
- Take plenty of water, energy bars and mixed nuts
- Take hiking boots, although they aren’t totally essential unless it’s wet. I managed in Nikes
- Stretch after and rehydrate a lot
- Take a tripod for some amazing landscape photography
- Read my nutrition tips here on hiking at altitude
- Underestimate this hike. I believe I’m fit and it challenged me and knocked me back trying to go at it too cocky
- Take to much stuff, it’s between 3 – 5 hours up and an hour down. You don’t need much in the rucksack
- Go cheap on the tour, altitude sickness is very serious and being with skilled people who know how to deal with it quickly and effectively is worth the little extra
Tips for healthy eats
- Take nuts and the local dried fruit.
- A bag of salts electrolytes powder won’t go a miss either.
- Take garlic, ginger and lemon to place in your water bottle, it staves off altitude sickness.
- I’d recommend a couple of BCAA and glutamine tablets, they’ll help greatly to starve off the aches.
- At least two Chocolate bars.
How to get meat for that protein hit
- The pack lunches are basic.
- Take jerky and protein bars to help top-up your protein intake and eat them often and consistently throughout the day for a drip feeding supply.
Where to exercise
Read my post here on fitness and nutrition for trekking in the Himalayas. It’s a massive leg session, lets be honest. Major leg and stamina training.
I’d advise carb bulking before hand as you can’t eat enough for the amount you’ll burn. Stretching is essential before and after.