Ascent of Abra Salkantay on 2016-01-10

Climber: Seán Caulfield

Date:Sunday, January 10, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Abra Salkantay
    Elevation:15092 ft / 4600 m

Ascent Trip Report

Went over this pass on day 2 of our Salkantay Trek. We wild camped in the beautiful valley near a stream about 45minutes uphill from Soraypampa looking straight up at Salkantay (about 4,100m), then hiked up the following morning. Highly recommend this trek, easily done without a guide. Try to spend the third night camping at Llactapata ruins rather than walk/bus to Santa Teresa - spectacular view to Macchu Picchu. There is also a municipal campsite near the entrance to Macchu Picchu about 20minutes before Aguas Calientes (a rip-off tourist trap town) - take the path down to the road from Macchu Picchu train station. GPS file (75km) too large for this site, can be found here:

Day 1, 17km: Got an early colectivo from Cusco to Limatambo, where we changed to a taxi which took us to Mollepata (stopped for breakfast) & then another 8km to Cruzpata (3,300m), where we were told the tour groups start. Hiked along the road until we got to a steep trail up to the irrigation canal, which we followed to Soraypampa (where the tour groups sleep). We hiked about 45minutes beyond here to our first beautiful campsite (4,150m), in a valley with a view straight to Salkantay.

Day 2, 19km: Hiked over the pass at Abra Salkantay, then down passing through a few villages - stopped for a beer in Chaullay where the tour groups sleep & for some shopping in Collpampa, before camping by the Rio Totoba about 15-20minutes past Collpampa near the disused hotsprings (no safe river access at this campsite, running water was warm & extremely salty). River access about 10-15minutes further along the trail).

Day 3, 23km: Hiked along by the river passing a couple of houses/shops to Playa (lunch/a couple of cheap stores), then along the road to the turnoff for Llactapata (fill up water bottles in stream that crosses the road, there is only one waterfall/water source on the walk up to Llactapata). Camped in front of the Inca ruins with stunning view to Macchu Picchu.

Day 4, 16km: Hiked down the VERY steep trail to the river & on to Hidroelectrica, before walking the tracks all the way to Aguas Calientes.

Day 5, 15km: Got up early (5am) & hiked from Aguas Calientes up to Macchu Picchu. Walked around in the morning rain before climbing Huayna Picchu at 10am. Stunning views, the weather cleared. Hiked down to Hidroelectrica again along the train tracks, then took a shared taxi to Santa Maria (left Hidroelectrica after 6pm). From Santa Maria took a colectivo to Cusco, arriving about 12:45am.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4265 ft / 1299 m
    Total Elevation Loss:9022 ft / 2749 m
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Stream Ford
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:3 nights away from roads
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4265 ft / 1299 m
    Distance:13 mi / 21 km
    Route:Salkantay Trail
    Start Trailhead:Cruzpata  10827 ft / 3300 m
    Time:1 Days 3 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:9022 ft / 2749 m
    Route:Salkantay Trail
    End Trailhead:Hidroelectrica  6070 ft / 1850 m
    Time:3 Days 6 Hours 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Seán Caulfield
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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