Thursday, August 25, 2016

Cusco - The Coloured Mountain Trek

The coloured mountain

The coloured mountain trek is a hiking trail just outside of Cusco that leads high into the mountains. The trek starts at a modest 4000m and finishes at 5600m for an 8 hour round trek.

The trek starts with a 3 hr bus ride from Cusco to the trail head. As it's such a long trek the bus leaves at 3am and arrives at dawn at one of the many llama farms in the area.

Llama farm

After a quick breakfast, the sun begins to rise about the mountains, raising the temperature to something bearably above zero.

Sunrise over the mountains

The trek starts with a very steep uphill climb until you reach a plateau where you can hire horses for the rest of the trek.

Hikers walking along the plateau

The trail continues through a valley with traces of snow on the mountains above.

Snow on the mountains

The trail begins to climb again and passes small settlements, rivulets and more snow.

One of the remote settlements

Hikers on the trail

A rivulet

And you're always accompanied by llamas and alpacas grazing on the hillsides.

Llamas and alpacas grazing

Llama doing "blue steel"

The trail continues to become steeper and the altitude conditions more difficult. 

Steep trail

Mountain snow

More snow

And of course - theres a lot more snow.

more snow on the mountains

The trail goes to the top of this mountain

Snow on the trail

The last part of the climb is very steep, but once at the viewing platform you can see the coloured mountain in all its glory.

The coloured mountain

Another view of the coloured mountain

The coloured mountain range

You can also continue to climb the 100m to the top of the mountain for another perspective.

The mountain range

Snow at the top

more snow

The trek back took another 3 hours and we arrived just In time to avoid some nasty weather rolling in over the mountains.

Stormclouds

Close-up of the storm