The derrumbe!

Socma to Sungate is what we thought we were going to do. In all reality we ended up hiking Pachar to Ollantaytambo which probably means nothing to all of you but should at least inform you that this is to be a blog post about adventure trekking. Not getting lost, adventure trekking.  Regardless, it was one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve been on so far in the Sacred Valley. It took us from dusty roads to a lush, 3 tiered waterfall topped with Incan ruins to a mountain pass that spit us out on the high high mountains above Ollanta. The very mountains that have towered above me every day for the past 6 months and which I never thought I would see the tops of.

We accidentally chose the wrong of 3 passes for the route we originally wanted to take but in doing so got to see the origin of the infamous derrumbe (landslide) that formed 3 years ago and has dominated the moutain side above Ollanta ever since. It’s been a goal, nay a dream, of mine to see the top of this derrumbe basically since ariving in Ollanta. I’ve scouted probably 15 trails to try and reach the top and all have ended up being too steep. I had all but given up hope when we crested the mountain pass, looked below us and in one glorious moment realized we were atop the derrumbe!

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The great derrumbe as seen from ollanta

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Hiking up the valley to the waterfall

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Perolnyic waterfall

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Waterfall!

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Stewart hiking up to the ruins above the waterfall

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Krissa and Maya meandering through some Incan ruins at the top of the waterfall

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Krissa asking for directions from a tiny Quechua child. Surprisingly, we still got lost.

We hiked a steady 5,000ft up to get to the pass and, as happens more often than we would like hiking here, found ourselves emerging in an unexpetcted location, directly above Ollanta. A bit stormy but gorgeous nonetheless we ran around like excited schoolchildren, exploring the pass and seeing Ollanta from a viewpoint few get to have.

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The pass!

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Sunbeam hitting baby Ollanta far below

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And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the top of the derrumbe!!

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The collapsed lake at the top. The very origin of the derrumbe

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We woke up the next day to beautiful, clear blue skies and unbelievably gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains. Sunrise was the best and a delicious steaming cup of hot cocoa kept my mind off the cows that had sauntered back to our camp and proceeded to surround us.

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Camp!

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Sunrise on Veronica


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Group photo!

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As we headed off to fight our way back down to Ollanta, we could look back and see our campsite, now crawling with curious cows

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When I say we were fighting our way up, I mean we were fighting out way up. Luckily for us, Andean grass happens to have very strong roots

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And then we came across the most adorable village ever (village might be an overstatement but there were at least 4 buildings...)

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Stu and Krissa

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And cow.

Reaching the top of the derrumbe was the highlight for me but the trip was filled with adventures including 5,000ft of elevation gain the first day, a failed attempt to descend in the dark, a beautiful campsite that was soon descended upon by a herd of somewhat aggressive cows, and an epic journey down the next day that included much traversing on cow paths. All with a baby Maya who at 10 weeks is turning into quite the trekker dog. She can drink from a camel back, hike thousands of vertical feet in a day, and chow down on cheesy tuna pasta like it’s her job. Oh, she’s also gotten really good at squirming into your sleeping bag through the tiny hole you leave open to breathe through.

Overall, this trip was a great one to end my hiking days in Ollanta with. The nature here is truly the best and I know I’ll miss it and my intrepid trekking amigos. At least now I won’t be kept awake at night wondering wondering wondering what lies at the top of the great derrumbe…

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One comment

  1. Elisabeth Benard · · Reply

    Scintillating sunbeams, mighty Maya, deleterious derrumbe—amazing adventure, Kelsey—thanks for the blog, the photos and vicarious experience. EB

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