It’s not often that you wake up at 14,500 ft to a view of a snow capped mountain, day 2 was just such a morning. There were a few morning headaches amongst the group, but thanks to a little Peruvian red & white pill (mostly caffeine), we were ready to face the day.
We rolled out of camp a little before 7am with two mountain passes ahead and even more amazing views of Ausangate. The first mountain pass took us to 15,580 ft over Pasa Arapa.
With our first mountain pass conquered, we were feeling the slow pace of altitude climbs and the decrease in available oxygen. However, we were energized by the views and struggling for words to describe what we were experiencing.
We stopped for lunch to refuel before heading up the second mountain pass. This was a point of decision - to stay at the lunch spot or continue on, everyone was doing so well, so we pressed on. This would take us over Pasa Pucaqucha at 16,370 ft and challenge our resolve as the trail meandered higher and higher. Views of glacier lakes and mountain peaks kept us focused on our surroundings, and less on the difficulty of every step.
Weather is unpredictable and constantly changing in the high country. We were thankful for sunny skies for most of day 2, because it would drastically change in the afternoon and make our journey even more epic.
Life Lesson from the Mountain: Knowing where you’ve come from is just as rewarding as reaching the high point.
There is no doubt that day 2 was incredibly hard, but equally rewarding. After approximately 12 miles of hiking, it ended with us sleeping at 15,420 ft., which tested the warmth of our sleeping arrangements and altitude adjustment.