Memorable travel moments: Dead Woman’s Pass

“The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast and you miss all you are traveling for.” Louis L’Amour 1908 – 1988

I took this photograph when I was almost at the top of Dead Woman’s Pass (Warmiwanusqa), which is the highest point on the Inca Trail (at 4215 metres above sea level). You can see the procession of hikers winding their way slowly up the mountain. The air is thin, it’s difficult to breathe, it’s fairly steep, and you feel like you’re never going to make it.

But for me, this was such a memorable moment, because I’d contemplated quitting at 3000 metres above sea level. I had been struggling with the altitude, to the point where our porter gave me oxygen. So, those last hundred or so steps to the top of the pass gave me a great sense of satisfaction and it was one of the happiest moments of my life; standing with my sister at the top of Dead Woman’s Pass.

If you’d like to read the full story on my Inca Trail trek, click on the links below:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Machu Picchu

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