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Conquering the Ausangate Trek: A Solo Adventure in the Andes

When I set out to tackle the Ausangate Trek near Cusco, I initially planned for a challenging five-day journey. However, as fate would have it, my adventure concluded after just three days, making for an unforgettable experience. In this blog post, I’ll share the highlights of my solo excursion through this high-altitude wonderland, including a few unexpected twists along the way.

Setting Out on the Ausangate Trek

My journey commenced with a somewhat unconventional approach. I booked a standard Rainbow Mountain tour, but instead of going back to Huaraz, I ventured to the next campsite. This decision allowed me to explore the Ausangate Trek at my own pace, unhurried and unburdened by the constraints of a tour group.

An Intense Solo Trek

Hiking the Ausangate Trek solo was an intense undertaking, given the high altitudes and the solitary nature of the journey. With no companions to rely on, I had to be self-sufficient and rely on my skills and instincts to navigate the path ahead.

A Wrong Turn

On the second day of my trek, I encountered a mishap. As you can see on the map, the route drawn did not led me to a series of beautiful lakes. This was, due to the previous day’s heavy snowfall, I couldn’t discern the trail and inadvertently followed the tracks of a guided group ahead of me. Little did I know that they were taking unaware an alternative, less scenic path.

In the camp, I had a chat with the group’s guide, who was seemingly leading them astray. As we spoke, it became evident that he lacked the necessary knowledge and experience for the terrain. He mentioned his group’s desire to climb Campa, a nearby mountain, and our conversation about glacier safety left me concerned for their well-being. With no GPS phone, no understanding of crevasse rescue techniques, and little glacier experience, the group put their trust in a guide who seemed ill-prepared for the challenges ahead. So when you book an adventure like this check your guide, there are some out there which have no clue at all.

Unforeseen Paths

To my surprise, I never crossed paths with that group again on the third day. Instead, I embarked on the remainder of my journey, culminating in the breathtaking Seven Lagoons. The pristine beauty of these lakes offered a serene contrast to the drama of the previous day.

Pacchanta’s Respite

Upon reaching Pacchanta, I encountered a friendly tourist group that graciously offered me a ride back to Huaraz for 40 soles, marking the end of my remarkable adventure through the Ausangate Trek.

In Conclusion

My solo journey through the Ausangate Trek was a testament to the unpredictability of the great outdoors and the importance of preparedness in high-altitude environments. While I might not have completed the entire trek as planned, the experiences and encounters along the way made it an adventure worth remembering.

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