YUNCACHIMPA – DEAD WOMAN PASS – PACAYMAYU- CHAKICOCHA
(Around 06 to 10 hours walking session)
Early morning, 07 am waked up with hot tea and hot water to wash my face. The after a delicious breakfast was a waste, Yesterday after the heavy lunch I had tea with a lot of pop corn and dinner only two hours after, I went to my tent with enough food in my stomach to survive a week, of course digestion was very slow at that altitude.
Our guide, Max, reminded us about the “challenging day” coming, so with my mind prepared for the worst I stared walking all the way up hill. I have to admit that the first two hours are quite enjoyable since I was walking thru a Queñua Forest and I love walking in the shade, the sound of the hidden river is the perfect sound track for the morning. After 02 hours I made the resting point where you can buy snacks for last time and use toilets.
After a 10 min resting it was time to walk and reach the highest pass at 4200m / 11890 feet; the famous “Death Woman Pass”, since I’m not a woman that name doesn’t really scare me. Well, the next 04 hours were supposed to be the hardest ones in the trek but they weren’t that bad. I made 2 ½ hours keeping a medium pace, I never rush, I am not a sportive man but I like walking so I made it with no major efforts, of course the last 20 minutes before reaching the pass were very demanding. A good advice is not looking what you have left, focus in a few meters on the ground, then when stopping turn around and see what you already have done. Thanks Max for that!
The hardest part of the day wasn’t reaching the pass, it was being informed that we had to walk down around 700 mts only for lunch break and walk up to 3800 m/10640 feet for the second pass of the day and waking down again for the overnight campsite…I was like “Dam, why did I ever paid for this???!!!”
On the way down from the second pass of the day, I was very happy with my timing, I kept a pretty good pace and I was ahead of the others, including the guide. With the acknowledge of being in the last part of the second day I started taking pictures of every single flower and bug around the area, I don’t remember when I took the wrong way, but I can assure you there’s the possibility of taking a wrong way. I realized I was on my own for a while and I got panic. It started getting late and I was trying to find my way back, the only idea of spending the night in the middle of nowhere was simply unthinkable; “why did I ever leave the group?”, thanks to god one of the porters of my group found me at the edge of a nervous breakdown and took me to the campsite. It seems I haven’t been the only one getting lost around that area because when the guide realized didn’t see me at the campsite he immediately send this hardworking porter to rescue me from nowhere. I was so relive.