For the first part of the morning there wasn't much rain and the views were beautiful.
By the time we stopped for "lunch" at about 10, the rain had started and it was pretty cold. We were excited to huddle in the dinner tent, but weren't too excited to get started again since it was raining really hard.
After lunch as well, it got tough. Stone stairs for about 6 hours. They weren't always this steep but it was always up. Still raining.
As we went up, it kept getting colder as well. Charli is making full use of her neck warmer here, and she is with Bryan, our guide (who we determined has a little crush on Charli...hehe)
Still raining hard. The pancho is not doing much good any more. That dip in those two peaks is the summit that we are heading too. The Incan name for this pass translates to "Dead Woman's Pass".....nervous! Still a lot of stairs to go.
We took lots of breaks on the way up. I was probably averaging about 10 steps then 10 second break. If I stopped more than that I would get really cold and risk never starting to walk again. The altitude was really obvious at this point as well. Lifting my foot to the next step was getting really tough. Many times I would zig zag up the stairs walking back and forth to find the shortest part of the stairs. Those Incans were seriously incredible!!!
As we went up and up, that thick rain turned to thick snow! According to our guide it is the first time in 7 years that it has snowed on the trail. Lucky us. I did inspire me to sing some Christmas songs which distracted me from the task at hand.
About 6 hours after we started we made it to the summit!!!! I was so excited. Couldn't stay long though, still very cold and we had a steep descent to get to camp.
Great view on the descent to camp. Couldn't spend much time enjoying though. That summit had been hiding a stiff cold wind that made the snow and rain feel like little needles. The trail down was also steep steps. Better for the heart but really hard on the knees.
We finally got to camp at about 2pm. Only problem was that everything was wet. Our tents weren't set up properly so the rain fly had not kept the rain out so they were all wet. Some people actually had puddles in their tents.