Epic MTB Trail near salkantay Mt. in Peru

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Epic MTB Trail near salkantay Mt. in Peru

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Greg Heil 7 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #76378

    Peru is getting known as one of the most extreme destinations for mountain biking around the globe. We have been showing great trails that we have on our Andes Mountains. Long lasting descents with more than 4,000m (13,123ft.) are not easy to find like in Peru!

    Just a few days ago we thought that our trail from Olleros (3,550m – 11,646ft) to the Pacific Ocean was the biggest descent in Peru. Now we have found a bigger descent and we are sure that there are even bigger descents to be discovered by mountain bikers! Most of these trails were built hundreds of years ago by our past cultures.

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    Mollepata Town

    A few days ago we made an exploration trip near the Salkantay Glacier (6,721m – 22,050ft.) in Cusco. We knew that there was a trail for hikers and we decided to go with our mountain bikes. We studied a bit the trail checking maps and asking local people and immediately we knew that we were going to face a super challenging trail never tried by mountain bikers. It’s a trail that is not easy to get there and it’s located in a remote area of the Andes of Cusco. We knew that we were going to see great landscapes on our way because we always check that area on the flight´s to Cusco.

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    Going to Salkantay

    We started early from Cusco and our first destination was the town of Mollepata where we start to push our bikes a little bit and ride until we reached the camp site of Soraypampa (3,800m – 12,467ft.). Fortunately a great lodge was waiting for us with hot springs and warm rooms. Was one of the best places I have ever been! We were just in front the two big glaciers: Salkantay (6,721m – 22,050ft.) and Humantay (5,917m – 19,412ft.).

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    Trail to our First Lodge

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    Humantay Glacier 5,917m

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    Our Lodge in Soraypampa

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    Salkantay Glacier 6,721m

    The next day was the hardest day of our expedition. We had to climb (trekking) to the mountain pass of Salkantay at 4,644m (15,236ft.) and then start descending to the Amazon jungle!

    We put our bikes on the mules and horses and we start to trek to the pass. The climb was spectacular, looking at the glaciers at all time and each time closer and closer! We met with a few groups of trekkers on the way and they were amazed looking all our gear and our mountain bikes. We only hear from them expressions like: That’s crazy! We can just walk here and they are with mountain bikes! It took us around three hours to reach the pass at 4,644m (15,236ft.).

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    Mules Taking our Gear

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    A View of our Lodge in Soraypampa

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    Heavy Climb to the Top!

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    The Porters Getting Closer to the Top!

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    Reaching the Top!

    The cold weather was strong but we could handle it because we were with all the adrenaline and emotion to start descending with our bikes. The trail looks amazing from here!

    Once we had everything ready, we start our dreamed descent. It was very technical at the beginning due to the loose rocks everywhere. The altitude was playing a big roll here too! We were feeling very tired with just descending a few meters, and he had in front many more hours of pure downhill! Fortunately we were so happy and focused on the trail that we forgot that we were tired.

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    Start of the Downhill

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    Amazing descent!

    We divided the descent in two stages because at the middle was another great lodge that we didn’t want to miss it! Immediately we start to see a change in the vegetation, we were descending to the Amazon Jungle! We started on top of the Andes Mountains were the air is thin, dry and cold and with little vegetation. Now we are getting closer to the Amazon Jungle where the air is hot and humid and the vegetation is everywhere!

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    A Short Break to Admire the Landscape

    The next day we continue with our descent to the Amazon Jungle. Specifically, we were going to descend to the village of Santa Teresa, very close to Machu Picchu in the middle of the Peruvian Jungle! We had some climbs on the way but the altitude was not playing a big roll this time. We now saw a great change on the landscape. We were closer to the Amazon Jungle! The trees were covering the trail and we could hear the sound of the Macaws, Parrots and many other animals from the jungle. Was a magic sensation.

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    We are Now in the Amazon Jungle!

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    Awesome!

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    Little Bridge on the Trail

    Near the end of this amazing trip, the trail was flatter and we had to pedal more. It was like a light descent with some little climbs all surrounded by trees and noisy animals. You can smell the jungle! Anyway, we were going more downhill that uphill. Without doubt, it was amazing!

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    A View of the Andes Mountains Towards the Amazon Jungle

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    Downhill Sections

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    Downhill Sections

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    Hot Springs on the Trail

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    Close to Santa Teresa

    Finally we arrived to Santa Teresa after many hours of downhill. In Santa Teresa is possible to visit the hot springs that are considered as one of the best natural hot springs in Peru! It’s also possible to camp! The next day after a refreshing swim on the hot springs we went to visit Machu Picchu!
    With our visit to Machu Picchu, we finished our exploration trip to Salkantay.

    We had great memories of this trip and for sure is the best thig we have ever made on a mountain bike!

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    Bike Wash

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    Waterfalls

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    Machu Picchu

  • #76379

    Wow. What a ride. Thanks for sharing. I get excited over 1000-2000 foot descents. What was the ending elevation in the Amazon?

  • #76380

    cjmGramcounter

    Is that you Wayo? Why didn’t you take us over that little bridge when I was there.

    CCR;
    1000-2000 feet is short. When I did the trip, our first run was 10,000+ feet. We may have done some in the 2k range, but we would have 3-5 of those in a day. You definitely need to have your Endurance DH technique in full effect while you are there.

    Chris Motes

  • #76381

    This is awesome to know. I’m from peru but havent been back since i was 9yrs old. I guess it’s time to take a group of friends down for a nice MTB Trip!

  • #76382

    Thanks for sharing! made me take the bike along, when the family decided to do the Salkantay in October 2011. Conditions were a bit different though 😮

    IMG]http://up.picr.de/8696563ekv.jpg[/IMG]

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  • #76383

    Lucky are those people who have time to discover Nature at its best.
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  • #76384

    Some absolutely fantastic pics in this thread. Thanks to both of you for sharing.

  • #76385
    "schwim" wrote

    Some absolutely fantastic pics in this thread. Thanks to both of you for sharing.

    +1!

    I would love to visit Peru and check this out for myself. Maybe someday??

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