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Putucusi ladders washed away??

Austin, Texas
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68 posts
193 reviews
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Putucusi ladders washed away??

I've been planning to hike Putucusi in July but wikipedia says the giant ladder at the beginning of the climb was washed away on April 17th. I don't really trust wikipedia. Has anybody been there since?

Berkeley, California
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1. Re: Putucusi ladders washed away??

Hello,

I climbed Putucusi in early August 2011 with my sister. We were with a guide, based on recommendation she got from a friend. A guide is not needed, but honestly if we hadn't been with the guide I would not have believed it was possible to ascend the vertical part.

Several ladders are totally washed away, and most of the remaining wooden ladders are cracked and rotting. There are missing rungs as well. It doesn't look at all like those pictures where the nice ladders go all the way up. There is still a steel cable that seems well-anchored, and hopefully it IS well-anchored because your life depends on it.

Honestly, climbing that vertical section was the scariest thing I've ever done and I am not even afraid of heights. There are parts where it's so near vertical (and no ladders there) that you have to lean back, holding the cable, and put your feet flat on the rock so your legs are perpendicular to the rock face (and parallel with the ground). The rock face is smooth enough that I couldn't find places to use as "toeholds". If you had a harness this would be no big deal, but given that the vertical part is about 100 - 120 feet high total, the ladders are rickety if they even exist, and there is no safety gear, it's pretty scary. It's doable, but be certain that you won't panic as you get up high before you start! Once you're up there, there's no other way down and it really can be dangerous. However, the view from the top is incredible!

Pittsburgh
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739 posts
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2. Re: Putucusi ladders washed away??

Anyone know if there's a chance the ladders would ever be repaired?

Thanks

Haverfordwest...
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4 posts
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3. Re: Putucusi ladders washed away??

Tried and failed today. The ladders on the first 100 foot near vertical section have indeed all gone. I tried free climbing it pulling myself on the cable...in places there are no hand or toe holds. Half way up I lost my nerve and came down. With a climbing harness it would be safer.

Lima, Peru
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3,908 posts
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4. Re: Putucusi ladders washed away??

What a pity, it is now a little less than a year and by Welsh_travell post it seems that they have not done any works on the area.

Hopefully they will realize it would be a good thing to arrange the ladders and open an opportunity to hike different areas in Machu Picchu

The Puente Inka de Q ’eswachaca could be an alternative, have never been there but looks fascinating. The website unfortunately is in Spanish but you can visit it: www.patronatomachupicchu.org

Redlands, California
2 posts
2 reviews
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5. Re: Putucusi ladders washed away??

If you brought a climbing harness, what would you clip it to to make it safer?

Haverfordwest...
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4 posts
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6. Re: Putucusi ladders washed away??

the steel cable is still there and is anchored into the rock regularly. you could easily clip onto this and free climb next to it.

Lima, Peru
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7. Re: Putucusi ladders washed away??

Sounds scary...

Cusco, Peru
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339 posts
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8. Re: Putucusi ladders washed away??

Puente Inka de Q ’eswachaca is miles away ( maybe you know that already). it is out between Cusco heading towards Puno.

Redlands, California
2 posts
2 reviews
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9. Re: Putucusi ladders washed away??

If you did the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, could you get enough time in at the ruins and still climb Putucusi before taking the train back down?

Cherry Hill, New...
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10. Re: Putucusi ladders washed away??

We climbed Putucusi in August 2008. I counted 111 steps on the main ladder. Going up didn't seem too bad - of course we took it slow. When we got to the lookout area at the peak all the young kids who had passed us applauded our arrival.

The scary part for me was how slippery the rungs of the main ladder were when we descended at the end of the afternoon. Yet boys were running down them like they were stairs. I will never forget that.

I'm glad we did the climb while it was still possible.