Dead Women’s Pass: Hiking the Inca Trail is one of the great coveted travel experiences for anyone today. Every year, thousands of hikers take the four-day trek that ends at the famous Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, which stands at an elevation of 7,972 feet above sea level. It is a journey that challenges the spirits of those who undertake it, yet also generously rewards them for accomplished accomplishment.
Over roughly four days of hiking, the scenery and attractions along the way are exciting and varied. Archaeological ruins, sweeping scenery, and lush forests are all joined together by their common stone walkways, first laid by the Incas themselves and worn smoothly in hundreds of years of ambitious steps. Of all the notable features along the way, the most notable is the Dead Woman Pass (“warmivanusca” in the Quechua language).
What makes Dead Woman Pass so famous (or infamous) is its height. At 4,215 m (13,828 ft), it is the highest (and most dangerous) point of the Inca Trail and is approximately 1,800 m (5,905 ft) higher than Machu Picchu. The pass comes during the second day of the hike, which is often considered the most challenging. Because more days are spent at higher altitudes with fewer trees, the terrain becomes rockier and more difficult, and trekkers are more aware of the day’s weather conditions, which can offer anything from cool rain to strong sunlight to strong winds. can.
And yet the factors that make the day more difficult than others are what makes reaching the past one of the most rewarding moments—perhaps the second most rewarding moment—on the road. It is in this mini-summit when many feel their first sense of real accomplishment. They are doing something physically unusual and emotionally strenuous, and it serves as a great life moment for those who love to be here. Trekkers sometimes celebrate their arrival with a quick shot of rum and a photography session with the valley in the background before continuing on their way.
Everyone who travels the Inca Trail has their own experience as well as favorite memories that they take home with them. The Dead Woman Pass is a great achievement for hikers, yet it’s just one on a trek full of special moments. It signifies the importance of the journey rather than the destination.