Climb Putucusi Mountain – Putucusi Ladders
If you are planning a trip to hike the mountain of Putucusi in Peru, our book about Putucusi will provide photos of all the ladders you’ll encounter, so you have a clear understanding of the difficulty of the climb.
Purchase Let’s Go Up! Perhaps you have heard about the ladders on Putucusi mountain and ropes or cables that provide a sense of security. Perhaps you have heard of the possible death drops, should you slip while traveling from the forest section to the last 30 minute open sky hike.
The problem is everyone has a different sense of what steep actually means.
Everyone has a different interpretation of what difficult means. Photos can often say more than words.
Do not plan on hiking only part of the way. The very second ladder you encounter will be the tallest highest ladder you have every seen in your life. This is where many people turn back but the fact is: if you can walk and time permits you can reach the summit of Putucusi Mountain.
Descending from Putucusi Mountain in Peru, we came accross a football player sized man in his twenties or thirties and he desperately pleaded with us, “There aren’t anymore ladders are there?”
You must control your mind while climbing. Elderly persons of age 68+ have climbed at their own steady pace.
One of the wonderful things about the Putucusi climb is the lack of tourists. This is due to their limited knowledge that the climb even exists, their lack of time (perhaps they have made travel arrangements to take the train in and out on the same day *big mistake*) or their fear of heights. What this means for you is you can enjoy all the privacy, quietness, solitude, foliage, scenery, etc. that the mountain has to offer, all by yourself.
My Putucusi Experience
In 2009, I had reservations about releasing my book, Let’s Go Up! Climbing Machu Picchu, Huayna Picchu and Putucusi I didn’t mind sharing details of Machu Picchu or those about climbing Huayna Picchu, the mountain towering above Machu Picchu in classic tourist photos.
Almost everyone already knew about Huayna Picchu. Most people knew climbing was restricted to 400 people per day and you must stay overnight in the town of Aguas Calientes to have any chance of climbing. (In July 2011, a climber told me people are currently lining up at 2 a.m. for the Machu Picchu bus, all in the high hopes of receiving a number.)
It was Putucusi I felt protective of. Almost like a parent protecting a child. Putucusi mountain, with a different view overlooking Machu Picchu, has few hikers due to the difficulty of the climb (or perhaps the inadequate knowledge of tourists). This is my type of climb, lacking the elbow-to-elbow contact I experienced growing up riding the subways of New York City. The scenery differed significantly too!
We encountered only five people from start to finish. My favorite encounter was going down. The ascending man of football-like physique, with anxiety in his eyes, desperately asked, “Are there any more ladders?” Clearly he was not fond of the seven vertical wood ladders made from logs of about four inches in diameter. Had he grabbed onto the one that comes loose? It lifts right out of the nails only to easily slide back in, awaiting the next unsuspecting trekker. (Tip: Pull downward on the logs, not outward – not toward your body.)
The tallest ladder scaled a cliff and rings in at 200 feet tall with 110 steps.
Would my book inspire more people to climb Putucusi? With more people, would the access hours become limited? Would there soon be a charge? Would someone fall and cause the hike, like the Inca Bridge on Machu Picchu, to be closed to tourists access?
Putucusi Mountain at Km 111
There are many gorgeous images of the climb.
- Putucusi Mountain by Jorge Alvarado Carpio
- Aguas Calientes viewed from Putucusi
- Putucusi Mountain travel blog of Rachel John
- Putucusi Mountain You might consider a trek but whether you are alone or with just a few travelers, Putucusi is an amazing experience!
- Putucusi Travel Journal of Robert Wheat
- Putucusi trek in a group
- Putucusi Mountain trek with a group