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5-Day Glamping Salkantay to Machu Picchu Trek Luxury

Salkantay Trekking Guide Updated 2022


Also known as Salkantay, Snow Mountain of Peru is located in the department of Cuzco, it is one of the main elevations of the Cordillera de Vilcabamba, an extension of the Cordillera Oriental, a mountainous branch of the Peruvian Andes. It reaches an altitude of 6,271 meters. It has two snow-capped peaks, known as China Salkantay and Female Salkantay, separated by a pass that opens into the Santa Ana Valley in the province of Urubamba. Both the mountain pass and the course of the river that rises there are called Salkantay. This river pours its waters into the Urubamba on its left bank.

Our company has the Salkantay Trek, a trek that will take you to Machu Picchu.

Hence the name of Nevado Salkantay:

The name of this mountain is a contraction that comes from Salga = sullen or wild and Antay produces clouds or avalanches. It is usually preceded by the name of Apu, which in the Quechua language comes to mean lord, it is defined as great mountains that mean something sacred above the valleys. For example, Apu Salkantay in the Vilcabamba mountain range.

Snowy Salkantay ( 6,271) Source : Musical Henares, SL (Alcalá de Henares – Madrid)

The great white Apu. A bit of stories between ropes and crampons:

The Salkantay is one of the highest mountainous regions of Qosco (Cusco). The highest mountain is the Gran Agusánate with 65 meters more in the Vilcanota mountain range located further south. However, and without a doubt, it is the largest in its splendid isolation and in the greatness of its two-headed massif, to which is added the fact that it is one of the mountains of this magnificent Andean region that presents the greatest technical problems for all its slopes. This is attested to by the six itineraries open to date through the different slopes of this white giant.

Its conquest dates from 1952 by the Swiss rope made up of Bronimann and Marx.

This first ascent, like so many others in the history of mountaineering, is surrounded by various contradictions, since a few days later it is ascended again by a Franco-American expedition that included the well-known and relevant mountaineer of the time, Claude Kogan.

Modern statistics give the merit of being the first woman on the summit to the Italian Consuelo Bonaldi who on August 4, 1978 climbed Cresta Este accompanied by G.Marconi , A.Mangononi, F.Nodari, S.Castellani, Augusto Zanotti and M.Quatrinni, obviously this is a mistake, since Claude Kogan did it 26 years before.

The summit of Salkantay has two peaks, the East and the West, formerly the West, more slender and attractive than the East, which was slightly higher because it was crowned by a seracoa. After the passing of the years and the collapse of this serac, as the prestigious Pyrenean Louis Audoubert has pointed out, the height is practically identical on both peaks.

What happened on those two consecutive «first ascents» gave rise to the controversy that it had actually been the real first .

The Swiss climbed in the middle of the fog to the top of the East (the lowest in those days), the Americans however climbed to the West, which was somewhat higher so statistics, always implacable, want to deny Bronimman and Marx his first absolute ascent.

In 1953 it was climbed for the third time by the prestigious alpine guide Lionel Terray, who together with the Dutchman T. de Booy and the Swiss Raymond Jenny defeated the summit following a route along the north spur, now known as the Terray spur.

Years later, a German expedition attempts the summit by following the dangerous NE ridge which, with its cornices, does not favor transit… a relevant rope formed by Tony Mazenauer and Fritz Kasparrek (the latter conqueror of the north face of the Eiger) disappears in this ridge and the expedition has to be withdrawn.

Today there is a plaque commemorating that unfortunate event under the Palcay pass (the mountain’s usual base camp) and on a visible block of rock.

On August 23, 1975, it was the turn of a long and steep SE ridge for an Australian-New Zealand expedition consisting of Peter Jennings, Wayne Barton and Michael Andrews. This ascent was the ninth to the top.

Salkantay trek

Note: There is, in my opinion, a controversy as to the paternity of the first ascent of this SE ridge, since it consists of the previous achievement of a powerful group of Japanese who achieved the ascent by this route. Unfortunately, the only reference found in this Japanese ascent dates from a magazine Iwa a Yuki, written, of course, in Japanese, so without a translation of the text there is no concrete data.

The western edge of the Salkantay is a route that remains virgin after years given the complexity of its layout and the distance from the traditional approach points, which requires additional porterage based on dragging backpacks.

According to the prestigious Pyrenean Louis Audoubert, who climbed to the top via the northern slope in 1977, the western edge is feasible, but it will undoubtedly be a good problem to solve at the Andean level.

This crest was attempted in 1975 by a group of Catalan climbers from Mataró formed by Manuel Punsola and Mitjans, Miquel Sala and Roy, Xavier Varela and Pinart, Ramón Armengol and Carbó, Antoni Sors and Farre, Antoni Rosa and Olivera and Vicente Aris and Julta. .

On August 5, 1975, three members of this expedition approached the rim at an additional buttress on the north slope that had been previously recognized. They climb for a good part of the day until they reach a point with two possibilities that seem unattainable to them. The logic was to tackle the ice ridge, something impossible given the lack of material means. The other option would be to flank the slopes of the ridge to look for the hill between the two Salkantay peaks.

At a certain point of this great flanking, which they calculate will take a whole day, they decide to abandon due to the large number of avalanches coming off the ridge and which are obviously an objective danger of the first order. The Catalan climbers consider that the difficulties up to that moment have not been important or dangerous either, but moving away from the obvious route of the ridge, which would require greater human and material equipment, considerably increases the risk.

Coming from Mollepata, the first view we will have of Salkantay is on its overwhelming south face a huge wall that closes the bottom of the valley with its vertical seracs hanging from huge rocky spurs, this wall could not fail to attract the attention of those who try to complicate a little their lives for sheer personal satisfaction, so in 1970 a powerful group of Germans from the Munich DAV composed of Walter Welsh, J.Vogt, H.Koebrich, H.Haver and M.Olzowy made a worthy attempt on the left side of the wall, leaving quite high on the ridge that descends to the western summit of Salkantay.

In 1986 an English group led by J.Lowe made their way up this slope attacking the rocky base to the right of the German attempt in the 1970s. the mountain.

On June 15, 1978, a powerful Slovenian Planinska Zveza expedition, made up of Libor Anderle, Zoran Breslin, Marjan Brisar, Edi Torkar, Jure Zvan and Jure Ulcar, accompanied by Dr. Borut Pirc and Matjaz Derzaj as coordinator, inaugurated in a week of exploration and climbing an intelligent route along the eastern slope of the mountain, the Slovenian route, which without detracting from the difficulty, is the most feasible option to try to reach the top.

The second ascent to this route was made by the Mexican Roberto Morales Puebla and companion on June 17, 1978 and the third by Los Vascos de San Sebastián, Iñígo and Jesús Mª Barandiarán, José Luís Conde and Jesús Mª Rodríguez accompanied by Alberto Cabezón and José Antonio Fernández de Aranguiz on July 3 of the same year, which makes it the first ascent of mountaineers in the Spanish State.

The Salkantay has been visited by mountaineers from all over the world, French, Swiss, North Americans, New Zealanders, Poles, Austrians, Germans, Mexicans, Slovenians, Slovenians, Spanish (Asturians, Basques, Andalusians, Catalans)… . who have traversed its always steep slopes…. some lived the light of the reward of the top… others, a great majority, had to withdraw when the chance of triumph escaped between the ledges.

Salkantay Snow Mountain Location:

The Salkantay Route, also known as the “New Inca Trail”, is located north of the city of Cusco, following the Cusco – Limatambo – Abancay – Lima highway, making a detour between Limatambo and Mollepata.

Salkantay snowy weather:

It is very sunny during the day, but cold at night. The temperature drops below 0°C at night during the months of June to September. In the season from December to March it is very rainy so it is not recommended to go on these dates.

The best time to do this walk is during the months of March to September.

Altitude of Salkantay Snow Mountain  hike

This trek reaches a height of 4,600 meters above sea level at its highest point is on the slopes of the same snowy Salkantay. Get into Ausangate 5D Snowy Walk to do this little hike.

How to get to the snowy mountain of Salkantay

The buses from Cusco to Mollepata leave very early from 4 am to 5 am and pass through Limatambo, from Mollepata is where the trek to the snowy Salkantay begins, after climbing a step it is possible to have an impressive pyramidal view of Salkantay, one of the mountains most beautiful snowfall in Cusco.

From Mollepata it takes two days to descend to Huayllabamba and join the second day of the Inca Trail.

What you will see on the way

Along the way you can see herds of cattle and sheep, orchids, a spectacled bear, medicinal plants from the Inca era, a small variety of birds, fruit trees such as orange, papaya, bananas, and so on.

Note: The eye of the glasses to see it is necessary to have a little luck.


It is very important to the traveler. Bring your original passport for the respective controls.


  • March: (a little rain)
  • From April to October: (an excellent trip)
  • From October to November: (a little rain)
  • December to February: (a lot of rain)
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