Everyday when I look out my window or go out of my house, I see a large mountain across the canyon. I had hiked up one trail a couple of times and found some Inca ruins at about 11,500 feet and also realized that the trail continued around to a new road that went up to the top of the mountain from the other side, and then on to some other villages. Later I rode my bike up the road, it took about 2 ½ hours to the junction with the foot trail but I didn’t have time to continue up any farther. The following week I hiked up a different trail and reached the top of the mountain, it is actually the rim of the canyon and beyond that there is a rolling high plain. I went to the nearest high point, which was 14,200 feet. This is 5,400 feet above my house.
From there I had a great view of the Canyon, the village of Cotahuasi and the snowcapped peak of Mt. Solimana across the canyon on the other rim. I also saw the road coming up from the backside and knew that one of my next outings would have to be to ride up the road, my first “14er” on a bike! When I say road, don’t think of anything like a nice paved mountain road in the U.S., we’re talking narrow gravel road like the fire roads going up the mountains in Southern California. It was summer but also the rainy season and usually the rain clouds come from that direction in the afternoon. I decided to give it a try on a Wednesday, about a week later, but when I woke up at 6:30 it was very cloudy and looked like it would start raining early. However by 8:00 it started to clear up so I decided to go for it.