Ausangate Trek March or June

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Jan 9th, 2019, 04:29 PM
  #1
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Ausangate Trek March or June

These forums have helped plan epic itineraries before- so here we go again...advice please!

I am planning to take the Andean Lodges- Ausangate Trek as I really enjoyed the Mountain Lodges of Peru- Salkantay trek. I understand the lodges are more rustic, that is fine; and the altitude is more of a challenge, fine as well.
Has anyone been on the Ausangate Trek?
March may be rainier than June- but warmer. Is one month a better choice?
I hiked in Torres del Paine in March and it poured every day and it was an amazing trip. So the rain is not an issue as long as the footing on a precipice is not compromised.

I have read this trek is just as, if not more, stunning than Salkantay. True?
I am planning 3 nights in the Sacred Valley with hiking to acclimatize.

Thank you in advance!

The other option if this is not a great March idea (mid March) I may go to the Ayres region of Patagonia, Peurto Tranquilo and the lake region.
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Jan 12th, 2019, 01:20 PM
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I don't know this hike. Ausengate is not far from the equator and although it's techically winter it's really a question of more rain or less rain and the condition of the trails if this is a hike below the snowline.. it will always be cold at altitude. I would go in June and depending on how high the hike goes, you might need to acclimatize at a higher elevation such as Cusco.
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Jan 15th, 2019, 04:16 AM
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If the rain doesn’t bother you and your are staying in lodges, why not March? Rain on the trails would be an issue for me (but I am very accident prone!) so I would definitely choose June but mainly because the skies will be clearer with better views.

Temperature wise, it is always going to be cold at those altitudes at night, March or June but you will be in a Lodge rather than tent so it won’t matter.

Acclimatisation in Cusco rather that the SV will likely be required by the trek company. 3 days is ok from the AMS perspective, but I would would like longer before setting out on a long trek based on previous experience. Yours may be different.

Last edited by crellston; Jan 15th, 2019 at 04:33 AM.
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Jan 16th, 2019, 05:39 AM
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Thank you, yes the slippery trail is my one concern. The rains are typically in the afternoon.

I am considering the temperatures as they do have a wide range between March and June, and the lodges I am considering have no heat, so they will match the outside temperature in the evening and the morning -2c March -17c June.

I will look into acclimatization in Cusco as well, I thought day hikes out of SV would be enough. Better safe than sorry though- I too have had AMS.
Thank you.
I will revisit my plans and perhaps go further South to Ayres Chile.
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Jan 16th, 2019, 06:36 AM
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I looked up that hike. If you've already had AMS I probably would reconsider doing this hike. One of the nice things about Torres del Paine is that it is relatively low elevations, of course costs a bit more to get there. March would likely be a good month for Patagonia where you may get the gorgeous fall colors.

https://trailtopeak.com/2017/05/11/a...omplete-guide/
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Jan 16th, 2019, 07:29 AM
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Thank you for your reply.
It is my understanding that past occurrences of AMS are not an indication or contraindication of another occurrence. I had AMS 12 yrs ago at 11,500' and have not experienced it again having been to 11,500' regularly and 16,500' twice.
(Red eye flight+Red Bull breakfast+hiking at 11,500' within 5 hrs of arriving from sea level = AMS)
I have NOT made that mistake again. A recipe for disaster.

I completely agree with TDP being fantastic in March and I would return this year in a heartbeat. I was there last year and enjoyed over 100 miles of hiking, yet still much more to see. However, a travel partner has stated, "For that amount of money I want to try somewhere new.". Hence the further afield in Chile to perhaps the Lake District or Aysen Region.
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Jan 16th, 2019, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by mlgb View Post
I looked up that hike. If you've already had AMS I probably would reconsider doing this hike. One of the nice things about Torres del Paine is that it is relatively low elevations, of course costs a bit more to get there. March would likely be a good month for Patagonia where you may get the gorgeous fall colors.

https://trailtopeak.com/2017/05/11/a...omplete-guide/
Thank you for the link! Very informative, I had not seen that one.
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Jan 16th, 2019, 09:35 AM
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My first time at altitude, Mt Kinabalu (4400m) in Borneo was ok but it only involved an overnight at a lodge @ 3000 m or so and a dawn climb. It was tough but ok. My next time was in Cusco ( 3400m) and I felt terrible, sickness, terrible headache etc. i.e. AMS some oxygen and a couple of days and I was ok.

Subsequent visits I have not faired anywhere near as badly, but as we have spent extended periods at altitude - several months for each of several years. I am wondering whether I am just getting used to it or maybe it is just because I am getting older - older people are supposed to be affected less - allegedly

That said, on our penultimate trip to Peru we flew into Lima and then went immediately to Huaraz and did the Laguna 69 trek to 4800m. That time was my first using Diamox. I was amazed at the difference it made! May be worth considering.

Not wishing to add complications but have you considered the Cordiillera Blanca? There are some stunning multi day treks in the region. We just did day treks, but people we met were raving about the Santa Cruz trek which continues on from Laguna 69.

Some there are afew posts with lots of photos in te Peru section of our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/peru/
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