Here lies the highest point of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru; the mountain pass of Abra Warmiwanuska – more unnervingly known as Dead Woman’s Pass. I was hiking in the Andes with two couples, one English, the other Canadian, all with a medical background. Lucky really – because I faced this climb with a body numbed by altitude sickness. Photographs were far from my mind when staggering up above the clouds at 4,215 m (13,800 ft). The reward however, on reaching the summit of this torturous stone staircase, is one of raw nature and ragged mountain peaks – and was suitably breathtaking.
The above image has sold for reproduction in a Frommer’s travel guide to Peru. A second picture from the summit of Dead Woman’s Pass, showing a lone porter starting his mountain descent, accompanies a recent article in the Telegraph newspaper.