The Inkatrail with paraglider


grafik_inca grafik_inca The ancient roads of the Inkas in Ecuador are conserved only at very few places. The main road through the high plain got completely erased/replaced by the Panamericana. Near Cuenca, the third largest city in the country, there is however a small remote piece left. This ecuadorian Inka Trail connects Achupallas with the largest conserved Inca structure of Ecuador: Incapirca.


Many hikers walk along here every year, but I am probably the first pinhead that besides tent and stove also carries along his entire paragliding equipment. I foresaw three launch possibilities when studying the maps for my project to fly the old Inka roads. Although the trek is well known and has been described quite often in books it became a lonely trip in a deserted landscape.
Pics: Ascent - Look back at the first pass down to the region of Achupallas at 3500 m (This by the way is exactly the spot where Rob Rachowiecky tells you to squeeze yourself through a small tunnel in the rocks.) - Further up - First night camp at he Laguna tres cruces at 4250 m.



After the second pass the next morning the main possibility for a launch: at the summit of the Quillaloma (quetch. moon summit) with view to the Laguna Culebrilla (small snake). Height difference to the presumed landing approximately 500 m.

Weather splendid but 35 km/h tail wind... waiting ...trying other launching possibilities near by, in order to take off against the wind ... My launching efforts from different spots last the whole day and at the end I spend the cold night on the summit at 4400 m. Then the next morning sense and sensibility overcome myself and I descend heavy hearted, heavily burdened by foot.



On the way down some of the traditional indigeneous ichu weed huts and their cattle - Look back to the Quillaloma: It could have been a perfect lauching site. - Big birds on their way down. They can do it, why, oh why can't I...

Already three days without flight, but we are still at 3800 m and Incapirca lies far below in the valley...

Completely down by foot to the holy grail. The hill in the background, which leads to the high plain where I come from would have been the last flying possibility, but the wind in the plain and the violent tree movements in the most different directions down in the valley which is covered by various high voltage transmission lines tells even the upperclass twit of the year that there are more turbulences in the air than health could afford.

Right above the small wall my friend and calamity, the wing of liberty squeezed into the grey-green Alpamayo backpack.

The first drag-along-your-paraglider of the Inkatrail is completed.



----------------------------------------------- With a paraglider above the Inca roads -----------------------------------------------