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The Sacred Mountain of Salkantay: Its Landscape, Power and Ancestors

The Sacred Mountain of Salkantay: Its Landscape, Power and Ancestors

For the people of the Andes, the Apus reverence and sacred mountains, converted into local protectors, did not go unnoticed at the time, so, as the Salkantay mountains, including the surrounding ones, assume an important role into the Andean worldview. For example the Waqay Willke snowy peak (5720 m), within the traditional Andean symbolism of dualistic thinking, is considered the complement of Salkantay Trek Operator, that is one of the most powerful and active deities of the place, and it is appreciated by the people, the father of all the mountains in the region and even nowadays is held in great veneration, so Machupicchu and Choquechurco holds an intimate visual contact with the Salkantay and other snowy peaks of the Vilcabamba chain – Okidoki Travel Peru Operator.

The Salkantay trek, along with the Inca Trail original, is considered the best trek route to Machu Picchu. The first route is the most challenging as it covers almost 70 kilometers through Andean landscapes and tropical. The highest point of the trek is the Salkantay pass (at 6,271 masl), a pass close to the famous snow-capped peak of Cusco. The lowest point is in the town of Santa Teresa, located at 1,550 meters above sea level. During this arduous walk you will be able to see: the snowy Salkantay, the Humantay lagoon, the Cocalmayo thermal baths, the town of Aguas Calientes and, of course, Machu Piccho, one of the 7 wonders of the world. The Salkantay trek tour includes everything you need for a safe and well-organized walk. Includes pick up, complete transportation, professional guide, food, transfer of utensils on horseback, camping (and hotel reservation), entrance to Machu Picchu and more. The adventure lasts 5 days and 4 nights and is available all year long. For many it is the best adventure in the trip to Cusco and Peru. An unforgettable trek with okidoki travel peru operator!

The Vilcabamba chain – Trek Operator:

The sacred and administrative llaqta of Machupicchu is located between important snow-capped mountains on the eastern slope of the Vilcabamba mountain range, “Salkantay Trek, (Trekking Humantay Yanantay and Tokorhuay that surround it) and Waqay Willke”1 whose mountains, objects of worship, allow a social cohesion that revolves around their veneration, for being these providers of water, a vital element, principle of existence in the Andean world, as well as generating fertility in animals, protection for their inhabitants and success in harvests in the valleys.

In the cult of the mountains in the area (Salkantay Trek), religious, political and economic factors are involved; important within the process of social development of their communities, the same ones that have been present for centuries, and that are and were very familiar to the Andean inhabitants of all times (Cusco – Peru).

The current vision of the inhabitants of the Sacred Mountain Salkantay (Mollepata, Machupicchu, Santa Teresa, Wayraqmachay, Collpapampa, Totora, Yanama) in force since the time of the Inca society, is shared by Andean peoples, in such a way that the area is known for the reverence to the sacred mountains, hardly ignored and that without a doubt play a vital function throughout the time – Okidoki Operator.

These sacred mountains Salkantay Trek are located within the delimitation polygon of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Piccho (SHM), declared as such by Supreme Decree No. 001-81-AA of January 8, 1981, with an area of 32,592 ha. In the same way, in the buffer zone (ZA) of the SHM specified by executive resolution No. 322-2001-INRENA of September 16, 2004, which proposes the expansion of the ZA from including continuous immediate hydrographic basins to the SHM area, increasing the area of the ZA from those in force by 71,589 ha to 193,334 ha. Finally, it is also considered within the National Archaeological Park of Vilcabamba – Choquequirao Trek, declared by national directorial resolution No. 949/INC, dated October 9, 2002, which resolves: “Approve the Delimitation Plan of the Vilcabamba National Archaeological Park ( Choquequirao trek), Map No. V-01, dated July 2002, with an area of 522,878.30 hectares and a perimeter of 367.09 kilometers, at a scale of 1: 125,000, located in the provinces of La Convención, Anta and Abancay , in the departments of Cusco and Apurímac”.

Evolution and distribution of glaciers in the chain of the sacred Salkantay Trek Operator:

At the time when the glacial areas of the Aobamba basin reached their maximum development, the glaciers probably descended to an elevation of 2950 m and as environmental climatic conditions changed, a deglaciation process began, observed for a part that, according to the pre-existing morphology, developed the main glacial stream along the bed of the Aobamba valley, which during its retreat was subdivided into the areas of the tributary ravines, generating in the latter, the secondary glacial basins, such as in the cases of the Mesada, Tokorhuay, Paccha Grande, Sisaypampa and Orcospampa, which are the longest running in the upper area of the main basin. On the other hand, on the slopes of the flanks of the valley where the slopes are steep, the glacial retreat of the fronts occurred almost parallel to the longitudinal axis of the main sacred glacial stream.

Currently, the glaciers that belong to Aobamba are concentrated around the Palkay (5422 m), Salkantay Trek (6264m) and Tokorhuay (5473m) hills, evidently year after year they continue to lose extension and volume. In the last thirty years the rate of glacial melting has increased rapidly, the causes of this melting being attributed to greenhouse effects – okidoki travel peru operator.

Peru – Salkantay Trekking Group:

Salkantay, 6,264 meters high, is the most important snow-capped mountain in the Vilcabamba mountain range and occupies the southern position of the Aobamba valley basin. The Sisaypampa, Orcospampa and Paccha Grande streams are born from its slopes. In 1963, five main glaciers were inventoried as belonging to the Aobamba river basin, located on the northern side of the mountain and oriented to the northeast and northwest. Of these, four correspond to the mountain type and one to the sacred valley type.

The total glacier surface of the snowy Salkantay in the area of the Aobamba basin, in 1963 was 8.59 km2 and in 1998, according to the satellite image, it was 3.98 km2. Consequently, a reduction of 4.61 km2 of ice has been found, which corresponds to a loss of glacier area of 53.8% for a period of 35 years. Currently the lower edge of the Salkantay glacier area is at ± 4800 masl, and due to the accelerated deglaciation process, this level will continue to rise in the coming years. From the geodynamic point of view, it is in the Salkantay sector that five events have been generated between 1996 and 1998.

Three of the four that occurred in the Aobamba river basin and that occurred on July 12, 1996, March 12, and November 22, 1998, originated from the rupture and detachment of hanging glacial masses. The alluvium of February 27, 1998 that caused the damming of the Vilcanota River and affected the Machupicchu hydroelectric power station, occurred as a result of a solifluxion process that originated on the outer slope of the frontal moraine arch that encloses the glacier tongue, whose flow in the initial section where there is a rock step of approximately 80 m of unevenness, increased its speed and destruction capacity. Many parts of the mountain where slope changes occur in the base rock of type granite and the glacial masses have had little thickness, the latter have already ablated, leaving more and more exposed rock surfaces, for which reason the main ice currents are subdividing and to the extent that the deglaciation process continues at the rate in that has been taking place, in the coming years it is inferred that there will be sectors in the lower area of Salkantay that will appear as isolated ice deposits, with a tendency to become extinct – oki doki operator.

Regarding the aspect of risks, the loss of glacier area and the ostensible decrease in the volume of ice not only in Salkantay, but also in the rest of the glaciers, translates as a favorable situation in the sense that avalanches and collapses of the masses of ice will be smaller and smaller – oki doki operator. In the same way, it has been observed that the lower zone of the glaciers that belong to the Salkantay, and from where the avalanches mentioned in previous lines were produced, are currently thin and lie on rock surfaces of medium slope; Just from the terminal front of glacier No. 15, which is located in the upper left part of the Salkantay lagoon, there are continuous ice collapses that fall directly on the glacier mass in the process of extinction that is generating the formation and development of lagoons.

Historical Summary of the scope of the Salkantay Operator Project:

The positions and approaches regarding the occupation process of the study area have been established since the pre-Inka era, as a primordial stage, in which the first hierarchical societies based on worship, agriculture, livestock and, in our case, the domain of the Ecological floors, those that were organized from nearby towns, such as Mollepata, related to the cult of the Apu Salkantay. This territory reports little historical information on its pre-Inka past; however, the investigations of Modesto Layme Sotelo go back from the years 945-1006 AD. This is based on a series of archaeological remains that he located in places like Taramoqo, Chilcapata, Qotomarka, etc. The chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega (1609) reports that: “this area was inhabited by the Rimactampus who would be conquered by the first Inca Manco Capac”.

In a report made in 1586, Peru indicated that the name of Mollepata still came from the “time of the Inga” and meant “anden de molles”, Mollepata together with Pampaconga, Patallacta, and Chonta were peoples of the Inca and the sun, that is to say, they were servants of the Inca. Waldemar Espinoza (1975), contrasting the relationship of 1586 with a document of evidence and information of 1575, indicates that the vast majority of the population that inhabited the banks of the Apurímac and Pachachaca rivers were mitimaes brought from the Peruvian coast or from other Yungas areas. Andean (Cañarís or Chachapoyas) who, in many cases, had been transferred to these areas – Cusco Peru Operator.

Continuing with the relationship of 1586, this indicated that the inhabitants of Mollepata were under the command of a curaca and worshiped the sun and trees, stones and that they paid tribute to chili peppers and corn and that they also kept cattle from the land for the guacas they worshiped, their clothing it consisted of tank tops with a blanket that they put on top and had their hair long. Their diet consisted of corn, chili, potatoes, quinoa, ocas, chochos and yuyu, the extensive description itself gives more references about the scope of the salkantay trek operator project:

Likewise, in the area there were various trees such as alder, chachacomo, quishuar, and molle which served as charcoal, firewood and to make tables and chairs and for the construction of houses, apart from corn, chili peppers and potatoes, fruits were produced Calls from the land such as guavas, lucmas, granadillas, cucumbers and plums, medicinal plants such as chichera were used to heal wounds. The houses were made of adobes that were covered with wood and straw, the land was rugged and infested with lions (pumas), bears, wild cats and foxes, as well as deer, guanacos and partridges. Mollepata was crossed by two important rivers, the mighty Bermejo River and the Blanco River, the latter coming from from the puna of the snows of this mountain range that they call Machu Piccho Salcantay.

In relation to this ethnohistorical quote, which helps us to see the town of Mollepata at Machu Picchu since Inka times, they basically lived in warm places like Marcahuasi, Cotomarca, Qonoc or Cachu (current Bellavista) who were mitimaes, who had been settled by the Inkas Topa Ynga Yupangui and Guayna Capac, chroniclers such as Murua (1590) and Cobo (1653) speak of a chief named Caruarayco or Carbayayso, who was curaca of Cotomarca in the time of Manco Inga, this apparently was a Cañari chief who had been posted by Guayna Capac.

Already with the presence of the Spaniards in the territories of the old Tawantinsuyu, Mollepata was granted as a commission, first in 1536 to the Núñez de Mercado factor, then in 1548 the peacemaker La Gasca would revoke said commission in favor of Captain Lope Suazo. Marcahuasi as an inheritance or private land would be granted by royal mercy to the secretary of La Gasca: Don Pedro López de Cazalla,5 in 1569 already with Francisco de Toledo as viceroy of Peru Mollepata was entrusted to Doña Francisca Robles, widow of Captain López de Suazo, In the visit and tax made by this viceroy in 1570, it was indicated that in this distribution, from Mollepata – Salcantay, 69 tributary Indians were found, 9 old and handicapped Indians who did not pay tax, 69 boys aged 17 and under, 186 women of all ages and state that in total they made were 353 people who paid a rate of 390 pesos of tested and marked silver – Oki doki Operator. It is precisely in this period that the reduction or accommodation of the indigenous people of Mollepata began in a western-style Indian town, which is the origin of the current town of Mollepata, this town would be placed under the invocation of the patron Santiago, which is why that would be called Santiago de Mollepata, this causes the population that was settled since Inka times in various places in the area to be brought together in one place, losing control of the lands that they had previously used, in 1586 most of the population indigenous people had disappeared, a situation that would be taken advantage of by various Spaniards who began to access the dispossessed lands to the natives settling in them private properties and haciendas of the Spanish invaders.

In a report made in 1689, the priest of Limatambo Joseph de Mesa Guerrero indicated that in Mollepata there were 18 haciendas, one ranch and five seats, this indicates that the ownership of the land was in usufruct by private owners, the only property that still remained in hands of the natives was the estancia of Charqueccolca, for this time the original natural population of Mollepata was made up of only 44 Indians, 47 Indians and 29 children, both men and women. At this time, a large presence of foreign Indians was already noticeable, a total of 117, who had been brought from various parts to work on the haciendas (Villanueva 1980 : 213 Machu Picchu). After 1689, the thread of Mollepata’s historical past is lost until the beginning of the Republic, 1834 to be exact, the date on which the president of the republic, José Luis de Orbegozo, makes his I pass through this town which is described as being surrounded by two hills called Tilca and Molleccasa. At that time, Mollepata was, since 1819 or 1821, the obligatory pass through which the road that came from Lima to Cusco – Machu Picchu ran (Blanco White 1974: 117).





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