We flew into Cusco with remarkable views of the Andes as we descended onto the tarmac. After touching down and exiting the plane, we immediately felt the altitude. A man walked around passing out some coca leaves, and we grabbed a handful as we passed, putting some in our mouths, trying to chew away the lightheadedness. Looking around at each other, with mouthfuls of green, dry leaves, we knew it was going to be a wild ride.
Our ride arrived at 3am for the famous Ausangate, or Rainbow Mountain. We only had a few days in town and we decided we had to catch this unbelievable geological spectacle with our own eyes (and feet). The mountains obtain its colors from layers upon layers of eroding sedimentary rock.
We had assembled quite a crew of runners who we had met along the way: two speedy Argentines, a young couple from Ireland, a Columbian transplant living in Cusco, and us Americans.
In a rush, we had skipped breakfast and paid the price as we were a group of complete zombies by the time we made it to the summit of 16,500 ft. Staring out at the layers of color, representing millions of years of erosions, we couldn't help but let our imaginations wander.
We've spent the past two years crafting a purely technical travel running garment, and we began to put it to the full test at Rainbow Mountain. The long-sleeve kept us cool and dry as we transitioned up the zigzagging trail, wicking sweat away fast. It didn't even stink the next day and we proudly wore it again running around the city.
The Jacquaro Jacket held up through the transitioning temperatures we experienced on our hike/run up to the summit. Light and breathable at the warm base, it fought the intense wind up at the summit. The pattern, inspired by the many textured layers of the mountains, fit in pretty nicely as well. We're packing this one on every trip.