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On my first day of freshman year at USC, I became lab partners with another girl in biomedical engineering. Over the years, we’ve grown to become friends both in and out of the classroom. We’ve survived crazy climbing trips to Arizona and Utah as well as tough engineering assignments.

So when Irene called me a few months ago to hike the Inka trail with her, I just had to say yes!!

For those of you who don’t know, the Inka Trail refers to the main hike to Machu Picchu in Peru. We opted for the “classic” Inka Trail along with another one of our friends, Yuka. On this four day trip, we gained over 10,000 feet in elevation! It was certainly a huge challenge for us, but our trip wasn’t over after that.

In addition to the Inka Trail, my friends agreed to hike to Humanity Lake and Palcoyo (Rainbow Mountain) with me. These hikes were extremely steep and Palcoyo was situated at just over 16,000 feet. I honestly cannot think of anyone else who would agree to such a strenuous spring break, but Irene and Yuka certainly came through for me on this one. Thanks guys!!

After days of intense hiking, we treated ourselves to alpaca sweaters, beautiful lattes in Cusco, and fun social nights at the hostel. As a soon to be graduate, this trip was an incredible way to end my senior year. So grateful for adventurous friends like these at USC!

Timothy Harrington