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Ticlio Pass (Abra Anticona)

Ticlio Pass, a hairy drive through the Andes

Ticlio Pass (also called Abra Anticona) is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 4.818m (15,807ft) above the sea level, located in the Cordillera Central of the Peruvian Andes. The pass is said to be, incorrectly, the highest paved road in South America and it's traversed by paved Carretera Central Ruta 22, between Lima and La Oroya. 

The surface of the road is asphalted, and chains or snow tyres can be required throughout the year. Potentially you’ll be dodging giant boulders falling from above, but the view at the end of the paved road is worth nearly dying for. The pass lies at km 171 just on the Pacific side of the Andes watershed, in the Morococha District in the Yauli Province of Peru. The road is absolutely rammed with trucks and coaches. It’s a deathtrap for cyclists – avoid at all costs!
This road is usually open all year, but it can be closed anytime when the access is not cleared of snow. This hairy drive sweeps through the Andes and has prayer-inducing bends, suicidal wild lamas darting out of the scenery and mountains prone to landslides.

The pass is also known as Nevado de Ticlio. Do not take this drive if you have respiratory problems or any type of heart condition. Notorius lack of oxygen that tests the organisms and a high degree of steepness. Most people feel altitude sickness at around 2,500-2,800 meters. Extremely low oxygen for engine combustion. A major hazard of altitude is the sickness that can indiscriminately affect anyone regardless of age or fitness. The summit has about 40% less oxygen than at sea level, thus breathing is more difficult. Your pulse rate will increase and movement will be more laborious at the summit. The high elevation with its risk of altitude sickness, weather concerns, steep road grade, and overall inaccessibility make the pass dangerous and summit trips difficult. The summit marks the border between Lima province and Junin region, and the Continental Divide of South America.


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