Paso internacional Pichachén is an international high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.123m (6,965ft) above the sea level, located on the border of Argentina and Chile.
The pass, also known as Cajon del Pichachen or Boquete de Antuco, links El Cholar (Argentina) and Moncol (Chile). To reach the summit, on the Chilean side, the road is called Ruta CH-5 and on the Argentinian side is Ruta Provincial 6. Both roads are gravel. It’s a real challenging road and a true test of your vehicle and your stamina because the road abounds in twists and turns with wheels sometimes hanging above the precipice. The road over the pass is gravel and sand and is closed in winters because the poor maintenance.
The climb is simply terrible. It has a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards, and driving under these conditions, can be extremely challenging. The air dryness and the oscillation of temperatures that takes place during the day and night is one of the features of this area. Day is warm by direct sun and nights are extremely cold.