Abra Fundición

Abra Fundición

Abra Fundición is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 5.050m (16,568ft) above the sea level, located in the province of Salta, in northwestern Argentina. The road to reach the pass is extreme and not for people afraid of heights. It's one of the highest roads of Argentina.

The road to the summit is called Carretera 69. It’s a zigzagging unpaved road full of hairpin turns. It starts in La Quiaca and ends in Nazareno. It’s gravel and with extreme cliffs. The road is narrow, there is no place for someone to come forward. The road does not allow mistakes. There are sheer drops virtually along the entire route and enough hairpins to make a whirling dervish dizzy. The road encompasses miles of stunning views through twisty hair pin corners, high elevations and steep grades. There are some narrow sections -scarcely wide enough for one car- where if two vehicles have to pass each other, one might have to reverse for some kilometers of winding narrow road to get to a place wide enough to pass. It shouldn’t be attempted by those who don't know how to reverse.

This road tests the skill, and courage, of any driver. It’s definitely not for anyone suffering from vertigo or a fear of landslides. The road is surrounded by colourful mountains and bizarrely eroded rock walls. In many places the road is bordered by a drop of hundreds of meters (many hundreds of feet) unprotected by guardrails. 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.
Pic: ConstantiNET