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Cerro Cañapa

Cerro Cañapa is a high mountain peak at an elevation of 5.629m (18,467ft) above the sea level, located in the Nor Lípez province of the Bolivian department of Potosí, close to the border with Chile. It’s one of the highest mountain roads of the country.

The road to the summit is extreme. It’s a track ascending to the top as it also allows access to a mine. Only 4x4 vehicles with high clearance. It can be impassable anytime due to stone collapses and landslides. Due to the high elevations and exposure, the road is subject to strong winds and rapid weather changes. Be prepared for the cold and wind! High winds blow here all year long. Even in summer you can confront with snowy days. Temperatures here in the winter are brutally cold. Adverse weather conditions can prompt closure of the road. It can often be treacherous, with ice and snow accumulating even in the summer, so exercise caution as you make your way. It’s one of the highest roads of South America.
Do not take this drive if you have respiratory problems or any type of heart condition. Babies under 4 months of age should not make the ascent, either. 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 travel dangerous and difficult.
Pic: By profe_miguel - originally posted to Flickr as Uyuni-4846, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7056913

 

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