Tejos Refuge is one of the highest roads of South America
Located in the Andes on the Argentina–Chile border, at an elevation of 5.800m (19,000ft) above the sea level, Refugio Tejos is commonly regarded as the highest mountain hut in the world. The track is extreme. Only4x4 vehicles with expert drivers. It's one of the highest roads of Chile.
The track is in dreadful condition and requires strong nerves to negotiate it. The refuge is on the route to Ojos del Salado, the roof of the Andes, the highest volcano on Earth and also the highest point in Chile and second in South America. It’s one of the highest roads of South America.
The climb is simply terrible, with a notorius lack of oxygen that tests the organisms and a high degree of steepness. It has a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards, and driving under these conditions, can be extremely challenging. This hut is L-shaped, having 6 beds in one end and a general room for gear and backpacks in the other end. The entrance is near the middle where you also find a good dining table.
The weather on this zone is harsh and highly unpredictable and it does not take much time for the bright sun shine to change over to moderate to heavy snow fall. A sudden drop in the temperature, even in summer, can trigger winter-like conditions. Left by a Chilean mining company years ago, and named for a helicopter pilot who crashed and died here after landing on the summit of Ojos del Salado, the structure was built on skids in the shape of an “L” and probably weighs several tons.
There is little room for error on this road. It's normal for your palms to sweat looking at those photos. It’s incredibly disorienting to look over the edge, or even just to see the valleys a couple thousand feet below you. It's one of the highest motorable roads in the world. It’s a mind numbing vertical drop of hundreds of meters so you might want to give it a miss on a windy day.
Pic: By sergejf (Refugio Tejos) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons