Cerro Armazones

Cerro Armazones

Cerro Armazones is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.060m (10,040ft) above the sea level, located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, the driest and remotest on Earth.

The road to the summit is asphalted. It was built to gain access to an astronomical observatory called European Extremely Large Telescope, a massive, 2,500 tons of steel which is being built at the summi. The road is pretty steep. To build the road the mountaintop was broken apart and bulldozed to a plateau large and strong enough to hold the enormous observatory. The wind is usually quite strong at mountain areas. High winds blow here all year long. Even in summer you can confront with snowy days. Temperatures here in the winter are brutally cold. With such a high summit altitude the road can be closed anytime due to snowfalls. The zone is prone to heavy mist and can be dangerous in low visibility conditions. Do not travel this road in severe weather conditions. It can often be treacherous, with ice and snow accumulating even in the summer, so exercise caution as you make your way. It is subject to winter snowfalls with such a high summit altitude, and the road can be closed anytime when the access is not cleared of snow. 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.

 

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