San Pedro de Atacama
Climbed by PJAMM September 21, 2017
This is the highest paved pass in the Americas at 15,578’. In contrast to Central and Northern South America (e.g. Colombia), this is a stark climb in the high Andes desert with minimal to no vegetation to be seen. Yet, this is a dramatically stark and beautiful climb which we are very glad we spent the time to get to.
Start the climb at 8,300’.
Finish 21 miles / 34 km.
We are in site of Volcan Licancabur most of the climb.
Stratovolcano on the border between Chile and Bolivia.
We are in site of Volcan Licancubur (on the Chile/Bolivia border) nearly the entire climb.
Miles 10-18 (km 6 to 29) are steep and can be quite cold.
Yep – snow!
Just about to the top.
This climb appears to have been “discovered” by cyclists in 2014 when the “Atacama Challenger” first shows up on Strava May 2, 2015, and then annually thereafter on May 1, 2015, April 29, 2016 and May 1, 2017.
Beware of weather - it can sweep in instantly!
Photo: PJAMM friend and contributor Ard Oostra, Switzerland.