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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anybody driven up there? It holds the world record for the highest altitude that a truck/car can reach! Over 21 thousand feet above sea level.
 

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I've not been there exactly but I have driven to mine sites at about 5000m in Peru/Bolivia/Chile and a little shy of 6000m for highest altitude driven in that area.
I experienced my only instance of altitude sickness on such a visit, it was far more debilitating than I would have expected. We drove there and had meetings and breakfast at what was about 4000m, then went to a much higher area to a shop which they said was, I think 5500m. I stepped out of the truck and stretched while arching my back, I suppose I was holding my breath while doing this (had been driving for 4 hours). When I stopped stretching, it went downhill rapidly; I became very dizzy and sat down in the seat. I couldn't regulate my body temp, it was snowing and I was damp with sweat despite pulling layers off and then vomited a few times.
I was given oxygen and felt totally normal, then I would try to go back to demonstrating what I was there for. This required limited physical effort and that would set me right back into the symptoms of altitude sickness. Turn to the medic, he hands me oxygen, good to go for a minute longer. It was strange.

they said it is typical that once your body reacts, it wont correct until you go back down. I only had a slight headache once we left.

if you get to do it, I would take supplemental oxygen with you if you are not very accustomed to high altitude. Driving to such a height required no effort. They warned me of the high altitude and I said "oh yeah I used to live in Colorado and hike the mountains, Ill be ok" they replied "that's exactly what everyone from Canada says".
the medic in conversation asked what altitude I live at, I replied 150m and his eyes went wide. also the day before I was in Lima which is sea level, that doesn't help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, that kind of altitude requires a long trip that takes many days and many refuges or camp sites to sleep at. To avoid altitude sickness, above 10,000 feet = 3 km, you have to drive few km per day, gaining no more than 1500 feet = 500 meters of elevation per day in order to get used to receding oxygen.
 
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