highest paved highway in the world?

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MichaelJ

 
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highest paved highway in the world?

by MichaelJ » Sun May 09, 2010 7:02 am

Google (and other sources) usually point to the Karakoram Highway as the highest highway in the world, with its highpoint being the Khunjerab Pass at around 4,700 meters. It's Wikipedia entry covers its ass by calling it the highest "international highway."

But the Tibet Friendship Highway runs through two passes claimed to be over 5,000 meters and long sections are at over 4,000 meters. The Friendship Highway is just about completely paved now, so it would seem to be the winner.

Am I wrong? I guess I should cover my own ass by saying I'm referring to the highest highway, not highest paved pass or small stretch of road, in the world.

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butitsadryheat

 
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by butitsadryheat » Sun May 09, 2010 8:43 am

Corax's page on the front page talks of roads over 5400m. The Xinjiang Highway (same?).

Stunningly beautiful country. It doesn't 'look' like it is that high (if that makes sense)

http://www.summitpost.org/mountain/rock/369454/Sirengou-I.html

This is at 5100m

Image

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Diego Sahagún

 
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by Diego Sahagún » Sun May 09, 2010 10:29 am

That's not a paved highway (?)

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SpiderSavage

 
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by SpiderSavage » Sun May 09, 2010 3:37 pm

Pike's Peak?

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Baarb

 
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by Baarb » Sun May 09, 2010 4:05 pm


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Bruno

 
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Re: highest paved highway in the world?

by Bruno » Sun May 09, 2010 5:42 pm

Not sure how exactly we should define “Highway”, but by no means the Karakoram Highway is the highest paved highway. Here some precisions:

MichaelJ wrote:the Tibet Friendship Highway runs through two passes claimed to be over 5,000 meters

The Friendship Highway (road G318) has 3 actually passes over 5’000m in its stretch between Lhasa and the Nepal border. The altitude may vary considerably according to the maps, here below the GPS readings:
1) Gyatso La, altitude 5260m, located between Lhatse and Tingri (in some maps Gyatso La is mentioned as as Langpa La / Lagpa La / Lhakpa La / Maphu La), Lat28°57'06"N Lon 87°26'15"E
2) Lalung La, alt. 5025m, located between Tingri and Nyalam, Lat 28°36'50"N Lon 86°08'08.90"E
3) Thong La, altitude 5146m, located between Tingri and Nyalam (in some maps Thong La is mentioned as Yakri Shungla), Lat 28°30'59.20"N Lon 86°10'01.60"E

MichaelJ wrote:The Friendship Highway is just about completely paved now

Correct, but the highest pass on the road at an altitude 5260m, Gyatso La, is paved since 2005 or 2006. So the recent paving in 2009 of the stretch between Tingri and the border (including Lalung La and Thong La) had no influence on the “highest paved highway” title.


MichaelJ wrote:so it would seem to be the winner

By your definition of paved highway, yes the FH is probably is the highest since 2005-2006 (paving of Gyatso La), but the previous “winner” was not Khunjerab pass, neither other passes in the Andes. Tanggu La (also spelled Dang La or Tanggula Shankou) located on the Qinghai – Tibet Higway (road G109) is the highest pass on the road, with an altitude of 5230m. My guess is that this road is asphalted since a few decades, although I’m not sure since when exactly.

butitsadryheat wrote:Corax's page on the front page talks of roads over 5400m. The Xinjiang Highway (same?).

There are several unpaved highways with passes over 5400m, but the highest isn’t precisely on the Xinjiang – Tibet Highway (road G219 between Kargilik and Lhatse). The highest pass is actually Semo La, Lat 30°06'36.0"N Lon 85°25'54.1"E, with an altitude of 5565m. Semo La is located on road S206 between Raga and Gertse; road S206 may correspond to the definition of a highway, in the sense that it is the most transited road between Lhasa/Shigatse and Ali in western Tibet. My guess is that it will be asphalted over the next few years.

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Scott
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by Scott » Sun May 09, 2010 8:09 pm

Paved highways:

The highway between La Paz Bolivia and Arica Chile was paved some years ago. It's highpoint is supposedly 5030 meters (~16,500 feet). I don't know the elevations of the ones in NW China China and Pakistan. They may be higher (see post above).

What about the road to the North Everest Base Camp? Didn't China pave that one for the Olympics? If so, that would put it at 5360 meters (17,590 feet). I don't know if it would be considered to be a highway though.

Unpaved highways/roads:

Supposedly, the new main road between Adagua Peru and Arequipa reaches 5500 meters (18,000+ feet) east of Coropuna, but the road isn't on any maps, so this is hard to verify and looking at the map, personally I am somewhat skeptical. Unfortunately as well, buses only run at night, so I couldn't follow the map accurately by starlight.

Aucanquilcha Bolivia has the highest unpaved road that I know of. The road reaches 6050 meters (19,849 feet), but since the mine near the summit closed, rockslides have blocked the road at 5500 meters (18,044 feet), but some people still mountain bike it!

Pike's Peak?


If interested, that one isn't even the highest in Colorado, nor is it paved. Mount Evans has the highest paved road in Colorado. The mining roads on Mount Lincoln and Mount Bross are also higher than the one on Pikes.

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butitsadryheat

 
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by butitsadryheat » Sun May 09, 2010 9:12 pm

Diego Sahagún wrote:That's not a paved highway (?)


He wrote:I'm referring to the highest highway, not highest paved pass or small stretch of road, in the world.

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jrbrenvt

 
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by jrbrenvt » Sun May 09, 2010 9:19 pm

Image

If this sign were correct this might be it. I would call it more of a road then a "highway" though. It was paved from what I recall (it was 2007 when I was there). Not to mention everyone in my group who had an altimeter were reading in the mid 17K's... But fun sign nonetheless. The altimeter readings seem to be backed up by the wikipedia page for Khardung La. I am quite sure this road exists for Indian military purposes but tourists make use of it as well.

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Baarb

 
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by Baarb » Sun May 09, 2010 10:32 pm

peladoboton wrote:the highway that runs from northern chile over into boliva is well over 4500 and goes by parinacota, pomperape, and cerrop samja, all peaks i have visited but never had the dang time to climb!!!


The frontier on this road is round about 4530 m according to the GPS I pulled out there a couple of weeks back and the road doesn't really get much higher on either side. But given the other stronger contenders mentioned it's not really an issue I suppose.

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Lolli

 
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by Lolli » Sun May 09, 2010 10:46 pm

Corax would likely know, this bicycle trip graph is from his webpage. It seems as a pretty high one, but if highest?

Image

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Diego Sahagún

 
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by Diego Sahagún » Sun May 09, 2010 11:07 pm

butitsadryheat wrote:
Diego Sahagún wrote:That's not a paved highway (?)


He wrote:I'm referring to the highest highway, not highest paved pass or small stretch of road, in the world.

Change the thread title then

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mrchad9

 
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by mrchad9 » Sun May 09, 2010 11:42 pm

Diego Sahagún wrote:
butitsadryheat wrote:
Diego Sahagún wrote:That's not a paved highway (?)


He wrote:I'm referring to the highest highway, not highest paved pass or small stretch of road, in the world.

Change the thread title then

Agree w Diego. Seems to be about highest paved highway. And the last sentence is saying that just bc it's paved isn't enough, it still needs to be a highway.

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John Duffield

 
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by John Duffield » Mon May 10, 2010 12:18 am

jrbrenvt wrote:Image

If this sign were correct this might be it. I would call it more of a road then a "highway" though. It was paved from what I recall (it was 2007 when I was there). Not to mention everyone in my group who had an altimeter were reading in the mid 17K's... But fun sign nonetheless. The altimeter readings seem to be backed up by the wikipedia page for Khardung La. I am quite sure this road exists for Indian military purposes but tourists make use of it as well.


+1

Here's a photo I lensed last year in the Khardung La. You can see an Indian military convoy moving through it. Kickass bike descent. Over 5600 meters.

Image

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