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The highest place for sandboarding in the World

05/06/2012

The Pan de Azucar Peak (Pico Pan de Azúcar) is located in Sierra de la Culata National Park, a large preservation area in Merida State, on the central part of the Andes Mountains in Venezuela.

Pico Pan de Azúcar, no Parque Nacional Sierra de la Culata, Venezuela / Pico Pan de Azucar, in Sierra de la Culata National Park, Venezuela

Pico Pan de Azúcar, no Parque Nacional Sierra de la Culata, Venezuela / Pico Pan de Azucar, in Sierra de la Culata National Park, Venezuela

The entrance to the park and the begining of the trekking trail that leads to the mountain is about 28 km from the city of Merida, the State capital. This city is well known in Venezuela by extreme sports enthusiasts and adventurers because of the mountains, rocky rivers, waterfalls and trekking trails that can be found around. There’s a lot of travel agencies specialized on this kind of activities in the city, but you must be careful when choosing one: some of them doesn’t provide adequate equipment to the clients, such as tents and sleeping bags in proper conditions.

Trilha para o Pico Pan de Aúcar, no Parque Nacional Sierra de la Culata, Venezuela / Trekking trail to Pico Pan de Azucar, in Sierra de la Culata National Park, Venezuela

Trilha para o Pico Pan de Aúcar, no Parque Nacional Sierra de la Culata, Venezuela / Trekking trail to Pico Pan de Azucar, in Sierra de la Culata National Park, Venezuela

It takes three days to get to the summit, walking through valleys and grasslands that form an ecosystem called “paramos”, found only in high altitudes of northwestern South America. The typical plant of the paramos is the frailejon, which dominates the landscape most of the time.

Trilha para o Pico Pan de Aúcar, no Parque Nacional Sierra de la Culata, Venezuela / Trekking trail to Pico Pan de Azucar, in Sierra de la Culata National Park, Venezuela

Trilha para o Pico Pan de Aúcar, no Parque Nacional Sierra de la Culata, Venezuela / Trekking trail to Pico Pan de Azucar, in Sierra de la Culata National Park, Venezuela

Trilha para o Pico Pan de Azúcar, no Parque Nacional Sierra de la Culata, Venezuela / Trekking trail to Pico Pan de Azucar, in Sierra de la Culata National Park, Venezuela

Trilha para o Pico Pan de Azúcar, no Parque Nacional Sierra de la Culata, Venezuela / Trekking trail to Pico Pan de Azucar, in Sierra de la Culata National Park, Venezuela

When getting close to the summit, the vegetation starts to disapear and is replaced by a dry and rocky surface, similar to gravel. The East face of the summit is a steep descent, and there’s where Digiacomo Dias, three times sandboard World Champion, was the first sandboarder to drop in an altitude of 4,680 meters, probably the highest place for sandboarding in the World. As far as we know.

Trilha para o Pico Pan de Azúcar, no Parque Nacional Sierra de la Culata, Venezuela / Trekking trail to Pico Pan de Azucar, in Sierra de la Culata National Park, Venezuela

Trilha para o Pico Pan de Azúcar, no Parque Nacional Sierra de la Culata, Venezuela / Trekking trail to Pico Pan de Azucar, in Sierra de la Culata National Park, Venezuela

Vista do cume do Pico Pan de Azúcar, com paisagem típica dos páramos, um ecossistema encontrado em grandes altitudes do noroeste da América do Sul, no Parque Nacional Sierra de la Culata, e Sierra Nevada ao fundo. Mérida, Estado de Mérida, Venezuela. /  View from the summit of Pico Pan de Azucar, with typical landscape of the paramos, an ecossystem found in high altitudes of northwetern South America, and Sierra Nevada in the background. Merida, Merida State, Venezuela.

Vista do cume do Pico Pan de Azúcar, com paisagem típica dos páramos, um ecossistema encontrado em grandes altitudes do noroeste da América do Sul, no Parque Nacional Sierra de la Culata, e Sierra Nevada ao fundo. Mérida, Estado de Mérida, Venezuela. /
View from the summit of Pico Pan de Azucar, with typical landscape of the paramos, an ecossystem found in high altitudes of northwetern South America, and Sierra Nevada in the background. Merida, Merida State, Venezuela.

Sandboard no Pico Pan de Azúcar, Venezuela / Sandboarding on Pico Pan de Azucar, Venezuela

Sandboard no Pico Pan de Azúcar, Venezuela / Sandboarding on Pico Pan de Azucar, Venezuela

Sandboard no Pico Pan de Azúcar, Venezuela / Sandboarding on Pico Pan de Azucar, Venezuela

Sandboard no Pico Pan de Azúcar, Venezuela / Sandboarding on Pico Pan de Azucar, Venezuela

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