Without a doubt the most exciting and challenging stage of La Carrera Panamericana is Mil Cumbre. Just finishing it is exhilarating and something every driver in the world should envy but to do well in that stage is amazing and should you win that stage it is life changing. When I won the Mil Cumbre stage in Historic C class in 2007 I never completely realized how dangerous it truly was. Even after watching hundreds of videos including my own in-car video most drivers and teams never really realize how deep the canyons are there. Taking a look at these two beautiful photos of Mil Cumbre taken by my good friend Francisco Ortiz will definitely give one a different perspective of what we drove like a bat out of hell through. Some day I look forward to just going back for a nice leisurely drive to enjoy it all.
Mil Cumbre is so challenging for so many reasons. Besides the obvious cliffs and trees and lack of guard rails, there are spots with tight corners and loose gravel, donkeys, water crossing the road, the sun in in your eyes one moment and the fog can be thick the next, and there are even a few story's of locals who have placed logs across the road in places where they are least expected. I remember sliding sideways on one corner after driving thru the blood of a dead horse that ran across the road. It's safe to day this is not just another Sunday drive.