Crossing the Andes Cordillera by Antoine GIRARD
Antoine GIRARD returns from the Cordillera des Andes with a beautiful harvest of raw!
Antoine is always equipped with his harness Kolibri, the same that accompanies him from the beginning!
- 2 X-Alps training flights (2015 – 2017)
- Round trip (1600 KMS) from the South Island of New Zealand in 2015
- 1260 kms of solo Bivouac flight in Pakistan, with overview of the broad peak (8051m) in 2016
- Expedition to Nepal in 2017 with Julien DUSSERRE, where paragliding goes to the service of mountaineering.
- 3000 kms of flight bivouac through the Andes cordillera with Martin BEAUJOUAN in 2018
- And many other flights in France and elsewhere...
He tells us this last lonely expedition...
Acclimatization on the volcano Cerro Plomo 5424m. Paragliding from 2600m to 3500m. Overnight at 3500m. Climb on foot at 4100m and overnight. Climb on foot at 4600m and overnight. Summit at 5424m and descent in paragliding flight.
Acclimatization on the San José Volcano (5856m). Ascent from 2300m to 4200m for one night. Ascent from 4200m to 5100m for one night. Climb to the top at 5856m and overnight at 5800m in the crater. A storm suddenly rose, the winds rose to over 140km/h at the top during the night with-20 °c in the thermometer and in the tent... Needless to say I did not try to steal! I just managed to get down the 4000m of gradient running to try to warm myself up. Video at the top:
Attempted crossing on February 15. I am not yet rested from the San José but there is only a small weather window of 2 to 3 days without too much wind that is to catch immediately. I decide to leave 20km North of Santiago to save 1 day of flight because the 2 or 3 days are not enough for the crossing project. Departure South of Los Andes on the road of the first successful aerial crossings. On the first day I put almost 6h to join the Aconcagua at 80km from the starting point in conditions of high stability. The top is in the clouds but I manage to fly it to 7203m! I then pose on the mountain at 6500m. The next day I began to climb to the top on foot. I give up about 6750m (200m below the top) because of the strong wind that prevents takeoff. Besides, the cold freezes me both feet and one hand, I have to warm myself to stay safe. At about 13H the wind drops and I can take off at 6450m. I can fly over the top again. It was not possible to put it at the top because of the very strong thermal conditions that day. It was difficult to keep the paraglider open for more than a few seconds! Even the approach of the Summit to watch was difficult and dangerous.
I continue the flight and I arrive on the Argentine trays, on the other side of the Cordillera around 4pm. A wind of 25km/h pushed me all along and I was able to fly very quickly in an intense cold. This is the first successful crossing of the Andes in paragliding! The weather window closed at that time, the winds rose and contrary to my habits, I had to return to Chile on road transport.
– World record of altitude gain in paragliding beaten, 5854m achieved and previous record 4526m in 1993.
– First crossing of the Central Andes in paragliding. Previous first flights: 1916 first balloon crossing, 1918 first flight, 1964 first glider, 2019 first paragliding! (Hernán Pitocco and Martin Moyano Bradley travelled from the North of Patagonia in 1993)
– First flight of the Aconcagua (highest peak of America 6962m) in paragliding. Flyover on January 15 at 7203m and Flyover on January 16 at more than 7100m.
– Record of Chile's largest FAI triangle with 129km link: https://www.XContest.org/world/FR/vols/details:antoinegirard/24.02.2019/15:46