A historic adventure: Antoine Girard tops 8000m in Pakistan

This summer Antoine Girard took his GIN GTO2 on a solo 1260km vol biv in Pakistan, described by vol biv legend Brad Sander as "the most impressive trip ever". The highlight of the trip was soaring to 8157m over the 8051m Broad Peak using thermals above the clouds for the first time ever on a paraglider.

Other highlights (in chronological order) included:

– Flying over the entire Deosai plateau, a wild plateau at 5000m with only small relief.

– Circumnavigating Nanga Parbat (8126m) and cross several passes

– Flying 150km along the Biafo and Hisper glaciers between Karimabad and Payu. Passage by the the Spantik (Golden Peak, 7027m) and 60km of glacier crossed

– A flight of 120km, including 60km above the Baltoro glacier

– A flight of 248km, a new open distance XC record in Pakistan

Antoine commented, "After a flight of 50km and a long transition I reach at 5740m on Broad Peak, small cumulus are at 6800m. I wait one hour without go up. The ceiling rises to 7000m and allows me to attack the cliffs and find other thermal above the clouds. The wind is weak at 7500m, maybe nonexistent. Above 8000m the wind becomes moderate (50km/h ???) and oriented north. It is not possible to do soaring on this north-south ridge. I leave the thermal to 8100m because I have all fingers frozen, it was certainly possible to mount more than 8300m. I make two go and back over the ridge for take images and I’m leave (fleeing) to a more abundant oxygen and 70km of flight."

More on Antoine's blog: http://www.antoinegirard.fr/

Thanks to Antoine for the photos.


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