World record paragliding flights in the Karakorum
While not necessarily a typical climbing expedition Black Diamond would support, once Thomas de Dorlodot from Belgium gave us the full details of his planned trip to the Karakorum with Ramon Morillas we knew we’d want to help them out with gloves, harnesses, helmets, tents and piolets for such a wild adventure. Their goal: break the paragliding altitude record. Below is the email and photos Thomas sent us soon after returning from the mountains.
From: thomas de dorlodot
Subject: RE: Expedition Nanga Parbat.
Sent: Donnerstag, 1. Oktober 2009 14:49
We are now back in Islamabad after a month in the high mountains of Karakorum. We had great conditions and made many flights around Nanga Parbat. We made tons of pictures and videos and I had a huge "Black Diamond" logo on the top of my glider!
Ramon went up to around 7600m and has the new paramotor altitude world record. I flew at 6711m with paramotor and at 6600m on paragliding without oxygen. This flight was very scary because we didn't take oxygen and I suffered the effects of strong hypoxia. I could not see anything... according to the GPS track, I went up from 3000 m to 6600m in 11 minutes in a very strong thermal. It was a pretty bad feeling to be blind and flying in between 7000-meter high mountains. Thankfully, everyone came back in one piece. We have been flying super close to huge glacier and into snowing clouds.
Beside the flying part we were in a basecamp for days at more than 4000m. We had a great time, sleeping in tents in the snow, waiting for good weather, practicing ice climbing on the glacier and meeting the locals.
I’ll call you once in Belgium to tell you more about the adventure.