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Ermanno Pedroncelli launches from 7000m on Cho Oyu with his Geo

October 16, 2006

Italian Ozone pilots, Ermanno Pedroncelli and Enrico Frigerio recently returned from a Himalayan climbing expedition to Cho Oyu, which they were attempting to summit without oxygen. Weather beat back all of their attempts, with high wind and snowfall during most of the expedition. However, Ermanno managed to take advantage of an extremely short weather window and get a nice flight off of the mountain from 7000m (22,965 feet). In Ermanno`s words:

“Today I’ve been able to take off and to fly from the 7000 meter camp two. It was much more difficult than any of last years alpine launches in the Alps, when Enrico and I did the `Turbo Ascent` from three >4000m peaks in 36 hours. When I reached camp two I was tired but feeling fine. There was a strong back-wind, so there were no possibilities to fly and also few possibilities to climb to the summit on the next day, which meant we would need to descend. Suddenly, in the afternoon, the back-wind stopped for a while because of a big cu-nim growing behind the mountain. So, even though I was tired, I decided to try and fly. There was no wind and after the first six leaps down the trail I found myself sliding down the mountain on my stomach with the glider fully inflated and flying above me, but not sustaining my weight enough to get me in the air! It wasn’t a comfortable position: head pointed at the valley and feet pointed to the summit, but luckily there were no rocks in front of me and after 100 meters finally my Geo had enough airspeed to fly. It was a 15 minute mind blowing flight above a beautiful landscape. I landed at 5700 meters on the Nang-Pa-La glacier, not far from base camp. The same path I flew over in 15 minutes would take me a two days walk!”

Congratulations Ermanno, from all of us here at Ozone!