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January 6, 2018

Ozone welcomes Antoine Girard to our Team. Antoine is a visionary pilot who has pushed the limit of what is deemed possible in free flying, from setting the altitude world record of 8157m and flying above Broad Peak (8051m), in Pakistan, to an independent 1200km bivouac adventure across New Zealand’s South Island. He has participated in three Red Bull X-Alps races, finishing 3rd in 2013 and 4th in 2015.

In the spring of 2017, Antoine and his friend Julien Dusserre decided to combine their two passions on a mission to an unclimbed face of Langtang Lirung (7227m). In his words:

“I have flown as far as 1200km on several self-sufficient paragliding adventures. These experiences in New Zealand and in the mountains of Pakistan provided me with the confidence that it was possible. Both Julien and I are long-distance pilots in the Alps, and he had to trust me when it came to flying in the Himalaya. We pushed the project to the extreme, leaving Kathmandu on foot with all of our paragliding and mountaineering gear, to summit and then return back to the starting point in the same manner; we were completely self-sufficient and without any outside help. Our plan was to set up base camp in Kyangjing Gompa for food supplies. The starting point and takeoff area was located about 15km from the capital. From there, our paragliders carried all of our gear to base camp in two or three days.

Even though we were unable to make a summit attempt, this type of approach to the mountains is exhilarating. On Shalbachum (6680m), we landed at 5800m in an incredible location after a one-hour hike and then a short one-hour flight. A typical approach on foot would have taken at least two days through complex terrain with potentially mediocre climbing. We could have continued to the summit the same day, but that was not our objective. We wanted to sleep at 6200m to acclimatize. It was at that very moment that we realized how much sense it makes to combine paragliding and mountaineering. Climbing in the Himalaya often requires grueling approaches. With a paraglider you can cover the same distance in two hours, and then be back down from the summit in the same day! This makes it possible to climb several peaks in the same trip!

In the end, through out this new approach to the mountains, there remains so much to explore and do! It’s like discovering a whole new discipline.”

We look forward to supporting Antoine on his future adventures.
Cheers, from all the Team.”