Monday, December 19, 2016

Monday, November 23, 2015

from Demian

good evening Pakistan


http://optimumfoodproducts.com/rough.php?amount=v1u0wtk6tuwen20


Demian hall
demianhall@yahoo.co.uk


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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Noche de Pakistan 21 enero a las 8 de la tarde

Hola a tod@s,

Esta viernes 21 de enero a las 8 de la tarde vamos a celebrar una
jornada de montana (parapente, paramotor, alpinismo, salto base etc).
Habra charlas, projecciones, videos, actuaciones y un concierto.

El evento es para recaudar fondos para ayudar las victimas de las
inundaciones que paso el ano pasado en todo Pakistan. Es 100% benefico -
todo el dinero recaudado de las entradas y de las cervezas (vamos a
pinchar un baril) sera destinado a la causa.

Empezamos a las 8 en la sala de teatro 'el Apeadero' (al final de calle
Molinos, en frente del bar 'barbol'). La entrada es 5 euros con
consumicion).

Ver el poster adjunto para mas informacion.

Vente temprano.

Abrazos,

Demian.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Video de vuelo en Ishkomen valley 11/7/2009

Hola,

Aqui tienes un poco de video.

Saludos.

D xx

Bivi Flight Askole 16/7/2009

Hi everyone,

Sorry, my access to the blog is not working at the moment, so I will have to send all this by email. The result will probably be a jumbled mess, but better than nothing!

We made our way to Shigar on the 15/7. It is about 1 hour’s ride away from Skardu. The place was a little 'odd': definitely a different a feel to that which we had become accustomed to in the northern areas!

The next day, we took-off at 2800m from a less than ideal spot. Romain had developed stomach problems, so he headed straight down to the hotel in order to plug himself into the porcelain adaptor. The day looked nice, so I opted to carry on by myself.

Askole (at the base of the Biafo and Baltoro glaciers) is a 6 hour ride by jeep. I think the clouds were around 5800m, and I soon realized that I might just be able to slip over a high col and into the Askole valley direct.




There was quite a strong wind when I arrived there, so I landed at 4200m in a pasture full of cows. I thought there might be some friendly shepherds, but unfortunately there were only some slightly irksome children. I think years of big expeditions to K2 and the like passing through their village had taught them how to deal with foreigners. This was something I had not experienced in my Pakistan travels so far, and I had to adopt the hedgehog technique and ignore them. Fortunately they had to leave after a couple of hours to get all the cattle back down to the village. I was now all alone.

I gathered water, and made my bivouac on top of a huge rock mainly, I hate to admit it, because the kids had made me paranoid about the presence of wolves!

Afterwards, I made a fire. There was no firewood, so I had to use dry cow poo to make myself a cup of tea. It was a first for me, and I can tell you that it works very well. No nasty smells, nothing!

The next day, I took of at about 11am and scraped around for a while, hoping not to land on the glacier below. Eventually I got a good climb up to nearly 6000m, and was rewarded with great views of the Biafo glacier, and over to the start of the Baltoro. I was in a bit of a dilemma; on one hand, I badly wanted to fly up the Baltoro glacier; on the other, the wind was pushing me that way and I doubted my ability to get back – which would have meant a very lengthy walk along the glacier. It’s something which is going to nag me for a long, long time indeed……….

Anyway, I flew back to Shigar the long way. It took around 3 hours. The conditions in this area are much more severe than those that I have experienced elsewhere in Pakistan. The thermals are not overly strong, but the influence of many different winds seems to create situations that can be difficult to understand, and sometimes turbulent.

Today, I’m having a rest. The weather doesn’t look very good anyway.

Chao.

Demian xx

10 derniers jours...

Salut a tous,
Nous sommes maintenant a Skardu, base de départ des expéditions pour le K2. La semaine dernière nous avons pu faire notre second vol bivouac depuis Phander (ref:photos précédentes) et explorer la vallée de Iskomen. Le premier jour nous avons voler vers Gupis et essaye de rentrer dans la vallée de Yassen. Les nuages étaient déjà assez grands et le vent assez fort pour nous fermer l'entrée de la vallée. Nous avons quand mémé essaye d'avancer vers Yassen, que nous avons presque atteint, mais les conditions étaient devenu vraiment turbulentes et peu agréables.Nous avons décidé de mettre le cap sur Gahkush et de trouver un endroit bien oriente pour y décoller le lendemain matin. C'est un joli pâturage situe aux alentours de 4000m qui a éveillé notre attention, sommet herbeux et plat, névé pour trouver de l'eau, bref l'endroit idéal. j'arrive un peu juste en finesse ce qui m'oblige a ne pas rater mon coup, sous peine de devoir marcher un long moment le lendemain...le sol se rapproche, un dernier petit virage pour se mettre au mieux face au vent et mes pieds touchent l'herbe. Quelle sensation de se retrouver la si facilement et après un si joli vol, la sensation de voyager au grès de l'air et de décider de la ou l'on va se poser pour passer la nuit comme des oiseaux migrateurs. Demian arrive 2 min plus tard, en plein cycle et se poser et une toute autre affaire. En effet, a chaque fois qu'il approche du sol, la brise le soulève et l'empêche de se poser et c'est au terme de nombreux wing over et autres manoeuvres qu'il réussit a toucher terre. Nous sommes a 4000m et le simple fait de plier nos voile nous prends un peu plus de temps que d'habitude, il faut dire que nous prenons de nombreuses poses pour admirer le paysage, encore sous le coup du vol et de la beauté des lieux (peut être aussi la fatigue, la déshydratation et l'hypoxie...). Il nous faut maintenant trouver de l'eau car nos réserves sont sérieusement entamées après la montée matinale au deco. Pas de trace de ruisseau ou remplir nos gourdes, nous remontons la pente pour atteindre les névé et essayer de trouver de l'eau. n'ayant pas de réchaud pour faire fondre la neige, nous inventons un système avec les moyens du bord pour récupérer l'eau de fonte (ref: image précédente), ça fonctionne et nos camel bag sont rapidement pleins de nouveau. Les prochaines taches, monter le bivouac, trouver du bois et se nourrir. Pour le bois, c'est facile, de nombreux résineux secs nous entourent, pour le bivouac nous utiliserons les toiles de rip stop que nous emportons, le tout tendu entre nos gros sacs avec une voile comme tapis de sol.Vient le problème de la nourriture...comme d'habitude nous l'avons un peu négligé, pas trop aider non plus par notre précédent lieu de repos ou les magasins n'étaient pas nombreux...c'est donc en mangeant quelques  fruits secs et biscuits que nous prenons notre repas, en prenant soins de garder la moitie pour le petit déjeuner... bref c'est le ventre assez vide que nous admirons le ciel étoilé tout prés du feu de camps. Nous apprendrons quelques jours plus tard que Brad bivouaquait a moins de 10 km de notre position lors de son vol entre Booni et Karimabad.Le lendemain, après une nuit fraîche et un petit déjeuner frugal, nous decollons vers 11.00, cap vers Iskomen que nopus remontons d'abord vers l'W ou Demian s'aventure un peu plus a l'intérieur des montagnes dans l'espoir d'y trouver le passage vers la vallée de Yasseen, puis vers l'Est et la  vallée de Kurumbar. Je me pose fatigue et affame a Immit, au croisement des vallées Demian pousse un peu plus loin a l'intérieur des montagnes avant de se poser peu avant Gachkuch ou nous avons décider de passer la nuit. Le lendemain le temps se dégrade et c'est finalement par la route que nous rejoindrons Gilgit, puis Skardu.
Le lendemain de notre arrive, 3 h de marche pour atteindre le deco de Shigar, mon estomac se contracte et fait de drôles de bruits et c'est finalement un vol rapide en direction de l'hôtel qui m'attends...Demian remonte petit a petit jusqu'au plafond et m'annonce par radio qu'il va essayer de passer le col qui rejoint Askole(voir photo), coupant au plus court a travers les montagnes.
C'est au terme d'une heure de vol qu'il rejoint le village de porteurs d'altitude de toutes les expéditions dans le Baltoro, 6 heures sont nécessaires pour faire le même trajet par la piste... Il passera sa première nuit de bivouac seul dans la montagne, entoure d'énormes glaciers et de hautes montagnes le tout perche sur un gros rocher par crainte de croiser une petite meute de loup...C'est réchauffé par un feu de bouses de vaches qu'il passera la nuit sous son abris. le lendemain, deco et survol du croisement de 2 des plus grands glaciers du monde, Baltoro et Biafo puis retour vers Skardu au terme d'un vol de 80 km dans une ambiance glacière bien marquée. Ce jour la, le vol vers les tours du Trango etait tout proche, mais la perspective d'un atterrissage sur le Batoro et d'une tres longue marche de retour on fait pencher la balance vers un vol plus sage et moins éprouvant pour les nerfs.(les conditions de vent dans la région sont particulièrement difficiles). Voila pour les dernières info, l'heure du retour approche, le mauvais temps aussi, nous verrons si il est possible de voler encore une fois dans ce magnifique pays ou les rêves les plus fous semblent réalisables pour nous parapentistes.
A+ Romain

Friday, July 17, 2009

Askole - big, big mountains

Hi everyone,
Just a quick update. I have photos and video, but there is no way they will upload with this connection. Yesterday I took off from Shigar (next to Skardu) and jumped over a high pass into the valley which ends in the Biafo and Baltoro glacier. The flight was rather short, but if you look at the track-log in google earth you'll see the sort of mountains I was dealing with. I camped in a meadow at 4200m, and today returned via a different route. This meteorology in this area is quite difficult because of the influence of so many enormous glaciers and 8000m mountains. The wind is difficult to understand, and the conditions are often quite rough. The scenery is out of this world: it is so amazing to be able to experience it in this way. Photos might come some way to explaining the sensation. You just feel so, so small.
Anyway. More at a later date....

Chao.
Demian.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

photos du vol Phander-Gilgit


La trace

Voici la trace de mon joli vol depuis Phander,
http://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:roam3105/8.7.2009/05:34

Wow - what a week!!

Hi Everyone,

I'm now in Gilgit, and will be on the way to Skardu tomorrow. I thought it would be a good time to take the opportunity to give you all an update. It's been a really fantastic 10 days or so - so much so that I find it difficult to even find a starting point. I guess chronological is good.
We had been in Booni (Chitral) for about a week, and were contemplating moving to the Ghizer valley. I had seen it during my flight from Hunza, after we camped in the mountain with the shepherds and I ate tough goat. After a couple of days of less than perfect weather (I think we might even have not flown one day!) we were up flying again. The conditions weren't that good, and we couldn't get more than a few hundred metres above launch. Romain had flown down, but I persisted a little longer and managed to get a weak climb low down, near the village. Slowly, I managed to work my way onto the ridge and up to 5000m. I began to realize that it might just be possible to jump over a high col and into the Ghizer valley, thus avoiding a 6 hour dusty, kidney jarring ride in jeep. It was quite cloudy and raining/snowing in several places around me in the mountains, but there were some blue patches. I crossed the valley at the town of Mastuj, and now only one 5000m col and a long glide separated me from the Ghizer valley and my destination (Phander). I got close, but the cloud kept closing the gap. Eventually, I decided that I would proceed towards the lower Shandur pass – a fair detour to the west. After about a kilometer, however, a window opened up beckoning to cross the ridge.


This is a photo looking back at the ridge I had just come over








After that, it was familiar terrain. I had flown this way when I came from Karrimabad just over a week previous. The sky was looking slightly menacing, so I spiraled down to Phander.





The sky over Phander






I landed in Phander and, as usual, was greeted by a huge crowd of children. In these villages, it’s like being a super-star – everyone knows who you are. I wouldn’t like to be famous!












Yes, I know this is not a huge crowd! Most of them had gone home by this point; these were just the ones that followed me all the way to the hotel.....







Sadabahar hotel in Phander







The next day I was alone, and decided to pioneer a new take-off above town. It looked perfect. The valley bottom is at 3000m, and it is an exceedingly steep 700m up to a take-off spot. I am slightly embarrassed to say that I used the services of a porter to help me get my equipment up there. The reality of the situation was that I had no lightweight equipment. My bag weighed in at over 20kg. With the effect of the altitude, I don’t think I would have been able to carry it up such a steep trail. To make matters worst (actually it made me feel better) the porter didn’t even break a sweat, and I couldn’t keep up with him!! I made a small reconnaissance flight of the area.

Romain arrived by jeep with Mansoor later that evening. The next day was epic. We had gone to bed late the night before, so we didn’t manage to take off until about 1130 (it starts working at about 1000). The conditions were perfect, and cloudbase was over 6000m. Early on in the flight, Romain and I got separated. He ended up flying a personal best of 117km to Gilgit where he stayed the night. I flew to Gilgit and tried to fly back to make a 200km out and return. I ended up landing in Gupis after 159km and nearly 7 hours.
















































A slightly disconcerting thing happened on the way back. The batteries of my oxygen system ran out! I had been without oxygen all day, and at altitudes of around 6000m, I seemed okay. Just after Gilgit, a particularly strong thermal boosted me up to nearly 6400m. I started to see glittery stars and my hands felt numb. I knew exactly what it was, and was scared that I would pass out. I pointed at the valley and concentrated on breathing properly. Then I remembered (lucky I read the manual properly) that you could bypass the electronics by connecting the nose tube directly to the bottle. It uses up all the oxygen pretty quickly, but is good in an emergency – quite chilly opening your down jacket to get access at 6000m though!

One of the absolute highlights of the trip so far was a short bivouac with Romain the other day. We set off up the mountain with all of our equipment. The plan was to not return to Phander. We flew together and entered the Yasin valley. The clouds were getting a little big for comfort, so we decided to abort and camp on the mountainside. We chose a pasture perched at 4000m, with cliffs of 2 sides. It was a perfect take-off for the next morning. Romain landed first, and I piled in at top speed after him. I think is was a double somersault I performed!


Our camp site is just left of the cloud shadow, at the middle-left of the photo








The place was perfect. There was firewood, a flat-ish place to sleep, and some melting snow to collect drinking water. The only bad point was our fault; we hardly had any food! We had: 2 packets of biscuits,1kg of nuts and 2 energy gel sachets. This had to do for lunch, dinner, breakfast, lunch and, hopefully not, dinner again the next day. We made do, but you can imagine the state I was in the next day at 7pm after another 5 hours of flight when I got hold of some decent food!



Nice beards........









Our shelter made from the bit of rip-stop theat we each carried.









Romain exposing the problem our shelter will have if it rains........










Our drip collection system - the water got clearer and clearer the longer we left it.















The next day was incredible, again! We took off at about 1100am and made a tour of the Ishkomen valley. Truly, it is an incredible place. With cloudbase over 6000m, I probed into the far corners of the valley. First I wanted to cross a high col to Darkot in the Yasin valley, and later thought about crossing another high pass to the Hunza valley. In the end, I hadn’t studied this area very thoroughly on the map, and couldn’t risk a risk there being one more valley between me and my destination than I had anticipated. A snowy landing at 5000m+ would have been very bad news indeed. Especially when I was weak and with almost no food. Finally I made my way back to the main Ghizer valley, and landed near Ghakuch.

























Some photos of the Ishkomen valley








Sorry everyone! Even my internet tolerance level has now been reached. Next update sometime soon.... I am now well rested and fed. The weather has turned bad and we're off to Skardu by bus tomorrow.

Chao.

Demian xx

The team in Booni....

Mostly Romain and I have been by ourselves, but temporarily we were 6 pilots in Booni. Here is a photo of us, plus a few locals that were hanging around on top of the mountain trying to get mobile phone coverage…..it’s only a 1000m vertical walk!!

Our posh accommodation in Booni…

Here is a picture of Romain with Mansoor in front of the PDTC lodge in Booni. It was a lovely place to stay, and our friend Mansoor took us up to launch in his jeep every morning. He really helped us out. Whatever we needed, he could sort it: oxygen, whatever…..He is also a fun guy and provided us with good company in the evenings.













Demian.

Tailors!!

Those of you that were around me before I set off will remember my endless struggles with Nick's sewing machine - indeed Nick, I have not forgotten my promise of a full service when I return!!
Anyway, I was making some special down mitts and a custom rucksack for the trip. I wouldn't like to hazard a guess at how many hours, tangles and snapped needles I endured.
When I was in Booni, my replacement camera arrived. I needed a case for it, so the local master tailor seemed the logical choice. Needless to say, he put me to shame! This guy has a helper just to pass him a new threaded machine when the bobbin is empty!!
As seems to be the case almost always here, he didn’t want to accept any money!

Here is a photo of the tailor and his team:

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Some track logs

Hi,

I've put some of my track-logs here!

http://www.xcontest.org/world/en/pilots/detail:dimbo

Bye.

Demian.

Que buena semana!

Hola!

Tengo cosas para contarte. Ha sido una semana agotador - hasta el punto que hoy he tenido que tener un dia de descanso (con condiciones muy buenas fuera!!!!). Todo empezo hace una semana mas o menos. Despues de los dias fantasticos en Booni (Chitral), vino unos dias regulares - incluso creo que habia un dia que no volamos - oooooh! En uno de estos dias, Romain habia ido a atterizar y yo decidi aguantar un poco mas. Cogi una termica muy bajo, al lado del pueblo de booni. Poco a poco remonte hasta 5000m; eso me dio para cruzar el valle encima de Mastuj. Habia muchas nubes, pero vi un hueco entre las nubes y el collado que me permitio saltar al proximo valle (100m encima de la montana y justo debajo del nube!). Sige hasta el pueblo donde queriamos ir (Phander), y baje alli. Estaba nevando bastante en las montanas alrededores. Por supuesto me esperaba 100 ninos - siempre somos los super estrellas del pueblo, y todos saben quienes somos. No me
gustaria ser un famoso! Estaba muy, muy contento por que en jeep tarda facilmente 6 horas por una pista con mucho polvo y bultos. No exajero cuando digo que te hace doler los rinones y tener el mocos negro! Eso era la experiencia de Roman quien llego la noche siguiente.
Desde entonces he volado todos los dias muy bien. Podria ser un medio de 5 horas diario; levantando a las 0620, 3 horas de andar cuesta arriba a 3000m, nada de comer en medio dia, 1 o 2 horas de jeep de vuelta, cena y a repetir el dia siguiente. Por eso el dia de descanso hoy. Estamos en un hotel guapo, con mucha comida, fruta, ducha caliente, todo.
Tuve un percance el otro dia a 6300m cuando mi sistema de oxigeno quedo sin bateria. Empeze ver estrellas y dormirme las manos. Apunte al valle y por suerte habia leido el manual bien. Recorde que podia conectar la canula nasal directo a la botella, evitando la electronica. Fundio el oxigeno muy rapido, pero me saco del puro - que susto. Ahora tengo mucho cuidado con el oxigeno y lo enciendo mas bajo. Antes no lo ponia muchas vezes hasta 6000m - creo que este dia llevaba muchas horas volando encima de 5500m y era un efecto cumulativo.
Antes aller salimos de Phander (nuestro base temporal), y despues de subir las 3 horas despegamos. Llevabamos todo nuestras cosas para no volver. El dia desarollo con nubes bastante grandes, y abortamos un intento de visitar el valle de Yasin. In vez de eso, atterizamos (bueno el mio era un atterizaje de velocidad con 2 salto volteos) a 4000m en un prado alto en la montana - guapisimo (tengo fotos). Tuvimos que recoger gotas de nieve fundido para tener agua - inventamos una sistema buenisima. Habia lena, y hicimos un bivouac y fuego : un experiencia guapisimo. La unica cosa mala era que teniamos muy poca comida por que el hotel en Phander no tenia huevos ni nada. Teniamos : 2 paquetes de galletas, un kilo de almendras y 2 bolsas de isostar gel energia. Habiamos comido solo parata por la manana. Apanamos, pero puedes imaginar el estado en que me encontre a las 7 de la tarde el dia sigiente despues de otro 5 horas de vuelo! Las condiciones del dia
siguiente eran buenisimos (probablamente las mejores del viaje); techos a 6000m+ y muy poco viento. Di una vuelta entera del valle de Ishkomen - me meti por valles preciosas con glaciares enormes y paredes de hielo. Queria saltar el collado a Darkot o Chalt, pero no habia estudiado esta zona en google earth y a 6000m no puedes arriesgar que haya un valle mas de lo que pensaba detras del collado. Entonces volvi al sur otra vez y atterize cerca de Ghakush - hambrientisimo! La proxima vez vamos a cargarnos con mas comida!
Esta tarde vamos a comer bien y investigar un despege para manana - para subir con burros espero.

Abrazos.

Demian.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Booni/Valle de Ghizer

Hola a todos,
 
Estamos en el valle de Ghizer, en Phander despues de pasar algun tiempo en Booni donde hemos hecho vuelos altos y grandes. Fuimos hasta Chitral y Mastuj volando, haciendo triangulos hasta 133 Km, Demian a conseguido tambien enlasar Booni a Phander volando. Nos es un gran vuelo pero hay que ver el collado a 5000 que hay que pasar...sobretodo con una base a 5200m !
Ahier hemos volado desde Phander a Gilgit, +- 115 Km, cada uno por un camino distincto.
Me quede en Gilgit y Demian intento la vuelta para finalmente aterizar en Gupis a unos 50 Km de Phander, arreglando a mas de 6000 m su sistema de O2 que quedo sin baterias.Habia techos de 6400m lo que permitia volar bastante rapido, bastante mas rapido que el bus que me toqua hoy, 9 horas para vovler...
Hasta lueguito
Juda afis

Vallee de Ghizer vol 115Km

Salut a tous
Après Booni nous voici dans la vallée de Ghizer, entre le col de Shandur et Gilgit. Nous nous sommes retrouve  avant hier a Phander avec Demian qui avait reussi a venir en volant depuis Booni. Hier 800m de dénivelé au programme et deco aux alentours de 11.00.On a tout de suite mis le cap a l'est en direction de Gilgit en sautant de crêtes en crêtes avec des plafonds a 5700m en début de matinée. Nous avons vite été séparé car  après avoir rate une transition j'ai du batailler un bon moment pour me refaire alors que Demian continuait sa route. Dernier contact radio avec demian avant que sa radio ne cesse de fonctionner, nous sommes aux environs de Gupis. A partir de ce point, plus de nouvelles, je continu le vol en changeant de versant en arrivant au croisement des vallées de Ghizer et Iskomen, les plafonds sont maintenant a 6000m ce qui a pour avantage de rendre la recherche d'ascendances moins fréquente et d'avancer a prés de 50 Km/h bras haut.
J'atterri finalement a un vingtaine de Km de Gilgit après un long plane final, pour un vol total de plus ou moins 115km. C'est dans un camion charge de bois que je termine le voyage jusqu'à Gilgit, sans nouvelles de Demian. Je reçois son appel tard dans la soirée, il est de nouveau a Phander apres un vol ou il a fait demi-tour a une trentaine de Km de Gilgit pour revenir sur ses pas et atterrir a Gupis, a une cinquantaine de Km de Phander, après avoir expérimenté quelques symptômes de l'hypoxie en volant pendant un moment a prés de 6400m sans O2. La vallée de Ghizer est pleine de promesses pour le vol, longues vallées bien orientées,paysages incroyables, bref de quoi occuper nos recherches pour les les semaines a venir.
A+ Romain

Friday, July 3, 2009

fotitos


























































Booni

Salut a tous
Nous voici reunis de nouveau dans le Nord ouest du Pakistan, a Booni, non loin de la frontiere avec l'Afganistan. Ces 2 derniers jours nous avons pu faire de grands vols, et gouter un peu plus a la haute altitude...
Le premier jour ( 01/07/2009), deco a 10h30 et nous voila 15 min plus tard a 5700 m au nuage, plus reveille que jamais par la puissance des thermiques... Nous mettons le cap a l'Est jusqu,au bout de la grande crete ou nos chemins se separent.Demian vol vers les hautes montagnes et le Tirich Mir, pour ma part je met le cap sur Mastuj au croisement de la vallee qui mene au Shandur Pass. Les plafonds augmentent avec les sommets, 5900, 6000...pour finalement atteindre 6300m.
A cette altitude, il fait froid, tres froid, et je regrette le passe-montagne laisse dans mon sac. Je suis tellement emerveille par le panorama que j'en oublie d'ouvrir l'O2, au plafond l'air est calme et je me laisse glisser au dessus des hauts sommets. Une rue de nuages me balise la route, les thermiques sont tellements abondants et puissant que je me permet le luxe de n'enrouler que les plus gros, passant a travers les "petits" de 3-4m/s.
Arrive au croisement des vallees qui menent au Shandur Pass, je refais le plein avant de retourner vers Booni en passant sous le sommet de Booni zom (6500m) .
Je ne sent plus mes doigts de pieds, il fait froid, il est temps pour moi de descendre dans la chaleur de vallee après un long plane d’une quinzaine de Km.
Demian, après son excursion dans les hautes montagnes de l’Indu Kush, a finalement mis le cap sur Mastuj pour y atterir après 6 h de vol et une belle petite balade de 83 Km.

02/07/2009 Booni-Chitral-Booni-Mastuj-booni


Le reveil est difficile ce matin, a 6h30,encore sous le coup de nos vols respectifs de la veille nous nous reveillons avec la bonne surprise d’un ciel bleu imacule ce qui laisse presager une nouvelle grande journee . Nous decollons a 10h30 et nous retrouvons tres rapidement au nuage. Une fois au plafond nous mettons le cap vers l’ouest en direction de Chitral. Nous enroulons voile dans voile de puissants thermiques qui nous hissent finalement jusqu’a 6000m. Nous enchainons les transitions dans des paysages alternants glaciers enormes et sommets vertigineux qui nous permettent une jolie petite seance photos .Nous apercevons enfin l’aeroport de chitral, signe pour nous que nous devons faire demi tour et mettre le cap sur Booni. Nous traversons la vallee pour revenir sur Booni, le vent nous porte a plus de 60 Km/h, ce qui nous permet d’enchainer de tres longues transitions, et d’oublier (un peu trop) la recherche d’ascendances... J’arrive a Booni ou je me pose après 3h30 de vol, un peu fatigue par ce vol plutot tonique. Demian, quant a lui continu sa route vers Mastuj et revient se poser a Booni après avoir boucle un triangle de 133 Km en 6 h30 de vol.

03/07/2009

Aujourd’hui la meteo n’est pas terrible, repos et preparations de nos prochains vols dans la region. Nous souhaitons explorer la vallee de Ghizer, Yaseen, et Iskomen en partant pour un vol bivouac depui s Booni. Notre premiere experience de vol bivouac au Pakistan nous a definitvement convaincu que c’etait la meilleur facons de voyager et de vivre l’aventure.
A+ Romain

And Onward towards the Ghizar valley

Today the weather was looking doubtful, and we were very tired, so we didn’t go up to fly. We took the opportunity to sleep, wash clothes and sort out our equipment. Tomorrow (if the weather looks good) we are going to set off on a flying journey back towards the Ghizer valley (east). There are not many internet opportunities around there, so if we are out of contact, that’s why. You can always look at our trackers.

Bye.

Demian.

Booni

The morning after my arrival in Booni, I took a jeep to the take-off at 7am. It was far too windy to fly, so I came down in the jeep and was invited to the driver’s (Ameer’s) house to meet his wife and children and drink a chai. Romain arrived by jeep with Mansoor that night. I was VERY pleased to see them – it had been a long drive, and they had lost a Russian.

The next day, we left to go flying at 8am. The day was perfect, with small cumulus forming in the high mountains (7800m peak behind take-off). I took of at about 11am, and made a small tour of the huge mountains to the north. The scenery around there is indescribable. I got up to 6400m (pretty chilly on the face) and flew around huge peaks and glaciers for most of the day. I landed about 15km short of Booni (on the wrong side of the river). This meant that I had to walk for an hour, and then sit in a truck with some very nice guys for another hour.

The following day (exhausted) Romain and I left for the take-off with Mansoor. We took off together, and flew together up to Chitral through the big mountains, across to the Booni Zom range, down past Mastuj, and back to Buni. I flew 6 hours, and got up above 6000m a few times – spectacular, and great to fly with Romain in radio and visual contact.

If you want to see the track-logs (apart from the Gilgit to Handarap flight which got erased by the other 2), they are here : http://www.xcontest.org/world/en/pilots/detail:dimbo

Bye

Demian

29/6/09 – The road to Booni

I woke up at about 6am, and had a Chai and some Paratas with my host. I don’t know how to emphasize enough just how hospitable these people are. There’s no thought of them wanting to charge you money, they just want you to be comfortable. Usually it takes all my imagination to think of something that they might accept.

Anyway, this guy and his family run a small shop/public phone and vehicle service operation. I soon realized my mistake in landing at the bottom of the valley. It wasn’t going to be so easy to find (and walk up to) a suitable launch, so I decided to hitch a ride up to the Shandur pass (about 20km). Here, hitching has a near 100% success rate – if a car passes and it has a place, it will almost certainly take you.

The Shandur pass polo festival starts on the 7th July, so I managed to get a ride on the back of the police polo teams’ truck. It was probably the best way to travel – I just sat on my bag in the back, watching the views. It took about 2 hours! Once we arrived at the start of the pass, they stopped to set up camp. The whole pass was full of polo horses and huge tents. I walked the length of the pass (about an hour), and planned to try and take off at the other end. As I was approaching the end, an army truck offered me a lift to Mastuj. I had planned to get off the truck before it started descending, but in the end I missed my moment and had to stay on for another 4 hours or so, standing in the back, on a road that makes the Cenes track look like a racing circuit. Finally, I stood in the back of a public jeep for 1.5 hours to complete the last 20km to Booni. The whole journey would be 50 km straight line!!

Demian

Thursday, July 2, 2009

28/6/09 - 150 km+ Gizer valley - towards Shandur pass

After breakfast they helped us up a bit higher - their donkeys carried the gliders. We took off about 1130. I immediately got a good climb up to base (about 5700m) and did a little tour around the surrounding mountains whilst I waited for Romain. Unfortunately, though, he bombed out.

The plan had been to proceed to Nanga Parbat, but I could see it in the distance, already totally over-developed. I changed tack, and headed down the Ghizer valley, west towards Chitral. The flight was a dream. I had a very slight headwind, but base rose to 6300m and I just creamed along through some of the most spectacular scenary this planet has to offer. In terms of paragliding, it worked textbook style: south-east faces in the morning, turning to south-west, and finally west.

NOTE: Unfortunately I didn't get to download my track before making 2 more flights of 5.5 and 6 hours. These 2 flights erased the memory of my GPS - so no track to upload.Bummer!

After 7 hours flying, I landed in a small village called Handarap. I should have looked for a place to top-land, but I was tired and wanted to buy some food. I was instantly surrounded by the entire village. They helped me pack, and took me to a house where a man had a room. They were amazingly friendly, and gave me tea, dhal and biscuits. The owner came and chatted with me for a while later. I felt it was time to get the modelling balloons out for his children, and made some mishapen dogs!

They gave me a comfortable space in a spare room in his house, and I slept perfectly until the call to prayer at 4:30 am.

27/6/09 - We leave Karimabad - 45 km

We had been walking to take-off (from the end of the jeep track) with our bags prepared for a bivouac flight for the last couple of days. The strong west-wind seemed to break apart the thermal in front of take-off and caused 2 frustrating bomb-outs. I had noticed that 200m up the breeze seemed much more constant, so today we decided to ascend a little higher to give us a better chance. It worked - we quickly shot up to 5700m and were soon flying in the ice crystals hanging out of the bottom of the cloud. We fought for several hours against a 20 kph headwind. After 45 km (near Gilgit), our ground-speed had reduced to 7 kph and we could see great plumes of dust rising from the bottom of the valley. We declared an emergency, and did a u-turn. Running with the wind, we achieved impressive ground speeds and made comfortable top landings at 3500m in beautiful grassy pastures. I could see the shepherds below as I spiralled madly to get down. Goats and donkeys fled in terror as this great bird spiralled again and again. I felt guilty for the work I had caused the shepherds, but they didn't seem to mind. In fact, they insisted that we come to their shack.

They spoke little English, but made us feel incredibly welcome. A fire was prepared in an instant, and we were given cups of hot milk, chapati and butter. All home made, and absolutely delicious. Then came dinner. Most of you will know that I have been a vegetarian for about 8 years. Well, what do you do when you land on top of a mountain in Pakistan and a shepherd invites you to a pretty chewy dinner? I have to say that the tea, butter, chapati and milk were amazing - the meat was slightly tougher than my hiking boots. After about 5 minutes of chewing, I gave up and swallowed it whole! They gave us some water that tasted distinctly of cow and we all went to sleep. They made us promise that we would stay for breakfast, and we were given a repeat performance (minus the meat). The experience was unmatched - a real highlight of the trip.

De Hunza a Booni

Salut a tous

Nous n'avons pas donne de nouvelles depuis un bon moment, signe que nous avons eu quelques tres bonnes journees de vol. En effet depuis un peu plus d'une semaine nous avons enchaine les grands vols, nous sommes partis de la vallee du Hunza, Karimabad avec l'intention de voler jusqu'au nanga parbat. Apres 50 Km dans les environs de Gilgit nous ne pouvions plus avancer qu'a 7 km/h, et le fond de la vallee etait balaye par de fortes rafales soulevant la poussiere.Nous avons donc atteris pour notre premier Bivouac a 3600m dans de jolis pres herbeux avec comme toile de fond le Rakaposhi. Quelle surprise de rencontrer a cette altitude une foule de bergers pour nous accueillir. Nous avons aussitot ete pris en charge par cette famille de bergers qui passe l'ete dans les montagnes et ne descendent que pour vendre leur beurre et leur lait dans la vallee. L'invitation pour partager un chai c'est vite transformee en veritable repas accompagne de verres de lait chaud aux saveurs authentiques...Nous nous sommes mis en marche pour notre premier bivouac a la belle etoile apres avoir promis de revenir le lendemain pour le petit dejeuner.On ne pouvait pas rever mieux, paysages incroyables, entoures de hautes montagnes, une nuit etoiles, de quoi cogiter un bon moment a la suite de l'aventure. Nous avons simplement dormis avec notre equipement de vol, recouvert par le parapente pour nous proteger de la rosee. Une nuit seulement interrompue par l'agitation du troupeau de vaches derrange par la visite d'un loup qui rodait dans les parages. Le matin comme promis, nous sommes descendus prendre notre petit dejeuner avec les bergers avant de remonter vers un deco que nous avions repere la veille. Nous avions l'intention de continuer vers le Nanga Parbat, mais nos plans alles etre modifies par differents evenements. Demian, decolla le premier et trouva l'ascendance en moins de 2 min, en le voyant enrouler ce joli petit thermique je decolla a mon tour pour ne trouver qu' une enorme descendance jusqu'au fond de la vallee...

Demian a poursuivi son vol mais pas en direction du Nanga parbat ou les nuages recouvraient deja le ciel, il a mis le cap sur la vallee de Ghizer et le Shandur Pass pour un vol incroyable de 7 h et 150 km, que je fis par la route en 15 h....Notre but avait change, nous etions donne RDV a Booni.

Demian a passe la nuit dans le petit village ou il avait atterri avant d'etre pris en charge par l'armee qui le transporta jusqu'au col de shandur ou nous sommes arrives 5 h apres son depart pour Booni, cette fois transporte par la police !!! J'ai passe la nuit dans une tente, sur le Shandur pass ou se celebre la partie de polo la plus haute de monde, 3700m pour essayer de rejoindre Booni par la voie des airs le lendemain. Les conditions n'etant pas au RDV je me suis laisse glisser un quinzaine de Km jusqu'au fond de la vallee avant de reprendre la route et de rejoindre Demian dans la soiree apres 50 km de pistes defoncees.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dancing Queens

Hi Everyone,

This post relates to something that happened almost 10 days ago. Our friend Faisal was guiding a group of Japonese tourists. There was to be some live local music that night, and he invited us to come along. When the Japonese tourists started dancing, we were politely invited to dance. Being typical westerners, we refused - politely.

At the end of the song, Faisal presented us to the group, and told them that we were going to treat them to an individual performance---which we did! Make sure you get to the end of the video to see our solo routines............

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO!!!

D xx

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Vuelo de 115 Km

Hola,
Estamos en el valle de Hunza desde 10 dias, y hemos conseguido hacer algunos vuelos antes de la llegada del mal tiempo.
Las condiciones no eran  muy buenas, nada excepcional para la region y hemos aprovechado para visitar la bonita region de Passu (fotos del puente...). Ahier era el primer dia en Hunza con condiciones para el vuelo de cross, asi que nos hemos preparados con todo el material para la altura y nos fuimos a volar.
Techos a 5700 m y un triangulo FAI de 115 Km para Demian. ( http://www.xcontest.org/world/en/pilots/detail:dimbo  ).
Esperemos que se mentenga el buen tiempo para poder seguir y volar tal vez hacia el Nanga Pargat.
 
Hasta Luego

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Update

Hi again,
We've been in Hunza for 10 days now. I managed to get a couple of
flights in before the before the bad weather arrived. The
conditions, however, were 'flyable' not exceptional. Then I got
sick, and recovered a couple of days ago. Yesterday we hired a jeep
for the day and took a tour around Passu, an amazing place just
east of here. The photos of the bridge are from that day.
Today was the first really amazing paragliding experience. I donned
all the high altitude gear, and managed a 115km triangle
( http://www.xcontest.org/world/en/pilots/detail:dimbo ). Wow, what a
place!! I got up to 5700m, and that isn't even high for here.
It seems like some really nice weather has arrived. If tomorrow
looks good, we will try to fly to Nanga Parbat!

Bye.


Demian.

fotos