ILLUMINATION

My heart was pumping hard, i did not recognize if it was precisely the efect of high altitude or the excitement  of facing one of the greatest experiences in my life, we were in the summit of El Nevado del Tolima, a mountain located in the Central range of the Colombian Andes.  Out of breath, i gave a glance to the valleys down below and i struggle to put all my thoughts in order.

We were enduring heavy winds, snow and low visibility on our quest to traverse Las Nevados National Park from West to East, Hiking/Climbing and Flying. Despite the moderate eastern wind it was hard to believe to be on the summit with such a good weather.

It was 6:30 in the morning. My friends, Mateo, Alex and i had been walking for several hours through  the night and at 5 270 meters i was having dificulty to  put it all together.

“Lets go!! Wind speed is good and we had great visibility!” one of my friends said, waking me up from my lethargy!

I hurried up, in a matter of minutes, without exchanging many words between us, i layed out my paraglider, carefully setting it all the fly. Carabiners, speed bar, GPS, wind direction. All good!

Without hesitation i put my glider up my head, played with it, sensing the wind, and finally i sped up in the low density air mass, listening vividly the steps on the snow.

I saw the glacier of the mountain slowly dissapearing bellow my feet, i still cannot describe that feeling, I was flying towards the unknown, south direction towards Ibague. It was almous religious!!!

40 min after,  i was landing  sorrounded by green – tropical mountain trees at an altitude of 1600 m, between the villages of Villa Restrepo and Juntas in the Tolima Region …. Wow! I could not belive such a glide.

20 km straight line and an altitude difference of 3500 m. Nice way to get down the mountain!

Many Thanks to Mateo Isaza and Alex Villa for sharing the beauty of El Tolima and all their  wisdom!.

Big Thanks to UP-Paragliders (Amazing toys!),Singing Rock (Reliable Mountain Equipment), Tilak (Excellent mountain clothing) and Rock Point Czech Republic.