Paragliding From Papua’s Mt. Carstensz, South African Pilots Set Record
Two South African paragliding pilots, Pierre Carter and Nico Hickley, glided from Mount Carstensz, Papua on Dec. 11.
The act was recorded as the first-ever paragliding flight from Mt. Carstensz. The two pilots glided from the Teras Besar post at 4,600 meters above sea level (mamsl) and landed on Lembah Kuning at 4,300 mamsl, according to a report by KompasTravel.
Senior paragliding pilot and national paragliding coach for the 2018 Asian Games, Gendon Subandono, said that Carter and Hickley’s achievement was a new record in Indonesia.
“No one has paraglided from Carstensz before,” Gendon stated.
Carter said the mountain’s altitude and its rocky terrain complicated take-offs. He himself had five failed trials before actually taking off. Hickley, who succeeded on his first try, took off after waiting an hour for the perfect chance.
One of the guides, Denny Engka, told KompasTravel that Carter and Hickley had contacted him last year for the expedition.
“I carried the glider to basecamp last year, but we couldn’t fly due to the weather,” Denny told KompasTravel.
He recorded the eventually successful flight and posted the video on his YouTube account.
“We were very fortunate for yesterday’s good weather, because weather is crucial for flights,” Carter said.
The act is a part of the duo’s 7Summits7Flights mission where they climb and paraglide from seven of the highest mountains in seven continents. Before Carstensz, they have flown from Mounts Kilimanjaro in Africa, Aconcagua in South America and Elbrus in Europe.