08 März 2013

Nevado de Toluca!

We were exploring new terrain yesterday on our 110km around 3 turnpoints. With aa front moving throuh over us, it was less unstable and we saw clouds with a very high base. Less wind made everything smoother than the days before. It was an easy ride to the first turnpoint at Divisadero Antennas, but then we had to get really high and find a safe way to the second turnpoint.
I decided to go upwind to the south to get to cloudbase and reach a line of clouds that would take me over the second turnpoint. It worked for me, as I didnt have to scare myself.
The last turnpoint was about 6 km away from the vulcano Nevado de Toluca. After I did the radius, I couldn´t help myself - I had to try and go up to the Nevado! I´m not winning this comp, so I thought I might use this once in a lifetime chance to see the crater from above. I had to go around to the southwest side of the vulcano (and never look down...) to reach a nice cloud. The thermal took me up to 4900m which was enough to fly over into the crater and have a look. Normally either base is too low or the wind is too strong to do this, but yesterday it worked!
Superhappy I headed off to goal at an airstrip about 20km south of the Nevado. There were about 8 gliders in goal already when I arrived, with more coming in. I was carrying that beaming smile the whole rest of the day - probably my reaction to hypoxia? I didn´t feel sick or tired or unconcentrated, I didn´t have a headache. But I also didn´t stay that high for very long. Zippy was kind of wiped out on the drive back, but he raced the task in 1h50min to win another day ;)
At goal, Rudy´s father came to help me immediately. He is flying from that airfield and was happy to see so many hang glider pilots there. We were also welcomed with a barbecue and drinks, organized by the local community.
Rudy said that I was the first pilot to ever fly the crater of Nevado de Toluca in a hang glider!

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