Pablo Pontoriero is the first Argentine to fly paragliding from the summit of the hill Fitz Roy, in Patagonia Source: Archive – Credit: Pablo Pontoriero

In 1988, the Germans Matthias and Michael Pinn were the first to fly from the top of the

mountain

Fitz Roy

, at 3405 meters above sea level

.

Today there are three who went through that experience. Recently

Pablo Pontoriero,

An experienced Barilochense mountaineer, summited and launched from there with his paraglider.

“On February 19 we left El Chaltén to the base of the road. We climbed on 20, on 21 we reached the summit and flew,” Pontoriero said in dialogue with

THE NATION. “It was a dream”,

confessed


Mount Fitz Roy is a mountain 3405 meters high above sea level
Mount Fitz Roy is a mountain 3405 meters high above sea level Source: Archive – Credit: Pablo Pontoriero

At age eight, Pontoriero began doing activities in the mountains. Today, at 41, he is a climber, mountaineer and skier. Is he

Director of the Argentine Higher Institute of Mountain Guides

and has

license as a two-seater paraglider pilot.

Mount Fitz Roy -or Chaltén Hill-

It is a mountain located east of the southern Patagonian Ice Field in

Chile

, in Patagonia, near the town

El Chaltén

. It is an extension of continental ice located in the

F

hoarse between Argentina and Chile.

As in 1988, Pablo climbed with two friends along the

Supercanaleta,

a path of ascent of ice and rock of 1600 meters in length from the base of the mountain. They slept at night and the next morning they undertook the final part towards the summit.

While climbing was done with two friends,

Quique (Enrique) Claussen, and Kiko (Luis) Cerda

, the flight did it alone. The others rappelled, how do you usually descend when climbing.

Paul explained to

THE NATION

that just climbing the Fitz Roy was already

“A challenge.”

It requires a lot of preparation, experience and luck with the climate of Patagonia. However, he admits that the experience was not too planned.

“It was a dream, I thought I had the conditions to do it and that it would be good at some point to try,” he said, adding that, despite that,

“I had not raised it as a goal for this season.”

When they reached the summit, he watched the imposing stage for a while and analyzed where to take off. Fortunately,

The wind was soft.


Pablo is a high mountain guide and is licensed as a two-seater paraglider pilot
Pablo is a high mountain guide and is licensed as a two-seater paraglider pilot Source: Archive – Credit: Pablo Pontoriero

“It is very steep up there and there is no comfortable place to try to take off with those conditions. Luckily, after trying a little, I found an area good enough to put the sail, where the wind gusts were oriented well.

I waited for the moment and when the opportunity came I went flying, ”

he remembered.

Pablo described the feeling as “incredible” and explained that being at that height, between mountains and glaciers, is “impressive”, even for someone with his experience. From the air he listened to the cries of his friends, who encouraged him.

The flight lasted about 30 minutes

and landed on the road to the lake of the Desert, near the bridge of the

Electric River

, in the province of

Santa Cruz

. There he had his truck parked.


The view from Pablo's paraglider, in full flight
The view from Pablo’s paraglider, in full flight Source: Archive – Credit: Pablo Pontoriero

His friends came down from the mountain and reached the upper glacier at night. Only the next morning they met in Río Blanco. They loaded the equipment and that same afternoon

They celebrated with a roast.

Then they returned to Bariloche.

Pontoriero became the first Argentine to fly from the summit of Fitz Roy. “It’s something that I will never forget,” he said.

At the moment, he does not plan a new challenge, but admits that he does not rule it out.

“The mountain is my way of life, my passion and my profession”,

remarked. Something will occur to him.

FURTHER

.


Publicado en el diario La Nación

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