Antoine Girard at 8,400m in the Karakoram on 18 July 2021. The obvious main peak is K2 (8,611m), the world's second highest mountain. Photo: Antoine Girard

Antoine Girard flies to 8,407m in the Karakoram

Friday 23 July, 2021

Antoine Girard flew to 8,407m in Pakistan last Sunday 18 July, setting a new record for flying at extreme altitude in the Karakoram.

He repeated his flight of five years ago where he flew at 8,157m above Broad Peak (8,051m).

Antoine was in the Karakoram as part of a team of seven pilots including Acro World Champion François Ragolski, who reached 8,225m above Rakaposhi (7,788m) on 6 June.

Speaking from Pakistan Antoine said flying at 8,400m was “a perfect moment.”

Antoine’s record flight came on the last day of a two-month long expedition, which was officially sanctioned by the Pakistan authorities. The team had a licence to fly in the Baltoro region of the Karakoram – an area that is home to several of the world’s highest mountains including K2.

In an interview with the BBC World Service in Pakistan he said: “Pakistan is the best place to beat the record. When I was on take-off my feeling was not good because the weather forecast was not very good. It was the last day, so we had to try, and we did it. When I beat the record I thought of nothing, just flying. It was a perfect moment.”

Posting to Facebook today Antoine wrote: “The highlight of the expedition is certainly my passage at 8,407m in paragliding flight over Broad Peak. The highest voluntary flight of ascent.

“But the expedition is not only this flight of the last day for the last chance of the expedition. We have achieved some new things and not only in paragliding!”

Before heading to Baltoro the pilots had acclimatised in the Hunza Valley for five weeks. It was here that François flew above Rakaposhi.

The full team included Antoine, François Ragolski, Julien Dusserre, Sébastien Brugalla, Alexandre Jofresa, Fabian Buhl and Guillaume Omont.

Footage of his flight will be aired on French TV TF1 at 8pm on 23 July.

More when we get it!

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