The Aconcagua flight has come. We are all nervous. We want to fly but we are aware that it’s a special flight due to strong rotors and turbulences that we can encounter while crossing the range. Andes mountains are very unique and towering.
It took some time to prepare the balloons. We needed oxygen and some of the gas bottles pressurized by nytrogen. The planned take off site was to take off inside the Parque Nacional Aconcagua but finnally we moved to a very special place, close to the road and in the middle of the valley more sheltered.
Finally 6 balloons flew. Josep was the first, he wanted to share this experience with his daughters and his old friend Mario. Climbing at a rate of 4-6 m/s between 12000 feet and 15000 feet found some turbulence, but not too strong. The good thing has been that direction was along the valley while climbing, so not approaching the side mountains and other balloons could climb slower. Some of the other teams experienced turbulences while descending but the metereology was quite perfect, we were so lucky.
It has been a great sunny day with almost none surface wind and with great speed at 7200 meters (the fastest speed arrived up to 185 km/h). We were really prepared to suffer from cold at high altitude, nevertheless we were comfortable during the flight.
The rescue was not easy due to the large distance flight. Most of the balloons landed passing Mendoza and the rescue team could get to them approx. at 6 pm.
We are celebrating the great flight at Antares, a craft bewery. We are very happy, excited that we could enjoy the greatness of the Andes from our balloons.