Speed-Flying Descent of Aconcagua South Face

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Speed-Flying Descent of Aconcagua South Face

François Bon has made a speed-flying descent of the south face of Aconcagua, one of the world’s great mountain walls. Speed flying (aka speed riding) is a blend of free skiing and high-speed paragliding. Bon, a French rider, has become the most high-profile speed flyer in the world, with a descent of the Eiger by the west and north faces, as well as Mont Blanc.

Bon summited 22,841-foot Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere, after an 11-day approach and climb in early-winter conditions. Skiing off the snowfields on top, he descended the 9,000-foot south face in 4 minutes 50 seconds. “With the altitude it goes so fast!” Bon said. “I fell from the sky along the walls.”

Aconcagua Speed Flying

Aconcagua’s great southern wall was first climbed in 1954 by a French team.

With wings about half the size of paragliding canopies, expert speed flyers cruise at 50 mph or more; the skis allow launches and occasional touch-downs on mountain walls that are much less than vertical. Bon has descended from 15,774-foot Mont Blanc to the green grass of Chamonix in three and a half minutes, and his speed-flying descent of the Eiger last year with Antoine Montant was captured in a riveting video.

Date of Descent: March 2008

Source: François Bon

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Eiger Speed Flying