The base jumpers Marco Waltenspiel and Marco Fürst from the skydive team of an international beverage company based in Fuschl (Flachgau) and Salzburg have had a premiere in Africa – the first wingsuit flights in Namibia, the classic German Southwest Africa. They climbed the Hohenstein (2,319 m) in the Eron Mountains.
Wingsuits are wing-like extensions of base jumper suits. Such “bat men” only deploy shortly before their special parachutes are deployed. Before doing so, stay in the air for as long as possible, use the free fall for horizontal gliding flights and get as far as possible – if possible also controlled by body, arm and leg movements.
Huge thermals, hard turbulence
Constantly changing thermals, desert winds, extreme solar radiation and thus a lot of energy for updrafts – these are the conditions in the Eron Mountains.
Photo series with 6 pictures
Locals help to explore
Waltenspiel comes from Salzburg, his companion Fürst from Vorarlberg. They were looked after by the extreme athlete and base jumper Peter Salzmann, who took care of the logistics. In early May, the team traveled to Namibia and, with the help of locals, explored this remote high mountain range. The ascent alone was an adventure in itself, say the two Austrians: “A miner from the region helped us to get to the summit plateau over a steep face.”
Pretty cold nights, hot days
With the help of a laser measuring device, she determines the take-off point for an optimal height above the ground. Because of the difficult wind conditions, they had to wait a few hours before they could start. The large temperature differences between day and night cause sometimes enormous turbulence on the Hohenstein when the pressure of the air masses equalizes.