Juan Cojo

2007 Slope Soaring in the Colombian Andes

ColombiaWe couldn't stay away for long: after slope soaring in the Andes in January of 2005, we returned two years later with more slope'n stuff than we've ever traveled with by air. In 2005, the Mach-1 showed us that a small plane developed for coastal slopes didn't like high-elevation alpine soaring conditions; bigger planes were in order. So, I assembled a Stork-2 Pro which I know would fly superbly in the Andes; and I also packed an SRTL, a comparatively heavy 95-inch sloper, which earlier had surprised me with its high performance in relatively light lift. These two planes, along with an Acme Cyclone (a gift for one of our Colombian friends) fit safely into a series-3 Sportube, and all made it to Colombia without a scratch.

We again visited slopes near Bogotá and Medellín, and this album highlights five of them, two near Bogotá and 3 near Medellín. Many friends joined us on the slopes, and our sincere thanks go to Jorge Puello and family in Medellín and Roberto Martinez and family in Bogotá. Jorge put us up (and up with us) in his house, and Roberto and friend Paul Hamilton-Smith drove us to the Bogotá slopes. These guys, along with Ricardo Ceballos, also organized gatherings over dinner and barbecue parties. We are really fortunate to have such good friends, and we're grateful for everything they did to make our trip enjoyable and unforgettable.

The photo album is organized by slope sites. As you look at the photos, keep in mind that despite light clothes and a lush green countryside, this is January, and the slopes are 8-10,000 feet in elevation. In addition, "Glimpses" shows some highlights of our visit in the Medellín and Bogotá areas.

Additionally, inspired by the excellent flying in this wonderful country with its friendly and happy people, I wrote an article in for the German "Aufwind" magazine to share my enthusiasm about this great adventure in the Andes mountains. We are pleased to publish the original German article and our own English and Spanish translations as downloadable PDF files. Thank you, Aufwind, for allowing us to post this article! Enjoy!