Skydiving over EverestOctober 17, 2008
Described by the organisers as “a feast for those who seek to stimulate all their senses to the point of near overload” the Mount Everest skydive took the participants breath away – literally.
After becoming the first woman from her country to skydive over the world’s highest mountain, Scottish born Jane Dougall was asked if she would ever do it again?
“Absolutely not,” speaking from Nepal she told TODAY’s Ann Curry, “It was the most phenomenal chance of a lifetime; I really did appreciate doing it at the time. But I’m gonna admit, hands up, I’m a coward, I’m scared, and no, I don’t think I’d like to do it again.”
However she did admit that it had been the most incredible experience, absolutely spetacular views and the experience of a lifetime.
A trio from Britain, New Zealand, and Canada were the first people to accomplish the feat and so get their names into the records books – Holly Budge, Wendy Smith and Neil James respectively.
Holly Budge, 29, a Winchester-born extreme sports enthusiast, said, after making a safe landing at a site 12,350 feet (3,765 metres) above sea level — the highest “drop zone” achieved by a parachutist, that “It was amazing, just spectacular. We had one minute of freefall and while we were above the clouds you could see Everest and the other high mountains popping out of the top,”
Before making her leap into the record books, Holly Budge, an experienced skydiver, explained that the unprecedented project was “first and foremost a challenge to myself. It’s all about taking yourself out of your comfortable norm.”
They fell at speeds reaching 140mph, hurtling past the highest ridges of the snow-laden Himalayas, before each released a parachute, made three times the size of a normal canopy to cope with the thin air. The jumpers wore oxygen masks to prevent their lungs from collapsing as they fell. Wearing neoprene underwear was compulsory — to prevent them from being frozen to death!
To Holly this experience was the most perfect 30th birthday present!
High and Wild, the British adventure travel company behind the project, is offering this unique experience to any interested extreme adrenaline seekers …
“Combine the visual impact of looking onto the summit of Mt. Everest and some of the other highest mountains in the world and freefalling past them; this adventure is a feast for those who seek to stimulate all their senses to the point of near overload. The 8,000ft wall of Nuptse and Lhotse which has an average height of 26,000ft are dwarfed by Mt. Everest behind at 29,035ft. The picture is taken from 25,000ft. This is 4,500ft below our jump altitude,” they say.