By Kim Bo Larsen
After a quiet night where everyone caught up on some sleep, we met for breakfast at 07:00. After coffee and food we set off on the trail. The morning was a bit cold, but after 15 mins, everyone were warm enough that we took off a layer or two.
Like yesterday, we took turns at coming up with new songs, and talking and having fun. I think it made a difference for us all.
The river gave some great photo opportunities during the day, we we were sometimes close down, sometimes far up above the water. As the trek got steeper, group photos was a great way of catching our breath.
In the pace we walk, which is pretty much the same, we all have time to enjoy the view. Today has been dominated by forests and cliffs, and of course the river. We also had some close up encounters with yak and mules carrying up supplies and taking down empty containers and trash.
Although Aliaa thought the trek today wes hard, her smiling face and happy mood was so contagious.
We made it to Namche Barack after roughly 7 hours, and were all excited to be here. Partly because we could rest and catch our breath, partly because of the prospect of the world famous cheesecake at our headquarter “Cafe 8848”.
We all sat down and rested our tired feet. Cheesecake, hot drinks and a great opportunity to talk a little with each other. Hearing our local superstar and guide Bibek tell us about his expedition to summit of Everest last year.
After filling up on surary treats and hot drinks we checked in to our teahouse and sat down to order dinner. While sitting at the table, we went through the plan for the next couple of days.
Tomorrow we carry on to Syangbotche where the jumps will take place. After recce’ing the landing area and a small chat about landing patterns and general safety, we local munks will join us for Puja, which a Buddhist ceremony and offering were we ask the mountain gods permission to jump amongst them, and give us good weather, safe skydives and positive energies. They chant, pray and offer to the gods.
Personally just talking about the jumps we are gonna do, gives me the chills. It is very emotional for me. The last couple of years Nepal has become almost my second home, and to be able to skydive here is a very big dream coming true. And at the same time being able to help other people achieve this dream is a true blessing. Being with this team has shown to be an amazing experience in it self, and reminds us that while skydive it is an amazing experience in it self, what makes us keep doing it, is the people. And I am absolutely convinced that I am surrounded by the best.
By Kim Bo Larsen
Hey everyone. Kim here.
I’ll be writing a day by day blog of this years Everest Skydive Expedition.
This years team consists of Paul-Henry (PH from France), Greg Rau (USA) Anton Gilev (Russia), Nadezda Solovyeva (Russia), Yurok Vion (France) and my self Kim Bo Larsen (Denmark) next week Wendy Smith (New Zealand) and Omar Alhegelan (Saudi Arabia) will join us for the second part. Along with us Bibek Pandey (Nepal), Bhuwan (Nepal), Bipin (Nepal), Samir (Nepal) taking good care of us.
Our clients for this week are two solo-skydivers from Kuwait, Aliaa and Osama, who are part of our team as well, and are both very excited about our expedition. I’ll tell more about their amazing stories within the next couple of days.
Today we set of from Kathmandu to Lukla after the whole team got together yesterday. We had a pleasant flight to Lullu, which for most of skydiving team was a new experience. A beautiful flight with great views of the mountains and valleys.
After sorting some logistics for a few hours in Lukla, we got on the trail. Today’s trek was easy and spirits high. People walked mostly in one group, some were busy singing and telling jokes, others filming and taking photos. I think everyone got a chance to talk to everyone, which is great. A few days from now, we need to perform as a solid team to make the skydives happen.
From Lukla we walked a bit down towards Phakding where we are staying tonight. On the way we got to see views of the Dudh Koshi (milk river) that flows down this valley. It’s white from silt, hence the name. We also saw monkeys playing around in the trees, and donkeys and yak hauling food and gear for Namche and beyond.
The weather today was mostly light rain, so views of he valley were few, but everyone had a great day. Although we are only at 2680 meters, everyone can feel the thinner air when walking up. It was a bit of a surprise for some.
We are now in Phakding resting, drinking tea and talking. Everyone on this team are experienced adventurers, and the stories being told these days are fantastic. For myself I can say, that my lift of things I want to do, and places to see is growing by the hour these days.
We are all very proud and grateful to be part of this team, making a dream come true for our clients and bringing skydiving to such a fantastic and spectacular part of the world.
Everest Skydive has reached new heights this year with a record breaking stand up parachute landing by Paul-Henry de Baere at 20,160ft MSL (6145m) at the West Col of Baruntse. The record setting skydive that occurred at 7:36AM GMT+5:45 on 19th May 2019 was made using a Performance Designs Navigator 240 main parachute with a wingloading 0.8 and into an 10kt headwind. Paul-Henry de Baere, who is the Media Director of Everest Skydive beat Everest Skydive’s all-time highest altitude landing record of 17,192ft MSL (5240m) set by Everest Skydive teammates Wendy Elizabeth Smith and Tom Noonan in 2009. The World Record jump was made from “The Dragon”, a Eurocopter B3 helicopter piloted by Deepak Jung Rana, Executive Director for Summit Helicopters and Captain Deepak Pun, with supplementary support provided by Simrik Air with Captain Siddhartha Gurung and Tsering Bothe. Everest Skydive’s Operations Director Tom Noonan managed the expedition’s oxygen support from Baruntse Base Camp at 17,857ft MSL (5443m) and Yorick Vion managed the drop zone set-up. The team of Explore Himalaya was responsible for the arrangement of the entire logistics and operation.
Explore Himalaya organized a felicitation program to honour Paul-Henry de Baere and Everest Skydive Team at Marcopolo Restaurant, Chhaya Center on 21st May. During the program, Paul-Henry de Baere, Tom Noonan and of Yorick Vion were honored with garland and Khada by Bibhuti Chand Thakur – General Secretary PATA Nepal Chapter, Abdullah Tuncer Kececi – General Manager Turkish Airlines Nepal, Ramesh Kharel – Ex Nepal Police Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Rajan Pokhrel – Deputy Editor Himalayan Times and Abhinav JBR – Chairman of Turbo Motors Pvt. Ltd respectively. Mountaineers Maya Gurung and Pujan Acharya who climbed tallest mountains on all seven continents, international mountain journalist Billi Bierling, Miss Tourism Samriddhi Rai were also present in the program. A video of the record breaking landing was also premiered in the program. The program was moderated by Suman Pandey, the President of Explore Himalaya.
Our Words of Gratitude:
We have always been a proud partner of Everest Skydive since 2008. However, at this moment, we are brimming with joy as well to be a part of this ambitious expedition. What could be more beautiful than complementing our 12 years’ togetherness with Everest Skydive in such a delightful note! Operating an event of such stature in the Himalayan terrain is of course a serious challenge. However, we made it possible! But needless to say, it’s a team effort and the benevolence of the Mountains. Our deep reverence to the Mountains for patronizing us! In the meantime, we would also like to have an honorable mention to Everest Skydive’s Operations Director Tom Noonan, the man behind the back of the whole project. Thanks Tom and the entire Everest Skydive team for instilling us with passion and dream throughout! Thanks Yorick Vion for your great effort in drop zone set-up & welcome to the Team! We couldn’t help ourselves thanking Summit Helicopters Nepal and Simrik Helicopters also for your valuable support. Together we made it happen- you all are a treat to work with! Once again Félicitations PH- you are an inspiration! Keep living your dream!
Everest Skydive, world’s most adventurous aerial event, organized its 13th edition on 16th and 17th November 2018 at Syangboche (3780m/12400ft), a small plateau at the base of Mt. Khumbila. The two days’ event had two solo and two tandem jumpers from Indonesia, UK and Nepal. The first day’s jump started with clear blue skies at scheduled time. The first lift, which was done by AS350 B3 chopper flown by Captain Eric from Summit Heli, took place at 10:00 am local time. The lift had two solo jumpers Christopher David Ings (Britain) and Naila Novaranti (Indonesia); and two camera flyers Wendy Smith (New Zealand) and Paul Henry (France). After reaching the height of 19000ft, the members jumped off the chopper with Everest and other beautiful peaks in the backdrop. After the most exhilarating free fall, the jump concluded with terrific landing on Syangboche airstrip at 10:23 am local time. After the first lift, the jumps had to be pulled off due to poor weather condition.
The next day, the jump started at 7:35 local time with the same crew and jump members but this time they had high-jump from the altitude of 20000ft. Both jumpers had spectacular touchdown at 8:00 am. Due to inclement weather on the second day also, rest of the jumps including tandem jumps, wing suit jumps and Amadablam jump were cancelled which brought the event to a close for this year. Considered as one of the most thrilling skydiving adventures in the world, the event was also particularly unique because of the two days’ exciting trek to Namche and a short uphill climb to the dropzone the jumpers had to do before their most anticipated jumps. Both skydivers Christopher David Ings and Naila Novaranti expressed their whole experience as the one nothing can beat! Now the whole Everest Skydive team is heading for Pokhara for Pokhara Skydive 2018, another splendid skydiving adventure in the Himalayas.
*Everest Skydive is an exclusive annual event of Explore Himalaya!
The morning of 09th November was different at Pame Lauruk, a small settlement 11 km northward from Pokhara lakeside. Excited skydivers were milling up in the dropzone, a wide grassland nearby the village. Crew were busy around preparing and briefing, jumpers were being all geared up and waiting with dreamy anticipation. Many of them were having their first ever jump – so things were being so intense for them. A whole lot of spectators were waiting for the moment to capture in their mobiles and cameras. The sky was exceptionally clear, the mountain was smiling its brightest smile and the hills around as lush as ever. It was quite a sight! At round 9 am, the jump started and added a real thrill to the already excited crowd. Well, to be honest, to jump off the chopper at the height of 11,000-13000 ft with the majestic views of Annapurna range at your backdrop and the sprawling valley of Pokhara along with serene Phewa lake below, is not just an adventure but a sublimity in itself! The first day, 27 lucky jumpers achieved that momentum!
This year’s Pokhara Skydive continued for three days till 11th November and a total of 65 jumpers from India, Nepal, Denmark, Australia and Netherlands achieved their dream of flying in the Himalaya. Among the happy jumpers, some were even able to make it to the record list of Pokhara Skydive. Aniket Jain (India), aged 16 and Rajinder Singh (India), aged 65, became the youngest and the oldest skydivers respectively to have done Pokhara Skydive. They have proved that age doesn’t really count when it comes to adventure! Jad Kamel became the first Lebanese to skydive in Pokhara. The whole three days passed with amazing chopper take offs, crazy freefalls, spectacular landings, overwhelming moments and a series of never ending excitement. The event concluded with great memories and hopes of welcoming more skydiving enthusiasts next year. Congratulations to all the dare devils who ticked the dream of “flying in the Himalaya” out of their bucket list!
[Pokhara Skydive https://www.nepalskydive.com/, is an annual skydiving adventure, organized by the pro team of Everest Skydive and Explore Himalaya, the only skydiving company in Nepal. Pokhara Skydive has officially started its commercial operation since 2014, after its first test operation in 2010. It has welcomed hundreds of skydivers round the world ever since. As the event is the blend of adventure and the exceptional beauty of Pokhara, every year Pokhara Skydive community is getting bigger and bigger!]