The closing ceremony of the Everest Skydive was held at the auditorium hall of Nepal Tourism Board, Kathmandu. The simple function saw the attendance of the crew and members of Everest Skydive, dignitaries and officials from the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, tourism entrepreneurs, media persons and the staff of Explore Himalaya and Fishtail Air. The chief guest was Mr.Prachanda Man Shrestha, CEO, Nepal Tourism Board.
Everest Skydive 2008 can be hailed as the adventure of the year as it drew worldwide attention to the remote hamlet of Shyangboche, in the Everest Himalayas where this event took place. The welcome address was delivered by Mr.Suman Pandey, President of Explore Himalaya. Welcoming all the guests present at the ceremony, Mr. Pandey talked about his earlier doubts about the project and how he was delighted that the event has come up trumps. All the jumps were planned and regulated by the team of Dave Wood from UK. Special Oxygen system was developed for this event by the famous British Aeronautical scientist, Andy Elson.The jump suits worn by the divers were made in Nepal by a young Nepalese entrepreneur, Rajen Dulal who runs his workshop in Thamel. Mr. Pandey stressed on the fact that Everest Skydive could attract more people to Nepal in future than climbing Everest.
The other speakers were Nigel Gifford and Wendy Smith. Nigel Gifford, Director of High & Wild, UK, had this to say about the overwhelming response that the event drew from the media, “I didn’t mean to create such a vehicle to draw attention to the wonderful aspects of Nepal. But we did that! We have been at the top of the news around the world for the best part of the week. All these aspects about life in Nepal, Nepali culture, the friendships, the love we have received have come out in full force.”
Nigel said the success of the Everest Skydive belonged to everybody associated with the project. He also added that Maya Gurung deserves a special mention for being the first person to climb Everest as well to skydive over Everest. He congratulated Nima Tamang for being the first Nepalese to skydive over Everest and thanked and congratulated him for being a great sirdar and guide.
Wendy Smith (New Zealand), the director of aerial photography for the event, in her brief speech, said, “I have been skydiving since I was 17 years old and I would say that the Everest Skydive is the most exciting skydive I have ever done. It has been the most wonderful experience in my life.” Wendy holds the record for being the skydiver with the highest number of jumps with 9 solo jumps from an altitude of 29,500ft. She is also the first solo skydiver of the event.
Prachanda Man Shrestha, CEO of NTB, in his speech lauded the efforts of Mr. Suman Pandey and Explore Himalaya Travel & Adventure for their initiative in introducing a new product and their role in promoting adventure tourism in Nepal.
Mementoes were presented to the team and members of the Everest Skydive by Mr. Prachanda Man Shrestha. Mr. Subhash Niraula, the director of NTB delivered the vote of thanks. The guests also got to watch the incredible aerial video footage taken by Wendy Smith, Director of Aerial photography, of the Everest Skydive, at the end of the program. The visuals were truly amazing and drew an overwhelming response from the crowd.
During the show, Wendy Smith informed that Molly Bedingfield, founder of the international charity, “Global Angles” and a tandem jumper during the skydiving event, has decided to donate a sum of US $2,00,000/- to the “Children’s Home Orphanage” located in Khokana, Lalitpur.
Everest Skydive 2008 ended with cheers, applause and jubilation for everybody involved in this project.