Coming to Nepal is itself a life changing experience for most of the western travelers and being here for the elite adventure on the top of the world, Everest Skydive is for sure the biggest holiday anyone could imagine. The biggest and the most thrilling sky adventure of autumn in the shadows of world’s highest peak, Everest Skydive 2015 has been a successful event yet again. After the Everest Skydive, relatively easier Pokhara Skydive was also accomplished by the same crew. After both Skydiving Expeditions, we had a brief interview with three crewmembers who have been the member of this adventurous aerial escapade since the inception of Everest Skydive in 2008.
Tom Noonan, Dr. Ryan Jackson and Derek Thomas, without whom the Everest Skydiving would have just an experiment long time ago, hear them.
EH: Overall Experience of ESD and PSD
Tom: Every year we come to Nepal to conduct Everest Skydive Expedition & Pokhara Skydive Expedition we face new challenges; Operational challenges, personal challenges, weather, aircraft and so on. However, we know no matter what the challenges are we have to overcome and the resources provided by Explore Himalaya and Fishtail Helicopters provide us the confidence to conduct the expedition overcoming all these challenges.
Derek: We have been coming here since 2008; we are three of the four who have been learning here form the first day. For me being an equipment guy, it is very interesting to see how the equipment is able to survive and work in extreme environment for high altitude and I am happy that everything worked well for all these years.
EH: Differences between previous years Skydives and 2015 Skydive
Tom: This year was unique as we arrived after the earthquake. It was difficult to see some of the places that we have known over the years having come down to the earthquake. Hearing about the fatalities associated with it, it was difficult for us to come in and conduct a sports celebration knowing that there was such damage. Moreover, there was a fuel crisis as well and managing to that crisis changed the dynamic of how we operate it. But in the end we decided that the best thing we could do is to promote Nepal and tourism industry of Nepal conveying the message globally “Nepal is back on top of the world” through Everest Skydive and Pokhara Skydive.
Derek: Nothing to do environmentally or equipment wise but personality wise we had few new group members and I am hoping to work more with them as they are very good as friends and have brought very good attitude and work ethic for the adventure like this.
EH :Having 80% of solo skydivers this year does it refer professional skydivers are more into ESD
Tom: I think that the interest between professional skydivers versus tandem skydivers’ rises and falls based on support tourism industry can do. Some years it’s financially viable for professional solo divers other years through global economic changes more tandem divers might be interested on the event.
EH: Difference between Everest Skydive and Pokhara Skydive
Ryan: Two extremes of skydiving for us, Everest Skydiving is enormously and technically difficult and challenging whereas, Pokhara Skydive is within what we normally consider what skydiving is. It is easy and fun with warm and stable weather. Everest Skydive and Pokhara Skydive are totally contrasting expeditions.
EH: Ideal participants for Everest and Pokhara Skydives
Ryan: Everest Skydiving participants are professional skydivers seeking to extraordinary skydiving adventure or they are high networth tourists doing something that can’t be done anywhere else in the world like going to the very peak. Pokhara Skydive is attractive to anyone who would come to Nepal for doing any other adventure tourism who would pay to go paragliding or bungee jumping.
Tom: Whether it is solo or tandem skydiver, Everest Skydive targets wealthy professional individuals. ESD is for Professional and successful individuals highly driven for the adventure. For the ESD we tend to see self made wealthy professional because it in lines with their personalities. PSD is more of a stable and traditional skydiving operation which can target individuals with reasonable income.
EH: Support of Explore Himalaya
Derek: That’s only that has not changed. Everywhere we go we get great support and everyone in Namche now have begun to recognize us and everyone here in Nepal and Explore Himalaya had been great with us and we have no bad experience at all.
Tom: In the beginning one of our first persons to contact was Pushpa, she was amazing. Then came Menuka, she was amazing as well as very easy to communicate. Now we have Monika, she is equally amazing. Every person we have communicated has done their job so well we could totally rely on. For the first few years we had Krishna to support our crew during the Expeditions and now we have Bharat to do that role. To be honest, without Bharat ESD & PSD 2015 would not have been this great. Whenever we had small hiccups during these expeditions we would just call Bharat and without any sort of hesitation the problem was solved. Without Explore Himalaya Everest Skydiving would have ended six years ago and every year we are privileged to come to Nepal to work with you guys. Thanks.
The seventh edition of Everest Skydive, the highest skydive and by far the most thrilling adventure on earth was held on 7th and 8th of November 2014. Held at Syangboche drop-zone, Everest Skydive this year had six skydivers including the crew.
During the most elite adventure on the top of the world, Fishtail Air, the exclusive partner of Everest Skydive took all six flights loads. Five flight loads were executed by veteran Italian pilot Maurizio Follini and a load was carried out by expert pilot Deepak Rana on the AS 350B3 Fishtail Air, Helicopter. Tom Noonan, the chief tandem instructor of Everest Skydive since 2008 played his usual role and Joe Johnson, the first timer in ESD was the tandem master of the event. Mr. Paul Henry de Baère led the photography and cinematography whereas; Mr. Ted Atkins was an Oxygen Supervisor of the event.
Here, we have a brief story on Everest Skydive 2014.
Pilot Maurizio Follini took the first flight load with Mr. Ossie Khan. Mr. Khan made the solo jump at 11:57 AM and landed at Syangboche drop-zone at 12:10 PM.
Follini took the second flight load with Mr. Joe Johnson and Jen Sharp. Both made the solo jumps at 12:10 PM and landed at Syangboche drop-zone at 12:21 PM.
The last flight load of the day was once again taken by Mr. Follini with Chief Tandem instructor Mr. Tom Noonan and Mr. Sanjeev Gautam. Tom and Sanjeev made the tandem jump at 1:08 PM and landed at Syangboche drop-zone at 1:30 PM.
Mr. Maurizio Follini took the first flight load once again, with Mr. Ossie Khan. Mr. Khan made the solo wing suit jump at 10:07 AM and landed at Syangboche drop-zone at 10:17 AM.
Maurizio Follini took the second flight load of the day with tandem master Mr. Joe Johnson and Mr. Paul Schaeffer. They executed the tandem jump at 10:57 AM and landed at Syangboche drop-zone at 11:10 AM.
Pilot Deepak Rana took the last flight load of the event with Mr. Joe Johnson and Jen Sharp. Both made the solo jumps at 11:42 AM and landed at Syangboche drop-zone at 11:55 AM.
“Everest Skydive 2015 is on the brink to kick off. For the annual Mega Event in the shadows of Everest the crew led by Tom Noonan is now in Namche, the Sherpa capital in the heartland of Khumbu. Including veteran French Aerial Cinematographer Paul Henry DeBaere and last year Hero who did HALO Jump from 30,000 feet during Pokhara Skydive Mike McCann, crew members of Everest Skydive since its inception – Dr Ryan Jackson, Derek Thomas and oxygen specialist Ted Atkins are yet again ready to perform the most thrilling adventure in world. Venezuelan Skydiver Enersto Gainza is introduced as the new crewmember for the ESD 2015.”
With the crewmembers five clients; four from Complete Parachute Solutions Florida USA and a winner of Tourism Beauty Pageant Ms. Samriddhi Rai from Nepal also have reached Namche. The Vice President of Complete Parachute Solutions Fred Williams with Brain Krause, Chane Burk and Cody Caroll are excitedly waiting their jump day.
The last minute preparation is ongoing in Syangboche, the dropzone of Everest Skydive and the event will kick off from 6 November with the test jumps.
“Walking along with the painful scars given by devastating quake of April 25 2015, Nepal decides to continue the legacy of World’s Highest Skydiving Event – the Everest Skydive. Like the previous years, the elite aerial adventure on the top of world will bring many adventure extremists and adrenaline junkies to the elevated airstrips of Syangboche. The flight loads flying with these adventure seekers taking them high into the thinner air and the electrifying jumps (tandem or solo) from the lofty clear skies facing Everest will once again seek the attention of every adventure lover across the globe.”
Have a look.
33% of oxygen in the air, extreme physical and mental exhaustion- yet Everest is a passion for millions of mountaineers across the globe. The highest point on earth where, the climbers can leave their footprints is Everest summit. Literally, the heads of the Everest climbers and Everest skydivers are in the space. The veteran Everest climbers/skydivers whose heads have felt the space speak on Everest.
“Strong motivation is the most important factor in getting you to the top” — Edmund Hillary
Sir Edmund Hillary is the first person to climb Everest with Tenzing Norgay Sherpa on May 29, 1953. A Kiwi National, Hillary is adorned with awards like, Knight Commnader of the Order of the British Empire, Fourth appointee to the Order of New Zealand, Knight Companion of The Most Noble Order of the Grater, Padma Vibhushan (India) Polar Medal (for Trans-Antarctic Expedition), Order of Gorkha Dakshin Bahu 1st Class (Nepal) and Commander’s Cross of the Order of the Merit of Republic of Poland among others.
“It has been a long road … From a mountain coolie a bearer of loads, to a wearer of a coat with rows of medals who is carried about in planes and worries about income tax.” Tenzing Norgay Sherpa
A young Sherpa who began his mountaineering career as a High Altitude Porter in 1930s, Tenzing was a member of several expeditions to Everest before he made the first ever ascent of Everest in 1953 with Edmund Hillary. Born in the far-flung village, Tengboche of Khumbu Nepal, Tenzing is honored with the awards like Geroge Medal and Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal by Queen Elizabeth II, the other honors like Order of Star Nepal, Padma Bhusan (India). Times Magazine enlisted him as one of the 100 influential people of the 20th century.
“I can’t understand why men make all this fuss about Everest — it’s only a mountain” — Junko Tabei
In 1975, Junko Tabei followed the route set by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay and became the first woman to summit Everest. Prior to her success she was buried in snow for a while, before she was dug out by a Sherpa guide. At 6,300m, during the Everest Expedition an avalanche struck the team and hence the incident happened. However, Japanese mountaineer, Tabei survived and 12 days later she accomplished the feat.
“Everest? Don’t forget it’s really just a big pile of rocks” —- David Breashears
David Breashears was the one who guided Richard Bass to the Everest summit, thus Bass completed his feat of climbing the highest summits of all seven continents. Five times summiter of Everest David Breashears is an avid cinematographer who has worked in the feature films like Seven years in Tibet, Cliffhanger and Red Flag over Tibet. First American to summit Everest twice is also a four time Emmy Award Winner.
“Everest for me, and I believe for the world, is the physical and symbolic manifestation of overcoming odds to achieve a dream” —- Tom Whittaker
After the amputation of his right foot in 1978, his passion to summit Everest became stronger hence he made his first attempt to summit Everest in 1995. First disable person to climb the Everest, Tom Whittaker accomplished the feat in May 27 1998.
“You’ve climbed the highest mountain in the world. Now what’s left? It’s all downhill from there. You have got to set your sights on something higher than Everest.” — Willi Unsoeld
Honored with Hubbard medal by John F. Kennedy, Willi was the member of first American Expedition Team to Everest summit in 1963. Willi Unsoeld and Tom Hornbein are the legendary names of mountaineering as they were the first one to summit Everest from its west ridge. Willi died in an avalanche while climbing Mt. Rainer.
Also, Everest Skydive have created the possibilities of experiencing the space during the yearly event Everest Skydive which takes place in the Everest Region, during the autumn. Here we have two bonus experiences shared by the veteran Everest Skydivers.
“I hope my action will inspire others living with this illness. I hope many more will follow in my footsteps,”– Marc Kopp
French national, Marc Kopp, successfully completed a tandem dive with his friend, champion skydiver Mario Gervasi setting a record of first disabled to skydive over Everest during the Everest Skydive 2013. The 55-year-old Kopp, living in Longwy northeast of Paris, has suffered the degenerative disease of the nervous system for more than a decade.
“Everest Skydive, the Himalaya is absolutely unique. It is the top of the world and unique to respect or appreciate trekking and acclimatizing to get to the destination where we take off from.”– Wendy Smith
The first skydiver to take the highest free fall during Everest Skydive 2008 Wendy Smith, is very talented photographer and an experienced skydiver with more than 20000 skydives. Kiwi Sky Angel, Wendy is a well known figure in the adventurous world who is also a winner of Emmy Award. Coordinator of the Everest Skydive since 2008, Wendy fell in love with Nepal long time ago.