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.
According to a Chinese proverb, “A picture is worth a thousand words“. So without further ado or without wasting any words, we share with you some thrilling moments captured by Wendy Smith at the recently held Pokhara Skydive.
Photos Courtesy : Wendy Smith
Everest Skydive in partnership with private domestic airline company Tara Air, have launched skydiving in Pokhara. Test flights were conducted successfully yesterday and today at Pokhara’s Chhine Danda. Skydivers flying on Tara Air’s Pilatus Porter aircraft leaped from 14000 feet and landed at the site of the Pokhara International Airport ( under construction). Yesterday’s action saw Everest Skydive’s main organizer and co-ordinator, Mr. Suman Pandey and Wendy Smith taking the leap. Today three Nepalese skydivers, Phul Bahadur Tamang, Bibek Pandey & Dik Bahadur Khirsina jumped solo. These three have created history. They are the first Nepalese solo skydivers.
After three days of bad weather, the sky at Shyangboche finally cleared up today. Since early morning there was hectic activity at the drop zone as ESD crew and group members prepared for the jumps.
Between 8 to 9 AM (local time) the PC-6 aircraft took off.
Tandem- Christopher rainier & Tom Noonan
The first lift had Christopher Rainier from Canada making a tandem jump with Tom Noonan, while Wendy Smith and Ryan Jackson jumped solo from a height of 29,500 feet.
Nick Leventis & Tom Noonan- Freefalling from 30,000 feet
The second lift saw British racing pro Nick Leventis making a record breaking tandem leap with tandem master Tom Noonan from a height of 30,000 feet: a new Everest Skydive & WORLD record.No skydiver had ever attempted a jump from this height at this altitude.
Wendy( with her camera), jumped solo and captured Nick & Tom’s free fall.
Friday,October 15, 2010- Shyangboche Drop Zone
First Lift (8:45 AM) – 21,000 feet
On the first lift, Derek Thomas(British), Roger Hoe(British) and Peter Rottele(German) made solo jumps from 21,000 feet while Klaus Leo Gachter(American) jumped tandem with tandem master Kevin Hardwick(British) from the same height.
Second lift(9:10 AM)- 29,5000 feet
Second lift saw the skydivers leaping from 29,500 feet. Wendy Smith(Kiwi) made a solo dive while Joan Dru Nasher(American) dived tandem with tandem master Tom Noonan(American).
Third Lift(12:30 PM)- 27,000 feet
The third lift had Ryan Jackson(British) making a solo leap and Klaus Leo Gachter and Tom Noonan together making a tandem leap from a height of 27,000 feet.
I look forward to working with your team on future treks when I am able to return to Nepal - perhaps as September 2010 with my wife.
We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.