Saturday, September 26, 2009
Highest parachute landing-world record set
near Mount Everest
KATHMANDU, Nepal --Three skydivers: two Britons, Leo
Dickinson and Ralph Mitchell, and one Indian Air
Force officer, Ramesh Tripathi jumped from an airplane
at 20,000 ft (6,154 meters) and landed by parachute at Gorak
Shep, a frozen lake bed, 16,940ft. (5,165 meters) above sea
level, near Mount Everest-setting the world for the highest
parachute jump landing.
Photo: Mr Dickinson, flanked by fellow
Briton Ralph Mitchell (left) and Indian army officer Ramesh
Tripathi, stand at the 16,800ft-high plateau after they all
skydived on to it from a helicopter flying 4,000ft above /
landed at the highest zone at Gorakshep," Tourism Ministry
official Dipendra Poudel said. "This will open a new adventure
tourism event in Nepal and more skydivers are coming to Nepal."
Dickinson told reporters in the Nepal's
capital, Katmandu, that after he jumped, he got a glimpse
of Mount Everest before opening his parachute and saw "a panorama
of fantastic mountains" and it was just amazing. You have
got the mountains rushing past you. I just didn't want it
to end. I had a freefall for four seconds and in the next
three minutes I was already landing," Dickinson said.
The divers were in free fall for about 5 seconds
before opening their parachutes and gliding down to the landing
zone. All three are experienced skydivers. Mr. Dickinson and
Mr. Mitchell have done over 4,000 jumps so far, while Mr.
Tripathi has done over 3,000 jumps.
Photo: A skydiver prepares to land at
Gorakshep at a height of 5164 metres after a parachute jump
over Mount Everest. Photo: AFP
"It was the fulfilment of a dream,”
said Tripathi, who in 2005 had led the IAF team that ascended
Mt Everest. “Now if I die tomorrow, I will die a happy man.”
It was a remarkable feat for Tripathi especially
as he had suffered a brain haemorrhage six months ago and
his doctors opposed his skydive plan from a height where the
dearth of oxygen could cause death. Unlike his peers, who
spent about five days in Gorak Shep acclimatising, Tripathi
did not have that luxury since he did not have leave.
Surendra Sapkota, chief of Nepal's mountaineering
department said officials from his department, police and
the home ministry escorted the skydivers to the area and witnessed
The previous world
record for the highest parachute landing was made
last year when skydivers jumped to a drop zone in the same
region at 12,350ft.
Gorakshep is a small patch of flat land at 16,940
feet near Mount Everest.
Bikrum Pandey, chief of Nepali hiking agency
Himalaya Expeditions that provided logistics to the skydivers
said it was a "test jump" to see if Gorakshep could become
a safe landing site for regular skydiving.
This is the first year that the Nepal tourism
has opened the Everest zone to skydiving. The landlocked mountain
nation plans to celebrate Visit Nepal Year in 2011 to attract
Tourism is one of the Nepal's biggest
foreign currency earners with tens of thousands of tourists
coming to trek in the Himalayas every year.
More than 3,600 climbers -- including a 16-year-old
boy, a 76-year-old man, a man with an artificial limb and
a blind person -- have since scaled the world's highest mountain.
In May this year, the Indian Army’s Colonel
Niraj Rana set another record by landing above Camp II of
Mount Makalu, situated at 7,000 metres, on a paraglider. This
was the highest place a paraglider has ever landed.
Related world records:
paramotoring (PPG) flight -Adi Buzan and Ionut Rites sets
wheelie in a wheelchair-world record set by Michael Miller
turns around the horizontal bar-world record set by Davit
Backwards Limbo Skating Under Vehicles-Abhishek Navale sets
golf holes played in a week-world record set by Tom Bucci
coach of an Olympic women's marathon winner-world record set
by Valeriu Tomescu
Olympic women's marathon winner-world record set by Constantina
blindfold limbo skating-world record set by Rohan Kokane
bodybuilder-world record set by Aditya 'Romeo' Dev
Full Contact Martial Arts Punches In 1 Minute-Kevin Austen
sets world record
tandem skydives in 24 hours-world record set by Chip Bowlin
September 26, 2009