Skydiving already is an extreme sport but now they have taken it up a notch by diving over Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world. Amazing view with heart palpating action is one experience only a few have achieved by skydiving over Everest in Nepal. It may sound unbelievable but there is skydiving over Everest, making Syangboche, 12,350 ft, the highest drop zone in the world.
The first to jump over Everest from an altitude of 29,500 ft were Wendy Smith from New Zealand, Holly Budge from Britain and Neil Jones, Canadian/British in 2008 for an event aptly named Everest Skydive, organized by High & Wild, UK and Explore Himalaya Travel and Adventure, Nepal. At the event, 41 skydivers from different countries participated in 50 solo and 19 tandem jumps at different altitudes.
And the man who came up with this brilliant idea and who made it possible with his hard work and unrelenting perseverance is Mr. Suman Panday, President, Explore Himalaya Travel and Adventure. For all his efforts, he was honored with the title of “Tourism Man of the Year 2010 – Nepal” by Gantabya Publications and bestowed with Gorkha Dakshin Bahu in 2004.
Skydiving over world’s highest mountain, Everest, doesn’t need any word to say how difficult, dangerous and heart-racing it can be. For Everest Skydive, you need to have thermal survival suits and oxygen in order to face the severe conditions you find in the icy cold high altitudes. Skydivers can get hypothermia if not well equipped.
For HALO jump, you should not have had surgery within past 18 months and should not have donated blood within the past month. You also require special permissions for HALO jump over Everest.
High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) jump is a technique used in skydiving where the skydiver deploys his parachute after free falling for a certain amount of time. While the other technique even more dangerous than the HALO jump being HAHO (High Altitude High Opening) jump in which the diver opens his parachute at high altitudes only a few seconds after jumping off the aircraft.
For skydiving over Everest, all the weather conditions have to be perfect, so, this is done normally in October-November, for safe experience. Skydiving over Everest is not done throughout the year, for obvious reasons. It is done under the strict and careful supervision of internationally licensed instructors.
All the specialized equipment and gears necessary for the jumps are made by proven manufacturers and the jumpers are introduced to them and shown how to use them properly by the international and professional instructors.
For tandem jumps, where you’d be accompanied by an experienced skydiver, they have detailed briefing on the place and the conditions that will emerge prior to the jump to all skydivers involved. Tandem Masters will provide you with the training and all you need to know information about the jump. You will need to jump off at an altitude of 29,500 ft for the tandem jump over Mt. Everest.
SKYDIVING IN POKHARA
After the success of Everest Skydive, one of the most extreme sports in the world, is now brought to all interested adventurers and thrill-seekers in the form of skydiving over Pokhara.
Everest Skydive’s main organizer and co-coordinator, Mr. Suman Panday and Wendy Smith, along with officials from Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation made the first test jump from the altitude of 14000 ft on 1st November, 2010 at Chhine Danda, Pokhara and landing safely at Pokhara International Airport (under construction) with Tara Air as the partner in their aircraft, the Pilatus Porter.
On the second day, 2nd November, 2010, Nepalese skydivers, Phul Bahadur Tamang, Bibek Pandey and Dik Bahadur Khirsina made history as the first solo skydivers of Nepal by taking the leap.
SKYDIVING FROM AN ULTRALIGHT
For solo professional skydivers, there is another option of skydiving from an Ultralight Aircraft which is provided by Avia Club Nepal in Pokhara. In this one, you will be jumping off from around 10,000 ft from ground on a regular Ultralight aircraft.
The first test dive on this was done by Jeorge, a Canadian, at an altitude of only 7000 ft; on 19th October, 2003, he attempted free-fall from the flight and landed successfully. For the jump, the pilot shut off the engine of the craft and Jeorge jumped off free falling for 9 seconds before opening his parachute.
If you are searching for thrilling things to do in Nepal and a great extreme sport at that, join the elite group of skydivers for an unmatched experience of a lifetime!