A Short Cut To The Mount Everest

Mount Everest
History has been created and re-created with the mighty Everest. This time again, history plans to re-visit the Mount Everest in the form of a free-fall.

An international group will attempt to reach the summit of the world's highest mountain using a short new and unconventional route

Conquering Everest is the ultimate aspiration of every climber. More than 2,500 mountaineers have reached the summit and 210 have died trying. A group of 32 men and women will become the latest to attempt to overcome the world's highest mountain, The Independent reported.

But, while their predecessors have all scaled the mountain that straddles Nepal and Tibet from the bottom to the top, this band of adventurers are planning something rather different. The international group, which includes men and women from Britain, Iraq and Pakistan, have already spent six days trekking to their base camp, which sits at 12,350ft (3,764m), a good way up the mountain. Today, the first of them will board an aeroplane and fly to 30,000ft. Once there, looking down on the mountain, they will leap from the plane.

After freefalling for one minute, at speeds of up to 180mph and braving temperatures of -40C, they will open their parachutes and float back to their base camp, precariously positioned on the edge of a valley – an eight-minute journey. Half of the mountain lovers have never jumped before. But that hasn't stopped them paying up to 17,000 pound for the privilege to take part. Among their number is a 72-year-old scientist, a Red Devils freefall member, a former soldier; and Molly Bedingfield, the mother of singers Natasha and Daniel.

Somerset-based climber Nigel Gifford, who himself scaled Everest the traditional way in 1976, has spent two years planning the jump. The daring attempt shows that the appeal to conquer the world's tallest mountain, which stands at 29,029ft, is still strong.

The Everest stands as tall and as strong as ever, braving all the brave hearts who wish to conquer it again.

Story first published: Monday, October 6, 2008, 13:18 [IST]
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