Get in the Drop Zone

Skydiving with the world’s tallest mountain within view? Head for Nepal.

For millions of years, mount everest has been battered by harsh winds, snow, ice and frigid temperatures. it is these natural elements that have carved her notoriety and allure. Since Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay conquered Everest on foot in 1953, thousands of adventure seekers and mountaineers have followed, seeking to absorb—even if only for a few moments—the beauty and wonderment of our planet atop its highest peak. Some have been successful, but for many the mountain’s intimidating terrain humbles them to submission.

At some point or another you too may have placed a Mount Everest trek on your bucket list. If you haven’t crossed it off already or are beginning to place more plausible goals above, know there is a new and slightly less dangerous—so to speak—approach to experiencing Everest and her mysticism.

Open to the public in 2011, Everest Skydive provides the ultimate thrill seeking opportunity for those wishing to embark on a not-so-average sky dive adventure. A joint venture with Explore Himalaya Travel and Adventure, Everest Skydive welcomes the dare-devil in you, who is serious about experiencing a free fall and glide back to earth that begins with a leap from a B3 helicopter from 29,035 feet (8,848 meters) with mighty Everest in full view. Pretty standard really, wouldn’t you say?

Master rigger and jump master coming in to landing zone (photos courtesy Wendy Smith,

Master rigger and jump master coming in to landing zone (photos courtesy Wendy Smith,

“The view from the top of the world is breathtakingly beautiful. The complete environment of Everest Skydive brings amazing people together into a location on earth that can humble even the most outrageous,” says Wendy Smith, chief coordinator and director of aerial production for Everest Skydive.

Since its first beta test jump in 2008, a total of 194 jumps have been accomplished.

Everest Skydive offers two of the most unique drop-zone locations in the worldwide sky dive community. One is Syangboche Airport at 12,340 feet, the other zone is located at Ama Dablam Base Camp at 15,000 feet. Both landing zones are the highest and second highest respectively, located in the tiny sovereign country of Nepal.

“We offer Tandem skydiving with your own personal HALO Instructor and Sport Skydivers holding a class C license with a 200 jump minimum requirement. The logistics of the location and operational skills have been in process during the last four years, as we have been in development of equipment and understanding of this high altitude environment,” adds Smith.

“While getting to know us and the equipment, our group of international skydiving specialists, doctors, commercial jump pilots, oxygen systems technicians, metrological surveillance safety officers, mountain guides, professional cameramen and client hostess prepare to make Everest Skydive the adventure of your life.”

Even with a stout team preparing that your safety is ensured each step of the way, divers need to be aware of personal precautions that are paramount for their own safety and successful journey. For those wondering if they can just show up at base camp for a Everest environment skydive and then be on their way afterwards, the answer is no. The expedition is a 10- to 12-day affair, where sequential acclimatization to altitude is key.

British racing champion (Le Mans) Nik Leventis with chief tandem instructor Tom Noonan

British racing champion (Le Mans) Nik Leventis with chief tandem instructor Tom Noonan

Balance of pace is key to trekking to base camp through World Heritage Area National Park. Constant hydration is also extremely important throughout the duration of the trip. Although many of the trekking days are typically done under sunny skies and warm temperatures the exit temperatures from the helicopter range anywhere from -40 to -18 degrees Fahrenheit.

Negative 40 degrees should be the most frigid temperatures anyone would have to endure, but you may not even notice, not only because of the custom designed thermal suits, but also due to the magnitude of both the free fall and surrounding environment you’ll be rushing past.

“Depending on the exit altitudes of the different locations we jump to—anything from 1.3 to 1.8 minutes of free fall can be expected. You are literally falling beside some of the highest peaks in the world, or landing at the base camp of them,” says Smith.

Included on CNN’s, “2011 Top Ten Experiences Before You Die” list, an Everest Skydive is more than just a few minutes worth of snowcapped mountain accompanied diving. Divers will also visit Kathmandu and the holy Sherpa’s lands of the Everest region. You’ll experience the culture of Everest villages and the spirit of the people and Himalayan lifestyle.

“Nepal is an adventurous country, rich in culture and natural beauty. Nepal is tiny, but is truly one of the most wonderful countries in the world,” adds Smith.

If Everest calls to you, Everest Skydive gives you a unique, 21st century type of opportunity to join an elite club of international skydivers. I leave you with one question. If you had an opportunity to purchase a $35,000 luxury vehicle or sky dive from the highest elevation possible in our world, above the clouds, with Everest as your background, which would you choose?

Theme developed by TouchSize - Premium WordPress Themes and Websites