Valery Rozov of Russia has made a name for himself in the world of BASE jumping, claiming to have made more than 10,000 of them, including a jump into an active volcano in the Russian Kamchatka Peninsula in 2009, a jump from Ulvetanna Peak in Antarctica in 2010, and a 21,466-foot leap from Shivling mountain in the Himalayas.
Earlier this month, Rozov outdid himself, jumping from the north face of Mount Everest at 23,667 feet and completing the world’s highest BASE jump, this nearly 60 years after Sir Edmund Hillary made history by becoming the first to climb Mount Everest, the tallest mountain on Earth at 29,035 feet.
Here’s the jump on video, which was just released this week by Red Bull, coinciding with Hillary’s history-making climb on May 29, 1953:
BASE jumping, incidentally, is defined as an activity whereby one jumps from a fixed object and uses a parachute to land. BASE is an acronym for the things people jump from: buildings, antennas, spans (bridges), and earth (cliffs, or in this case a mountain).
Rozov, 48, who spent two years preparing for this BASE jump, called it a “totally unknown area for me; this altitude is totally unknown.”
He and his team, including four sherpas, spent three weeks in the Himalayas before the May 5 jump.
Starting on the north route from the Chinese side, Rozov and his team took four days to climb from base camp to the chosen altitude. Despite adverse weather and temperatures of minus-1, Rozov jumped into the rarified high-altitude air where it took him more time than what is typical to transition from free-fall to flying. It was the most critical phase of the jump.
Once the wingsuit took effect, Rozov flew for nearly a minute at speeds of 124 mph along the north face before deploying his parachute and landing on Rongbuk glacier at 15,520 feet.
Here’s an expanded version of the jump with a few more details:
“Only when I got back home did I see how hard it was for me both physically and psychologically,” Rozov said. “When you look at the videos, you realize that it took longer than usual to get from falling to flying.”
An amazing feat. What could possibly be next for Rozov?
Photos courtesy of Red Bull