ExWeb continues to examine Bear Grylls claims of having flown his paraglider higher than Everest. Back in May, the British Adventurer claimed to have flown his gas powered paraglider all the way up to 29,500 feet, saying that he flew higher than Everest and could see no other mountains around him at the time. Everyone took the story and ran with it, most noting that Bear’s claims needed to be independently verified for the record flight to be confirmed.
Several weeks past, and ExWeb posted an article challenging the claim that Bear flew over Everest. The article noted that no climbers on the mountain saw him, nor could his claims of even being near Everest be confirmed. The mystery deepened when we found out that Bear’s altimeter froze up during the flight, and his altitude could not be confirmed from that point on. Bear countered that he never claimed to have flown “over” Everest, only “above” Everest. Something The Adventurist noted a week ago.
Today, ExWeb received an e-mail from Nigel Gifford at the UK High & Wild Group who says that he put together Bear’s initial flight permit, and that the plan all along was to not fly over Everest, but to go above it in height. He notes that Bear was concerned about flying into Chinese airspace all along, and didn’t want to take the risk of getting too close.
From there, ExWeb goes on to analyze how close Bear actually got, and how he determined that he was actually higher than Everest when his instruments were not functioning properly. The article doesn’t really clear anything up, other than to understand Bear’s initial flight plan and permit. We probably won’t know for sure until we see the video form the flight, which is currently in the hands of a television production crew who are making a documentary out of it.
At this point, I’m just glad ExWeb could get through this article without taking a shot at the Altitude Everest Team and their Second Step claims. There was also no mention of Russell Brice either. Somebody call Guinness.