A wingsuit pilot has announced his intention to make the ultimate BASE jump later this year. American Joby Ogwyn says that this spring, he’ll attempt to summit Mt. Everest and leap from the highest point on the planet while wearing a specially designed wingsuit. And if that wasn’t daring enough, the Discovery Channel says they want to air the entire stunt on live television.
The network is currently filming some preliminary shows that will give viewers a look at Ogwyn training for his climb, and subsequent flight. Those episodes will air first in order to get the audience ready for the main event. In order to pull of the daring flight, the California man will first have to successfully summit the mountain. Once there, he’ll leap from the summit with an array of cameras attached to his suit. Those cameras will presumably beam the live images back to the rest of the world, who will be able to watch it unfold as it happens. This same technique was used to great effect by Felix Baumgartner on his historic skydive from the edge of space.
Obviously, Discovery hasn’t announced when the flight will take place yet, only mentioning that it will occur in May. They’ll have to wait to see if, and when, Ogwyn actually reaches the summit. His health, strength and acclimatization process will all factor into the schedule, and as always on Everest, the weather will have a say as to when he can make a summit bid.
We’re clearly in that time of year that leads up to the start of the spring climbing season where we begin to hear about all the crazy stunts that people have planned for Everest. We’re about six weeks out from the first climbers starting to arrive in Kathmandu, so of course some of them are now attempting to gain a little attention ahead of the start of the season. I have to say, this climb and jump has me intrigued, as I’d love to see what kind of footage his cameras capture as he buzzes down the Khumbu Valley. This really is the ultimate flight for any wingsuit pilot, and I’m a bit surprised that no one has tried it before.
Expect to hear more about this expedition as the spring grows nearer. It should be one of those events in the adventure world that bleeds over into the mainstream press.
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