42 skydive in Everest Region

Forty-two daring adventure seekers, including two Nepalese, enjoyed skydiving over the world’s highest peak in the Everest Region from October 3-11.

The first ever skydiving in the Everest Region was jointly organized by High and Wild, an adventure outfitter from the United Kingdom, and Explore Himalaya Travel and Adventure.
Fourteen divers enjoyed solo dives while 28 enjoyed crew team and tandem jumps, according to the organizers.

The skydivers boarded a Pilatus Porter from Tenzing-Hillary airstrip in Lukla and launched themselves from above the height of Mt. Everest and descended down to Syangboche through parachutes following a free fall of a few minutes.

Nima Tamang and Maya Gurung became the first Nepalese to enjoy skydiving. Several world-record holders including Windy Smith from New Zealand also enjoyed the thrilling adventure in the Everest Region.

The divers used specially-made parachutes with canopies three times the regular size. They also wear neoprene suits and thermal gear to keep out the freezing cold on the descent and have bottled oxygen strapped to their waist.

Meanwhile, participants at a function organised on October 14 to discuss about the prospects of skydiving in Nepal said the adventure sport held great prospects for Nepal.

"I ask the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) to realize the prospects of this adventure sport and promote it in international arena accordingly," said Suman Pandey of Explore Himalaya Travel and Adventure. Pandey also said that divers from 15 countries participated in the skydiving.
Many international media including BBC, CNN, Al-Jazeera and Channel 5 covered the skydiving in the Everest Region.

Speaking at the programme, Prachanda Man Shrestha, chief executive officer NTB, said the NTB would promote skydiving would help Nepal in the upcoming Visit Nepal Year 2011 campaign. "We will promote this sport as a new adventure sport in Nepal," Shrestha said.

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