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Feb 072014
 

Joby OgwynEverest 2014 is getting closer so the public relations experts responsible for the annual stunts are starting to pave the way with press releases and teasers.

First up is the expected wing suit flight from the summit to Base Camp by Joby Ogwyn. I have known about this for a while but the Discovery Channel issued a release with more details.

The big news is the media coverage by Discovery. They are dedicating hours of programming to the stunt similar to how the space jump by Felx Baumgartner, medical and Nik Wallenda’s tightrope walk cross the Grand Canyon were covered.

My sources tell me Joby will be equipped with multiple cameras to record the flight plus tracked by helicopters so as to give viewers every possible angle during the flight. He will use a specially designed suit to accommodate the low air density and cold air at 29,035 feet.

He has a private guide taking him to the summit and a large support staff and film crew, perhaps as many as 20 people,  following his every move from Base Camp to the acclimatization rotations.

He is expected to get ahead of the crowds by attempting his flight early in May, more than likely either with or a day after when the Sherpas fix the rope to the summit. Historically this has been between May 1st and May 10th.

Joby, 40, is no stranger to climbing. The Himalayan Database shows 10 Himalayan expeditions including Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam and three on Everest. In 2008 he summited Everest via the north east ridge in a reported nine and half hours. He has climbed the 7 Summits. This is nice video of his climb on Everest and fly-by.

However his main passion is human flight. He completed three base jumps from the Eiger north face in one day and completed the first wing suit flight around the Matterhorn. In the autumn of 2010 Joby jumped out of an airplane near Everest to became the first person ever to fly a wing-suit next to Everest. He landed back at Base Camp.

As you would expect, Discovery is hyping this to the max starting with this teaser on their site.

This will not be the first time someone has flown off Everest. On May 5, 2013 Russian Valery Rozov flew off the north face from 23,688 feet. And in 2011 Babu Sunuwar and Lakpa Tshering Sherpa did a tandem paraglide off the summit, landed in Namache Bazzar then touched the ocean off Bangladesh traveling by bike and kayak.

I wish Joby well, but somehow also wish that Everest could remain the domain of climbers and not used for stunts. I know this is a personal bias and many others will enjoy watching him climb and fly so as I said, I wish him a safe and successful journey.

Climb On!
Alan
Memories are Everything

How do you feel about stunts on Everest?

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  28 Responses to “Everest 2014: Joby Ogwyn to Fly off Everest”

  1.  

    Waiting on pins and needles for your 2014 daily updates. Can’t wait to turn on the computer in the morning and a visit to your site is first favorite I click. As far as the jump I’m 50/50 but will be watching Discovery and hope he sticks the landing after a safe climb.

    Thanks again in 2014, Earl

  2.  

    I don’t know if it’s a good idea but it sure sounds exciting. Wow, Mt. Everest has its very own headliners / previews of what’s to come this Everest Season. I, for one, will definitely be watching.

  3.  

    I don’t know if it’s a good idea but it sure sounds exciting. Wow, Mt. Everest has its very own headliners / previews of what’s to come this Everest Season. I, for one, will definitely be watching.

  4.  

    Let him do his thing.

  5.  

    Let him do his thing.

  6.  

    Whether we personally approve of the stunts or not, it’s the highest mountain in the world, and these things are going to happen on Everest in a way they’re not on other mountains. Ordinary folk like ourselves are attracted to climb it over other mountains, after all.

    At least this one appears to be a bit more exciting than some of the other stunts that attract media interest, such as carrying a pushbike to the top or making a phone call from the summit. I may change my mind later, but I think I might take an interest in this one.

    And however you feel about the stunt, the man deserves some credit for having a comedy name. Isn’t Joby Ogwyn the name of the public toilets at the foot of Snowdon?

    •  

      I understand Mark. Yes it will be the high point for the wingsuit sport but it seems to further cheapen Everest through the massive commercialization associated with the jump. That said, the exploitation of Everest has been going strong for decades. At least, a lot of Sherpas, porters and teahouses will get work. Thanks for the comment.

  7.  

    To add;

    Checked out the video via the link. Not to slam anyone, but in my OPINION, this guy (or maybe it’s the video) is a joke!! At about 30 seconds, the description cuts in……7 summits…youngest……. etc…..attempt on solo speed record on Everest, and then instantly afterwards, we see the individual with an OXYGEN mask, followed by OXYGEN caches. Hmmm…. last time I checked, didn’t know those two mixed together, especially when you are talking about any kind of a speed record. At least cut out the oxygen regulator and caches out of the video, otherwise, you’re just making a mockery out of yourself. Even worse, dead bodies documented, and then shown in the video. Maybe I’m just way too old school, or have a total misunderstanding of ethics, but any time I’ve passed by a dead body, never snapped a video or pic, even for my own keeping. You’re throwing this out publically! I was expecting a lot better from Joby, he’s quite a bit older than me, so there should be some understanding of ethics, and he is definitely not new to the mountains, especially the Himalaya. The way this is presented, he should stick to the Dolomites.

  8.  

    Personally I do not like this, or any stunts for that matter. I think it totally disrespects the mountain. I would be curious as to what the Sherpa community might feel. Always enjoy your posts Alan, keep up the good work.

  9.  

    Nerd answer – Yes – as long as someone runs the aerodynamic model in a computer of the wing suit operating at that altitude, especially in takeoff config — there’s only so much airfoil you can fit on the body with one of these suits. If he model doesn’t check out, it won’t matter how brave you are.

  10.  

    Nerd answer – Yes – as long as someone runs the aerodynamic model in a computer of the wing suit operating at that altitude, especially in takeoff config — there’s only so much airfoil you can fit on the body with one of these suits. If he model doesn’t check out, it won’t matter how brave you are.

  11.  

    It’s all about pushing the limits. This guys is pushing them… I’m all for it

  12.  

    It’s all about pushing the limits. This guys is pushing them… I’m all for it

  13.  

    Technically his summit will not count because he will not descend on own means back to basecamp

  14.  

    Technically his summit will not count because he will not descend on own means back to basecamp

  15.  

    I agree Barry, his accomplishments are incredibly impressive.

  16.  

    I agree Barry, his accomplishments are incredibly impressive.

  17.  

    Joby Ogwyn IS The Adventurist. I can’t blame the guy, and I admire him for his success. If you’ve seen the show, though, he WILL cry after he finishes it. 🙂 (Also, much easier on the knees, flying down instead of climbing!)

  18.  

    no..simply put..

  19.  

    i agree with ellen…

  20.  

    My opinion: Bad idea. It is just going to add to the shit show/circus atmosphere on the mountain.

  21.  

    Regardless of issues getting to and jumping off the summit…. a parachute landing at 17k is going to be very difficult to do without getting injured.

  22.  

    Alan Arnette yes I read it now. I am slow reading!!!

  23.  

    You are correct. I cover it in my article via the link.

  24.  

    Alan Arnette I believe a guy did it in 2013? I think he was from Rusia, and was a Red Bull sponsor. Do you know who I am talking about it? I remember reading jump from Everest maybe I wrong.

  25.  

    Not any worse idea than people doing the Rainier, Denali, Manaslu, Everest progression…..

    •  

      Charles (Szekeres)

      I cannot recall anyone summarizing it that way…. Rainier, Denali, Manaslu, Everest progression…….also…can you, or anyone else, please clarify or expand on that comment, as I do not understand 100% what you mean, and would really like to know. What I think it means is that…if you follow that progression, you are not climbing because you love the mountains, and love to climb, but just because you want to “tick” Everest off of your list. I somewhat do understand, and somewhat agree, but, on the contrary, have met individuals who have followed a very similar progression, and their reasons are not just to “tick” Everest off their list. They have climbed Everest for a wide variety of reasons, but none which would put their reasoning into the “shitshow” category.

      Alan, maybe you can extrapolate on this as I believe you have climbed all of the mountains mentioned above. I have always held your opinion and comments in extremely high regard, even though my views at times might be different.

      As far as the Discovery Channel coverage goes….I had enough when I saw the first episode of Everest: Beyond the Limit (Himex / Russell Brice).

      •  

        Martin,

        Good to see you back this season 🙂 I think the reference to progression is that stunts (or simple climbing) occurs on many mountains thus Everest, being the highest, is viewed as the ultimate for “mountain stunts”. Alternatively, the progression mentioned is a common sense way of gaining experience at altitude. Maybe Charles will reply as well.

        Alan