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May 29, 2013

Russian Daredevil Base Jumps Mt. Everest

by VOA News

A Russian daredevil says he has made the world’s highest base jump - off the north face of Mount Everest.

Valery Rozov, 48, jumped from 7,220 meters above sea level in a special wing suit. He glided for about a minute, reaching speed of 201 kilometers per hour before landing on a glacier at 5,950 meters.

The feat, which was timed with the 60th anniversary of the first ascent of Everest, was sponsored by energy drink maker Red Bull and took place on May 5. The company released the video May 29.

"Because the cliff at the top was not very high, the initial moments of the leap in the rarified high altitude air were the most critical phase," according to Red Bull's website. "Rozov needed more time than usual in the thin air to transition from free fall to flying."

The ascent began on the Chinese side on the famous north route and took Rozov and four Sherpas four days to climb from base camp to the jumping location, according to the Red Bull website.

An experienced base jumper with over 10,000 jumps under his belt, Rozov had planned the Everest jump for two years.

In 2009, Rozov jumped into an active volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's Far East. In 2010, he leaped from Ulvetanna in Antarctica and in 2012 he jumped from 6,420m from Shivling in the Himalayas.

Here's a short video on the jump: