...Extreme Low Temperatures And High Drama

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Once the Rotax was running, it pulled the two aircraft up at a rate of about 450 fpm from the 12,000-foot-high base camp. There was a lot of circling involved in getting up to the height of Everest and enjoy the minus 40-degrees Centigrade temperatures. At times, Meredith-Hardy noticed that D'Arrigo was being "bounced around" by turbulence. As they approached the peak, the tow line broke and D'Arrigo was on his own. Without the hang glider in tow, Meredith Hardy said the aircraft "shot up" and he did three fly-bys of the peak, before an audience of about six climbers standing on the peak and four or five others inching up the final few feet. Meanwhile, D'Arrigo was on an adventure of his own. He was supposed to make it back to the base camp but instead ended up at a remote high-altitude scientific research station. He was bruised from a rough landing (those higher high-altitude groundspeeds can be rough on the legs) but was otherwise safe and awaiting a helicopter ride to the base camp as of the last Web site posting.