By Mary Grady, Contributing Editor
Several skydivers made successful jumps at Mount Everest last week, using specially made parachutes and oxygen systems. The highest jumpers departed their Pilatus Porter aircraft at 29,500 feet, and landed at what the trip organizers called "the highest drop zone in the world," Shyangboche, at 12,350 feet. A total of 41 jumpers, both tandem and solo, participated in the Skydive Everest event. The trip was organized by High & Wild, an adventure travel company based in the U.K. "Everything that we've developed for this adventure, from the oxygen systems to the face masks to the gloves, everything has worked perfectly," said skydiver Ralph Mitchell, one of the trip organizers. "We feel we've advanced sports skydiving at high altitude even further with this event." The company is offering another skydiving trip to Everest in May 2009.
The Skydive Everest project aims to raise money for several charities, and a documentary film is in the works.