Oddly Enough

Woman eyes skydive record over Everest

Wind blows snow off the summit of the world's highest mountain Mount Everest, also known as Qomolangma, in the Tibet Autonomous Region May 5, 2008. REUTERS/David Gray

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - A British woman plans to make a parachute jump over Mount Everest hoping to become the first woman ever to skydive over the world’s highest peak, organizers said Sunday.

Holly Budge, 29, plans to throw herself out from 465 feet above Everest, hurtling past it, before landing in a mountain meadow at 12,350 feet.

She plans to attempt her dive in October after taking off from an airstrip in Syangboche in the Khumbhu region of northeast Nepal, home to Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak at 8,850 meters (29,035 feet).

“I’m excited, confident, scared, all in one,” Budge, who has done lots of skydiving before, including from small planes, balloons and helicopters, Holly Budge said by e-mail from Britain.

“But this is going to be completely different from anything I’ve done before.

Budge, a Bristol-based interactive designer and film-maker, will wear an oxygen mask and carry a parachute that is much larger than normal to compensate for the faster descent through the thinner air of the world’s highest drop zone.

“The thing I’m looking forward to most is just going to Everest, seeing Everest. It will be amazing.”

Three thousand people have so far climbed Mount Everest since it was first scaled by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and his sherpa mate, Tenzing Norgay, in 1953.

Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by Bappa Majumdar and Bill Tarrant