Briton becomes first man to paraglide over Everest

Bear Grylls (R) from Britain speaks during a news conference in the Nepali capital Kathmandu May 17, 2007. REUTERS/Gopal Chitrakar

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - A British paraglider has flown over Mount Everest, becoming the first man to do so, his agency said on Friday.

Bear Grylls, 32, flew 140 metres (460 feet) above the world’s highest peak at 8,850 metres (29,035 feet) on Monday after taking off on a powered paraglider from a village in the Khumbhu region where Everest is located, Explore Himalaya agency said.

“Amazing and nervous,” Grylls told reporters when asked how he felt about his mission. “It was an incredible experience.”

A writer and TV presenter from Ramsbury, Grylls was able to look down at Everest as he circled above some of the mightiest peaks of the Himalayas.

“Bear Grylls has become the first man to fly over Mount Everest by powered paraglider,” Suman Pandey, president of Explore Himalaya, told Reuters.

Twenty-three climbing expeditions are trying to scale Mount Everest from the Nepali side in the current climbing season which began in March. The mountain can also be climbed from Tibet.

Nearly 2,000 people have scaled the mountain since it was first conquered by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in 1953.