Base-jumping the world’s tallest peak


The 2013 climbing season is wrapping up on Mt. Everest — 60 years after the first recorded ascent of this tallest mountain. What was once an immensely difficult and relatively lonely challenge has become a circus of wannabe record-breakers.

Last year, for example, a man who had never climbed a major mountain decided he would be the first to carry a bicycle to the top. Fortunately, the bicycle remained in base camp.

This was a year for records: the oldest climber (80), the youngest climber (16), and the first climber to summit from both the north and south routes.

Not to be outdone, Russian Valery Rozov made the highest base jump — though technically speaking, this was not an Everest record. He actually jumped from Changtse, a lower peak on the north shoulder of Everest. At 23,688 feet, the air was so thin he was in free fall for the first few seconds of the flight. Play the video

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