A 56-year-old South African adventurer glided off Mt Everest as he flew back to Gorak Shep this morning.
According to thehimalayantimes.com, Managing Director at Asian Trekking, Dawa Steven Sherpa, said Pierre Carter flew from the South Col (7,950m) and landed at Gorak Shep at around 12:20pm.
Carter took off from the South Col at 12:00 noon.
“This is the first ever ‘government-permitted’ flying expedition on Mt Everest,” Sherpa said.
Pierre has conducted a successful mission after obtaining a permit from the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation for the first time in Nepal’s climbing history, according to Sherpa. Carter has been climbing since 1982 and paragliding since 1988.
In the last four decades, only three teams have flown from Mt Everest.
French alpinist and pilot Jean Marc Boivin was the first person to fly a paraglider from Everest in 1988 while Bertrand ‘Zebulon’ Roche and Claire Bernier made a tandem flight from the summit point in 2001.
Later, in 2011, Sano Babu Sunuwar and Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa also became the first Nepali paragliders to jump off the Everest conducting a tandem flight.
After French alpinist Jean Marc Boivin, Carter is the second solo pilot to fly off the Everest.
Carter started his 7 Summit 7 Flight dream in 2005 with the flight from Elbrus in Russia, and has completed the following mountains so far:
a) Elbrus – 2003/2005
b) Aconcagua – 2005/2007/2010
c) Kilimanjaro 2010/2015/2016/2017/2018/2021
d) Denali – 2017
e) Carstyns Pyramid and Adolilongi (Australia) 2018 and
f) Mount cook 2018.
“His longest flight was 280km out in the South African desert in1998 reaching an altitude of 6100m,” Sherpa shared.
“He is safe. As wind conditions were good today, Pierre decided to fly from the south col instead of attempting to go for the summit. Though the skies were crystal clear early in the morning, by 7 am the downvalley clouds rolled in and covered everything from base camp to Lukla.”
“We had to wait until noon when the conditions were acceptable again for Pierre to take off from,” Dawa Steven told THT from the base camp.
Meanwhile, Australian paraglider Ken Hutt (63) is also preparing to glide off Mt Everest in a day or two.