Valery Rozov, a superstar in the world of B.A.S.E. jumping and wing-suit flying, set a world record by jumping from the summit of Mount Shivling, a 24,500-foot peak in the Indian Himalayas.
On May 25, Rozov leaped from a takeoff spot at just over 21,000 feet. Ninety seconds later, he landed more than 7,200 feet down the glacier's face. He reached speeds of up to 125 mph.
“This was my first project in the Himalayas,” said Rozov, a two-time skydiving world champion, after his record-breaking flight. “We had a few difficulties along the way, so I am really pleased that we were able to complete the jump successfully.”
Wing-suit flying is an extreme sport that involves jumping from objects such as bridges, buildings and towers. Two weeks ago, Gary Connery, a Britist stuntman who goes by the moniker Wingman, made the news by jumping from a helicopter at 2,400 feet and landed without a parachute.
While Connery's accomplishment was well noted, it was still in Henley-on-Thames, England. Rozov, a 47-year-old Russian, is of a different breed altogether, with a resume that includes the most remarkable and dangerous locations on the planet. In 2009, he dove into an active volcano in Kamtschatka. In 2010, he jumped from Ulvetanna Peak in the Antarctic.
What also makes Rozov stand out from other wing-suit daredevils is his exceptional climbing skill, which enables him to reach peaks, such as Shivling, that would be out of reach to other B.A.S.E. jumpers. Rozov calls himself a "B.A.S.E. climber." The expedition through the Himalayas took 30 days and the ascent to the Shivling summit required six days, alone.
To get a better sense of the altitude and speed with which Rozov flew down the mountain: It took the other members of his expedition, including photographers Viktor Volodin and Alexander Ruchkin, three days to descend the distance that Rozov covered in 90 seconds.
In the process, Rozov, Volodin and Ruchkin also became the first Russians to reach the top of Mount Shivling, which literally translates to the “phallus of Lord Shiva," the Hindu deity of destruction and transformation.
The mountain is renowned for its difficult and dangerous passages. Indeed, it was not until 1974 that the peak, which is often referred to as the ‘Matterhorn of the Himalayas’ due to its shape and is looming over the largest source of the Ganges River at Gaumukh, was conquered for the first time.
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