Johannesburg paraglider and mountaineer Pierre Carter this week became the first person to legally fly off Mount Everest in Nepal and the second solo pilot to do so.
< p> An extreme adventurer who has flown from the highest peaks on five continents – and hopes to fly from all of the Seven Summits – Carter took off from the South Col of Everest (7,950m) on Sunday and landed safely in the village 20 minutes later Gorak Shep further down base camp.
“I’m feeling ecstatic,” said Carter, 55, who was able to speak for the first time Tuesday night while going down to sleep in one village much further down the trail.
He had a narrow weather window in which to fly on Sundays, forcing him to decide whether to fly on the Summit Everest (8,849m) with the rest of his team or to close the gap and take to the air and history to write.
“I had to make a choice because the wind was picking up and the weather was getting closer,” Carter said.
He nearly passed out after taking off from the snow-covered South Col around noon from running about 100 feet to get airborne. At almost 8,000 m, the oxygen content in the air is about a third as high as at sea level.
Three groups have flown from Everest in front of him, a solo pilot from France and two tandem teams – one of them from Nepal – but none of these flights were approved by the Nepalese government.
“The authorities only let us take off from 8,000 m and no higher, hence the South Col,” said Carter.
Asian Trekking MD Dawa Steven Sherpa managed to get him permission to fly.
Carter did has exceptional flying experience since he took up the sport 34 years ago, having competed in events such as World Championships and the Red Bull X-Alps elite flying and running competition over the Alps in Europe.< /p>< p>In 2005, Carter made his first flight in search of his Seven Summits, Seven Flights Dream from Mount Elbrus in Russia, Europe’s highest peak .
He has climbed six peaks and flown five of them, including Aconcagua (South America), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Carstensz Pyramid (Papua New Guinea) and Adolilongi/Kosciuszko (Australia). ).
When he climbed Denali in 2017, his glider was confiscated and getting permission to fly in Alaska may prove impossible.< /p>
“I can’t wait to travel to Antarctica to climb Mount Vinson,” Carter said, which could be as early as December.
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