According to various statistics, around 80 percent of Himalayan adventuring deaths occur on the way down the mountains, not on the way up. It's at this point that climbers are fatigued, perhaps a little overconfident and more prone to making fatal errors.
The man in this story, you'll be happy to know, got home perfectly safely from near the top of the world's sixth highest peak, the 8188-metre monster Cho Oyu. But boy, did he tempt fate.
Valery Rozov is a 51-year-old Russian who has done this sort of thing before, once jumping off a flank of Everest in what was then the world's highest BASE jump (BASE is an acronym for building, antenna, span, earth -- which are the four type of fixed objects you can jump from).
Here's a pic of that day at the office.
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He wears a wingsuit, a device which generates a small amount of lift as you plummet, which means you travel forward two metres or more for every metre you fall. It's dangerous as hell and there have been horrific accidents in the 15 or so years that daredevils have used the technology.
But as we mentioned, this ended happily. And was quite a ride. *Wheeeeeeee!
(*Note: Wingsuit guys probably don't say "Wheeeeeeee!". It's probably more like "ffffffuuuuuuuuuu...". Ahem. Anyway.)
After 90 seconds of pure freefall, Rozov opened his parachute and kept flying for another couple of minutes before landing safely on the glacier below, at 6,000 meters above sea level. Which is a quick ride compared to the 21 days it took to ascend.
The video is above. Enjoy the ride.Suggest a correction