China and Tibet host record mountain plunge

31st May 2013

China and Tibet have witnessed a death-defying record mountain leap.

The 60th anniversary of the first ascent of Everest, the world's tallest peak, has been marked with the highest leap taken off a mountain.

Russian daredevil Valery Rozov, 48, donned a purpose-built wingsuit and jumped off the north side of Everest on May 5.

The leap took Rozov from Everest's north peak, so popular with tourists on trekking holidays, on the Chinese side to Rongbuk glacier on the Tibetan side.

His successful plunge in the Himalayan region, much loved by visitors on private journeys, becomes the highest BASE jump at 23,687ft (7,219 metres) above sea level.

Rozov's BASE leap, which stands for 'buildings, antennas, spans, and earth', allowed him to glide through the air for a minute at speeds up to 125 miles per hour (201.1kph).

It took the veteran jumper, who has made 10,000 plunges, four days to reach the cliff off which he made his record dive, according to the website of jump sponsor Red Bull.

He said: "Only when I got back home did I see how hard it was for me both physically and psychologically."

Rozov cheated death in 2009, leaping into an active volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula.

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