Now, a short cut to the Everest

October 4th, 2008 - 4:34 pm ICT by ANI  

London , Oct 4 (ANI): An international group will attempt to reach the summit of the worlds highest mountain using a short new and unconventional route

Conquering Everest is the ultimate aspiration of every climber. More than 2,500 mountaineers have reached the summit and 210 have died trying.

A group of 32 men and women will become the latest to attempt to overcome the worlds highest mountain, The Independent reported.

But, while their predecessors have all scaled the mountain that straddles Nepal and Tibet from the bottom to the top, this band of adventurers are planning something rather different.

The international group, which includes men and women from Britain , Iraq and Pakistan , have already spent six days trekking to their base camp, which sits at 12,350ft (3,764m), a good way up the mountain.

And today, the first of them will board an aeroplane and fly to 30,000ft. Once there, looking down on the mountain, they will leap from the plane.

After freefalling for one minute, at speeds of up to 180mph and braving temperatures of -40C, they will open their parachutes and float back to their base camp, precariously positioned on the edge of a valley an eight-minute journey.

Half of the mountain lovers have never jumped before. But that hasnt stopped them paying up to 17,000 pound for the privilege to take part. Among their number is a 72-year-old scientist, a Red Devils freefall member, a former soldier; and Molly Bedingfield, the mother of singers Natasha and Daniel.

Somerset-based climber Nigel Gifford, who himself scaled Everest the traditional way in 1976, has spent two years planning the jump.

The daring attempt shows that the appeal to conquer the worlds tallest mountain, which stands at 29,029ft, is still strong. (ANI)

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