British woman skydiver freefalls above Everest
A British woman was among three skydivers who became the first yesterday to freefall at extreme altitude through the skies above Mount Everest.
“It was amazing, just spectacular,” Holly Budge, 29, a Winchester-born extreme sports enthusiast, said after making a safe landing at a site 12,350 feet (3,765 metres) above sea level — the highest “drop zone” achieved by a parachutist. “We had one minute of freefall and while we were above the clouds you could see Everest and the other high mountains popping out of the top,” she said.
Ms Budge and her two fellow daredevils, Wendy Smith, from New Zealand, and Neil Jones, from Canada, jumped out of an aircraft at about 29,500ft, just higher than the peak of the world’s highest mountain.
They fell at speeds reaching 140mph, hurtling past the highest ridges of the snow-laden Himalayas, before each released a parachute, made three times the size of a normal canopy to cope with the thin air. The jumpers wore oxygen masks to prevent their lungs from collapsing as they fell. Wearing neoprene underwear was compulsory — to prevent them from being frozen to death. . .
Meanwhile, world markets are searching for a parachute.