Unicef seeks sponsor for Mt Everest skydive event

 10-Jul-08

Unicef, the children's charity, is seeking a brand to sponsor a high-altitude skydive from above Mount Everest. It is the first time a skydive has been attempted around the world's highest mountain.

The consortium of organisers, which includes events companies WimmerSpace and High & Wild, is seeking a brand to sponsor the plan, the "drop zone" and the divers' safety gear.

The event, which will include several dives, starts on September 22 and will run until the end of October.

The event is expected to be televised and a book documenting the whole experience will be published later in the year.

The skydivers will jump from 29,500ft, which is slightly higher than the summit of Everest, and will land at 12,350ft. They will use parachutes three times the normal size and purpose-made jumpsuits and headgear.

High & Wild founder Nigel Gifford, who is also a mountaineer and skydiver, developed the idea. He says the event will push boundaries harder and higher than ever before by combining two harsh environments - high altitude and extreme cold.

Gifford's management team includes Andy Elson, who specialises in high-altitude life support systems, and world champion skydiver Omar Alhegelan, who will film the event.

WimmerSpace chief executive Per Wimmer, who is also participating in the jump, has worked with high-profile adventurers such as Sir Richard Branson in the past.