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Skydive Everest - The Team

Now Booking Skydive Everest 2013 - Call 800-644-7382 for info!

In October of 2008, a very special group of individuals made history when they became the first to Skydive Everest. Jumpers landed safely on the highest jump zone on earth, with memories they'll never forget. The adventure was so incredible, we're offering it again. But for now, we're off to conquer a new mountain. In June of 2009, we'll be in Alaska to deliver the first-ever high-altitude skydives over Mt McKinley, the highest peak North America. It will be an incredible adventure unlike any other.

Skydive Everest draws upon the knowledge and skills of
a unique group of skydivers. The adventure has been brought to
fruition after two years of meticulous planning and preparation.

Aeronaut, Cosmonaut, Specialist Life Support Systems
Andy Elson - Aeronaut, Cosmonaut, Specialist Life Support SystemsAndy has flown by open balloon to over 40,000 feet more times than anyone in history. In 1991 he was the first balloonist to fly over Mount Everest. Throughout the 1990s he designed and built all the capsules for all the international attempts to be the first to fly around the world (except for Richard Branson). These included the Swiss Breitling team and Steve Fossett. In 1998 he flew the Breitling Obiter 2 balloon with Whim Verstraten and Bertrand Piccard from Switzerland to Burma, setting a new world endurance record of 9 days. In 1999 he broke the world endurance record for any non-stop sub-orbital flying machine when he flew Cable and Wireless more than 12,000 miles from Spain to the Pacific in 18 days. For this he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Aero Club (previously only awarded 40 times to such pioneers as Louis Bleriot, the Wright Brothers, Alcock and Brown, Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins). In 2002 he trained as a cosmonaut in Moscow. In 2003 he attempted to launch QinetiQ 1 (the biggest balloon in history) from a research ship off St Ives, UK. In 2004 he designed and built, in Britain, a capsule to carry five astronauts to the international space station. However, this was not publicised at the time due to contractual terms with the American clients. In 2005 he designed and built a pressurised capsule and balloon to carry Air Commodore Vijaypat Singhania to the current world hot air balloon altitude record of 70,000 feet above Mumbai. While primarily an aeronaut, Andy has considerable skydiving experience, and brings his knowledge of High Altitude Life Support Systems to Everest Skydive.

Mountaineer, Skydiver, Adventure Logistician
Nigel Gifford, OBE - Mountaineer, Skydiver, Adventure LogisticianNigel is the creator of the Everest Skydive adventure and responsible for its overall management and logistics. As the founder of High & Wild UK Nigel has over thirty years experience in the professional adventure world, and is responsible for extreme adventures and special projects. Such adventures include remote treks and journeys from the Arctic to the Equator and beyond. Recent adventures have been rafting the Great Siang gorge of the Brahmaputra in the tribal areas of India, participating in the Saami reindeer migration in the frozen North, and the first ever trek to Everest’s Lho La. Nigel has recently introduced the use of supplementary oxygen for trekkers on Kilimanjaro, Tanzania to optimise the potential success rate of summiteers. He has run projects for 20th Century Fox Worldwide, Channel 4 TV and Discovery channel, GKN and NPower, and was part of the logistics team for Richard Branson’s Global Challenger balloon project based in Marrakech and provided some of Richard’s survival briefings. A member of the team that successfully climbed Mt. Everest in 1976, Nigel has been returning to Nepal ever since. In February 2007 he secured permission from the CAAN for a high altitude flight with powered paragliders in front of the Everest Massif. The project was an outstanding success in Nepal, with the pilots reporting a height of 29,500ft attained. A skydiver with over 1000 descents, he began preparations for the Everest Skydive two years ago, drawing on both his knowledge of the Everest area, its terrain, infrastructure and gaining the support of the Sherpa and Tamang peoples of Solu Khumbu.

Professional Skydiver, Chief Instructor, Cornish Parachute Club
Dave Wood - Skydiver, Chief Instructor, Cornish Parachute ClubDave is a managing director and the Chief Instructor of the Cornish Parachute Club. He retired from the Royal Air Force in 2006 after 32 years service to run his own Drop Zone in UK. Dave has made over 7,000 jumps; including over 2,500 High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) and tandem jumps. From 1978 – 2006, while working as a military parachuting instructor he gained a vast amount of knowledge in many different environments all over the world. Dave holds a number of BPA qualifications, including the BPA Advanced Instructor Qualification, and he is a voting member of the BPA Safety and Training Committee.

He has been involved in a number of TV programs which have required AFF and Tandems skydives to be conducted. In 1991 he qualified as a tandem master. Dave has also qualified as a United States Military High Altitude Tandem Master and qualified as a USA Military Tandem Examiner. He also qualified as an instructor of Military Freefall Oxygen systems (UK) and the Military Tandem Oxygen system PHAOS (USA). Dave is in charge of the parachuting operations for Everest Skydive, and responsible for all DZ control and management.

Professional Skydiver, Load Organizer and Aerial Photographer
Ben Wood - Professional Skydiver, Load Organizer and Aerial PhotographerBen is a freelance skydiving instructor and aerial freefall photographer and operates Many photographs taken by Ben have been used in a number of promotional campaigns and books relating to skydiving. He has over 3000 jumps and over 1200 camera jumps. Ben has been the British National Formation Skydiving Champion in 2001 and 2002 he also won the Army Skydiving Championships in Germany and Cyprus in 2002 and 2003. Ben joined the Royal Air Force in 1997 as a Physical Training Instructor, he then transferred to become a Military Parachute Jumping Instructor in 2002 training airborne forces using various parachuting equipment.

Ben went on to work at various joint service training centres as a senior skydiving instructor. He left the military in February 2006 to work as a full time professional skydiving instructor. Ben is the Senior Everest Skydive Jumpmaster and Dispatcher. He is also responsible for providing the aerial photography for each 4 - way group or tandem on each “lift”.

Ground Communications and Acclimatization Supervision
Ryan Duke - Ground Communications, Acclimatization SupervisionEmployed with a major supplier of aircraft components as a specialist machine operator in optical materials, Ryan was one of the subjects for an extensive high altitude blood /oxygen absorption programme in Nepal in May 2007. It was during this time that he met Andy Elson and Nigel Gifford who were impressed with his eye for detail. 

The youngest of the management team, Ryan is responsible for Everest Skydive ground communications and the movement of people to their key locations during the acclimatisation phase.

Strong Enterprises Tandem Director, Tandem Jumpmaster
Tom Noonan, Tandem Director, Tandem JumpmsterTom is the Tandem Director for Strong Enterprises, the company selected by Everest Skydive to supply their Dual Hawk Tandem System. Strong Enterprises, headed by Ted Strong, is one of the most-respected manufacturers of tandem equipment in the world. Tom travels the world training Tandem Instructors and qualifying Tandem Examiners and has made tandem jumps on four continents.

In addition to civilian tandem skydiving training, Tom also provides specialist Military Tandem training. He's a Safety and Training Advisor for US drop zones, an Accelerated Freefall (AFF) instructor as well as an aerial videographer and photographer. Qualified as an FAA Senior Rigger, he will also be providing chute rigging assistance to Everest Skydive participants. He's completed over 2400 skydives, including 1300+ tandem jumps.

World Champion Cameraflyer & Stuntman
Greg Gasson, World Champion Cameraflyer & StuntmanVideographer Greg is perhaps best known for making a daring skydive from one plane into another plane (view the video of this amazing jump). He's made over 6000 jumps and is an award-winning cameraflyer, skysurfer and freestyler. His work has been featured in TV commercials, documentaries and motion pictures. He'll be helping to video Everest Skydivers.


World Champion Skydiver, Jumpmaster & Videographer
Omar Alhegelan, Skydiver, Jumpmaster & VideographerOmar helped pioneer what is now known as "freeflying" and has received every single accolade related to Freestyle Skydiving (view the freeflying video). He's highly sought after to perform skydiving stunts for TV, Commercials and Film and to help organize loads at international venues like the Singapore Festival, Belize Boogie and Vietnam Boogie. He's completed more than 14,000 skydives and over 200 BASE jumps and will serve as one of Skydive Everest's jumpmasters and videographers.

E-mail or call Incredible Adventures today for further details: 800 644-7382

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More Incredible Adventures

Life is either an incredible adventure...or nothing at all

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