Woman power in free fall feat

Kathmandu, October 11:

Maya Gurung became the first South Asian woman to skydive from the height of 22,500 feet of the Mt Everest yesterday.

“My dream to float in the sky came true,” said Gurung, who came back to Kathmandu this morning.

Twenty-seven-year-old Gurung successfully scaled the Mt Everest on May 22 as part of the First Inclusive Women Sagarmatha Expedition 2008. “It’s exhilarating to have a panoramic view of all the peaks and green lakes from the top,” she said.

“Though skydiving did not require much hard work as scaling the Mt Everest, no matter how you reach the top the feeling to be on the top was the same.”

“I experienced a free fall for almost three minutes before a parachute descent and landed at Syanboche that is located at an altitude of 3,700 metres.” She said she had to wait for a favourable weather to jump out of the plane.

“I was all set to dive two times before I actually did,” she said, adding, “I quit the job of bowling instructor to seek more adventure in life.”

She added that her dream of becoming a paragliding pilot was a little far-fetched because of its training cost.

“However, Explore Himalaya Travel Adventures’ sponsorship to skydive from the Mt Everest made my dream come true,” Gurung explained.

She is among 33 unprecedented skydivers from 14 countries that participated in a commercial

venture organised by High and Wild, a British adventure travel company. Nima Tamang is another Nepali in the team to sky dive from the Everest.

“We approached the women’s team that recently scaled the Everest and her team members recommended Maya.

Her adventurous spirit matched ours,” said Suman Pandey, director of Explore Himalaya.

“Our feat has proved that women are no less than men,” Gurung said.

Gurung is associated with Global Inclusive Adventures that works to raise awareness on mountaineering and tourism among school children.