South African becomes first person to legally paraglide from Everest

Posted by David Henning on 19 May 2022

A South African paraglider and climber has become the first person to legally paraglide off Mount Everest on 15 May, the sixth of the seven world peaks he summited.

Pierre Carter in Nepal. Picture: NOVA Performance Paragliders

Pierre Carter hopes to fly off the highest peak of every continent, having already flown off of five and summited six.

Carter’s paraglide was confiscated when he climbed North America’s highest peak, Denali in Alaska. He has, however, climbed and flown off of Aconcagua (South America), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Carstensz Pyramid (Papua New Guinea), and Adolilongi/Kosciuszko (Australia).

Others have flown off Everest before, a solo pilot and two tandem teams, but none of these flights were authorised by the Nepalese government.

Carter had a narrow window of opportunity, telling Times Live that ‘I had to choose because the wind was picking up and the weather was closing in’.

Having nearly passed out from the exertion of running 30m to get airborne at Everest’s high altitude, Carter took to the skies.

‘I’m feeling ecstatic,’ Carter said when he was able to make contact two days later when hiking down to sleep at a nearby village.

But he is not finished yet. ‘I can’t wait to go to Antarctica to climb Mount Vinson,’ he said and plans to paraglide off of Antarctica’s highest peak this December.


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