The world is about to witness one of the greatest human feats ever captured on television – when California resident Joby Ogwyn attempts the first wing suit flight off the summit of Mount Everest. The epic event titled EVEREST JUMP LIVE will broadcast live on the Discovery Channel and in 224 countries and territories in May 2014.
“This is history in the making,” said Eileen O’Neill, Group President Discovery and TLC Networks. “Discovery Channel continues to bring live broadcast events unlike anything you’ll see on television – from Felix Baumgartner’s world record for the highest space jump to Nik Wallenda’s incredible tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon.”
Discovery will take viewers along the journey with two, one-hour pre-shows revealing Joby’s intense training and preparations for Everest. The special will then culminate with a live 2-hour broadcast – showing Joby as he battles the grueling conditions on the way to Everest’s summit and ultimately takes the final plunge from the top. Joby’s custom-made wingsuit will be equipped with cameras bringing a bird’s eye view as he descends more than 10,000 vertical feet at speeds of over 150 mph.
Joby is no stranger to Everest. He first summited the world’s highest peak at just 24-years-old, becoming the youngest American to make it to the top. In 2008, Joby set the world record for the fastest ascent of Mt. Everest, climbing from the base of the south side route to the summit in just nine and a half hours (it typically takes 3-4 days). Ever since then, he’s searched for the ultimate way to explore the mountain – and now he’s found it.
“This will be the final piece of my dream. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve imagined what it would be like to fly. I can’t think of a more spectacular backdrop than Everest,” said Joby. “Everything that I’ve ever accomplished in my life has just been practice for what I’m about to do.”
Joby will conduct dozens of test jumps in California, Florida, Utah and the Swiss Alps. After extensive preparation, he will then travel to the Himalayas for final training. After six weeks of acclimatization, Joby and his team will be ready to summit Everest.
But many questions will remain unanswered until he arrives. Will the weather cooperate? Did he bring the right equipment? And has Joby’s training actually prepared him for something no human has ever done before?
For most climbers, reaching the summit of Everest is the ultimate dream but for Joby – it’s only the beginning.