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Today's newscast - video of record chopper!
image story

May 11, 2005 20: 20 EST
You've seen the ExWeb newscasts, anchored by visiting explorers or regular NY staff - well, don't miss the one today: Team Valencia has shot over a video of Friday's record chopper!

Last week, Jamie reported from Everest North side: "On 5 May from around 8:30 to 8:52 Nepali time a chopper tried twice to land on top of Everest (with a refuel in between?), possibly did land on top, but we couldn't see exactly from 7700m, the angle wasn't favorable. I repeat, we can't confirm if it did land or not, but it was close, very close!"

Clip from Everest shows chopper above South Col!

The Valencia Everest clip shows the chopper flying just above the Everest South Col at 8000+ meters and heading up! The chopper flew in from Nepal - probably for permit reasons.

Could be the current IAF Everest expedition. The IAF holds the recent altitude chopper records: Last year, on November 2, 2004 an IAF Cheetal Helicopter set a new world record at 0845 hrs by landing at a Density Altitude of 25,150 ft at Saserkangri near Leh.

Rescue missions in the face of jet speed winds

Also in 2004, in rescue missions on May 11, 12 and 13 an IAF Cheetah helicopter landed at an altitude of 23,240 feet on the Kamet glacier in the Garhwal Himalayas to rescue three critically injured climbers. Wing Commander S K Sharma and his co-pilot Flt Lt A B Dhanake managed to successfully take off from the glacier with an increased pay-load of 70 kg. Sharma and Dhanake flew the rescue missions on May 11, 12 and 13 in severe turbulent conditions and in the face of jet speed winds.

This year, an expedition from IAF is attempting to scale Everest from the north side. Led by Wing Commander Amit Chowdhury, the IAF team has been training for this expedition for the last three years, climbing in Garhwal, Ladhak, Himachal and Sikkim Himalayas.

Team Valencia is climbing Everest from the south side. David Rosa, Jorge Verdeguer, Endika Urtarán and Joan José Haya are long time friends. They started climbing together, and shared their first Himalayan summit - on Cho Oyu in 1998.

One year later they attempted Manaslu. After Everest, they made a partial trip to the North Pole and attempted Nanga Parbat. In 2001, Jorge Verdeguer reached the summit of Everest from Tibet, while his climbing mate David had to turn around on the Second Step due to problems with his supplementary O2 system.

Back in Camp 4, they met an exhausted, snow-blind Juanito Oiarzabal on his way down from the summit. The climbers helped the old veteran and all came down safely. Now they are back to the other side of Everest for another try.

Image of unrelated chopper courtesy of IndiaDaily.com.

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