Solo above the Roof of the World

On February 1st Klaus Ohlmann reported the first solo soaring flight above Mount Everest. In an e-mail that was quickly distributed around the world he explains: "In a measurement flight near Lukla I stopped the motor. Nearly no wind below 6000 m, difficult thermals. Between Pumori and the entrance of the Khumbu Glacier smooth lift on the ridge. It was unbelievable and wonderful to surf along the lowest part of Everest ridge. From 7500 m lift went better and  a sudden turbulence over Khumbu Icefalls indicated a small rotor in the blue sky. I could reach the summit in the wave and had time to descend and climb once again. As a result I could make very nice videos and pictures."

Klaus' flight is neither documented on OLC nor on SkyLines but in a new youtube video you'll find the best part of his story. He shares an "amazing view from the top of the world into Tibet, where the MWP wanted to fly originally..." Soloing above the world's highest mountains KO opens a new chapter in soaring history.

I recently contacted the Polish expedition "Everest Gliding" - Sebastian Kawa and his team - to find out about their plans. They were not as fortunate as the Mountain Wave Project. Slawek Piela, the editor of "Sky full of Heat" brings it to the point: "On his first/last flight Sebastian could have made it to Everest from Pokhara but he didn’t have the permit…" They are now back in Europe, looking for people who would like to contribute financially to the expedition in return for participation. Maybe a great opportunity to be second or third soaring above Mt. Everest?!

Elke Fuglsang-Petersen

Elke Fuglsang-Petersen started soaring after she finished her school and college education and found herself locked into a small office for the next 45 years. In German soaring clubs she met a lot of new friends, enjoyed a great way to get out, could see things from a different angle, and gained a better overview.

Meanwhile, she has traveled a bit, flown a lot, and lived in the US.She is happy to now know glider pilots from the US too and says, “they are as amiable as everywhere on the world.” She feels fortunate to have found a temporary soaring home in Boulder, surely one of the best and most scenic places to fly on Earth!

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  1 comment for “Solo above the Roof of the World

  1. Steve Rathbun
    February 9, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Angelo d’Arrigo was first. In a hang glider no less.

    In 2004 he was aerotowed by Richard Meredith-Hardy and released over Mount Everest another world record; And he flew near the Everest with a trained Nepalese eagle. The story is fully narrated in the documentary Flying Over Everest by director Fabio Toncelli.

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