World News

A famed Russian daredevil is killed in a base-jumping accident

Posted November 13, 2017 10:18 a.m. EST

— A Russian daredevil who fearlessly leaped off the world's highest peaks and swirled through the winds on top of the world died during a base-jumping accident in the Himalayas over the weekend.

Valery Rozov's death was announced by his sponsor Red Bull.

The acclaimed and legendary base jumper was killed in eastern Nepal during an expedition on the 22,349 foot-high Mount Ama Dablam, located in the Himalayas, the company said.

Mingma Gelu Sherpa -- who works with Seven Summits Club, the group that organized the expedition -- said the accident happened Saturday.

The rescue was very difficult as it was inside a crevasse, Gelu said. He said many Sherpas trekked to the spot to recover his body since helicopters cannot land in the area.

The 52-year-old adventurer was born in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, and started his career in 1998, Red Bull said. He is famous for jumping into a live volcano in Russia and off Ulvetanna Peak in the Antarctic.

One of Rozov's goals had been to carry out base jumps "from the highest possible points in each continent," Red Bull said.

From 2009 to this year, he base-jumped in the other five continents. He had only two peaks left: Australia and North America, Red Bull said.

"Valery Rozov had been a member of the Red Bull family since 2004. The Russian received international recognition as a highly professional athlete, an aerial adventurer who tirelessly set himself against increasingly difficult goals," the company said.

"Valery will always remain in our memory: strong in spirit, professional, modest, full of energy, an eternal dreamer who was forever burning with new ideas and projects. We express our deepest condolences to Valery's wife and sons, whom he loved and valued very much."

Base jumping is an extreme sport in which participants leap from fixed objects with nothing more than a parachute between themselves and the earth.

Jumpers often wear "wingsuits" that, with arms extended, create additional surface area for gliding through the air. Wearing these suits allows jumpers to soar for longer periods of time before opening their parachutes.

The Seven Summits Club praised and mourned Rozov.

"We had the good fortune to work and be friends with this star person," the club said.

"I have known him for 10 years," said Gelu, who also spearheads the Sherpa Care Foundation . "He is my friend."

Rozov's body was brought to Kathmandu on Sunday and preparations were being made to return the body to Russia.