You read that right. While most Everest climbers struggle ever upward—too many dying in the process—in their quest to touch the top of the world, Russian adrenaline junkie Valery Rozov just wanted to jump off it. The 48-year-old BASE jumper and skydiver—who has more than 10,000 BASE jumps to his name—spent four days ascending the mountain from the north side and, at just 650 feet above the North Col, he leapt into the history books. Rozov's May 5th jump from 23,687 feet (7220m) set a new world record for the highest BASE jump ever (better add it to our list of Everest records). The whole glorious ride lasted only about a minute, and he hit an estimated 125 mph before pulling his parachute and landing ever so gracefully near his target at 19,520 feet (5950m) on the Rongbuk Glacier.
It was a heck of a stunt, and we doff our caps to Mr. Rozov. Still, we wish it had the panache of Jean-Marc Boivin's 1988 paraglider jump from just 60 feet below the summit (and after making the top, at that). "I was tired when I reached the top because I had broken much of the trail," Boivin said at the time, "and to run at this altitude was quite hard." Still, run he did, down the 40-degree slopes from which he launched his paraglider. He descended nearly 10,000 feet to Camp II in approximately 12 minutes.