Interview with Sano Babu Sunuwar - the man who jumped from Everest
We’re sitting together on a table of the ‘Fire Wood Pizza’ restaurant as a monsoon storm threatens lakeside Pokhara, and we’re trying to figure out why Babu has an adventurous streak. “I always wanted to find new things to do, to find new opportunities,” is his response, which is particularly unsatisfying given his most recent expedition.
On the 21st of May 2011 he and his climbing partner ran and jumped from the summit of Everest and paraglided, between the jet stream raging just above and flashing electrical storms in the valleys below, to the small airstrip above Namche Bazar some 20km away.
They were neither the first to paraglide from Everest, nor to do it tandem. But in an elegant reverse of Australian Tim Macartney-Snape’s 1990 Sea to Summit expedition, Babu and Lakpa Chhiri Sherpa glided and kayaked their way to the Bay of Bengal – in just over a month from Summit to Sea.
With a little more probing, it is clear that this adventurous streak started early. Born an only child on the 30th May 1983 in the district Ramechhap, Sano (small) Babu Sunuwar’s childhood adventures in his village on the banks of the mighty Sun Kosi river were ample preparation for flying and kayaking.
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