In a case where someone may have spoken to soon, the allegedly world record-shattering base jump by the Russian extreme sportsman Valery Rozov may not have broken the highest jump after all.
On Tuesday, Red Bull announced Rozov had beat the world record with his 6,420 meter jump off Shivling in the Indian Himalayas, according to CCN. But the Guinness Book of World Records honors a 6,604 meter jump from Mount Meru in the Indian Himalayas by Glenn Singleman and Heather Swan in 2006.
CNN states the husband-wife team were a bit put off by this initial claim by Red Bull:
“We were miffed,” Swan told CNN Thursday. “Their claims are just plain wrong.”
She added that even if Rozov had jumped off the very peak of Shivling — a staggering 6,543 meters — he couldn’t have broken the record.
Red Bull’s story no longer says Rozov hit a world record but does say that the 47-year-old has at least set Red Bull’s top altitude. Rozov is also reported by CNN as saying he doesn’t care if he beat a record or not.
Even though it isn’t the highest height, Rozov’s jump is still jaw-dropping. Check out this raw footage from AP of Rozov’s jump — “Ready. Set. Go”:
Red Bull has more on the Rozov’s expedition, which was more than just jumping off a mountain nearly four miles high:
After a 30-day expedition, including a six-day ascent, the ‘BASE climber’, as he calls himself, and climbing partners Alexander Ruchkin and Victor Volodin stood on the summit of Shivling in the Indian part of the Himalayas at precisely 13:30 on 25 May. After stopping to catch his breath, Valery found a perfect take-off spot at 6420mt. Just 90 seconds later, having hit speeds of 200km/h as he sped through the air, the Russian landed 2200m further down on the glacier.
The other expedition members took three whole days (!) to complete the descent.
“This was my first project in the Himalayas,” commented the two-time skydiving world champion after his record-breaking flight. “We had a few difficulties along the way, so I am really pleased that we were able to complete the jump successfully.”
Although the jump was not record setting, Red Bull does state that the team climbing Shivling were the first Russians ever to do so, which counts for something.