Legendary Russian daredevil Valery Rozov, 52, has died after attempting to base jump from a 22,000-foot mountain in the Himalayas.
Known as “the limitless man,” Rozov was the first person to skydive into an active volcano and the first person to jump off the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest freestanding mountain in the world.
Red Bull, a company that had worked with Rozov since 2004, reported his death over the weekend “with deep sorrow,” offering condolences to his wife and sons.
“The Russian received international recognition as a highly professional athlete, an aerial adventurer who tirelessly set himself against increasingly difficult goals,” Red Bull wrote in a blog post. “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.”
“For the Russian legend, boundaries are made to be pushed and limits are made to be exceeded,” Red Bull’s statement continued. “Nothing seems to be too much of a challenge for him.”
But on Saturday, the daredevil met a challenge he was unable to overcome. Rozov died while leaping from a 22,349-foot-high Himalayan mountain called Ama Dablam, located in eastern Nepal, expedition organizers told Agence France-Presse on Sunday. He was wearing a wingsuit at the time.
The AFP reported that the last jump was part of Rozov’s new “seven summits” quest; his goal was to base jump from the highest mountains on each of the seven continents.
There are few details coming out about the accident, but an organizer for his expedition told The Himalayan Times that he had crashed into a cliff. A rescue team in a helicopter recovered his body Sunday morning and flew it to Kathmandu, said Mingma Gelu Sherpa of Seven Summits Club, which organized the expedition.
Red Bull’s statement said that Rozov’s colleagues, friends, family and fans were mourning the loss of “an aerial adventurer who tirelessly set himself against increasingly difficult goals.”
A mountaineer and champion skydiver, Rozov had made more than 10,000 jumps throughout his lofty career.
A native of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, Rozov was 48 years old when he broke the record for the world’s highest base jump on the 60th anniversary of the first ascent of Mount Everest in May of 2013. After a four-day climb, he jumped from Changstse, a peak of Mount Everest, at an altitude of 23,687 feet. He flew for almost a full minute at speeds of about 125 mph and landed safely on a glacier.
“Only when I got back home did I see how hard it was for me both physically and psychologically,” Rozov said afterward, Red Bull wrote in a blog post.
He went on to break that record on October 5, 2016, after leaping 7,700m from the sixth-highest peak in the world: Mount Cho Oyu on the Chinese/Nepalese border.
In the days and weeks leading up to his accident, Rozov posted photos on Facebook documenting his journey to Ama Dablam.
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