Not everyone considers jumping out of an aircraft at 29,500 feet an ideal birthday gift. But the extreme dive was perfect for Holly Budge, a British woman who was among three skydivers who became the first to freefall from the skies above Mount Everest on Sunday.
“It was amazing, just spectacular,” Budge, 29, told the Times of London. “We had one minute of freefall and while we were above the clouds you could see Everest and the other high mountains popping out of the top.”
Falling at speeds reaching 140 mph, the divers wore oxygen masks to keep their lungs from collapsing and neoprene underwear to prevent freezing during the fall, the Times reported.
“It’s all about taking yourself out of your comfortable norm,” says Budge. She says the jump was “first and foremost a challenge” to herself.
Advertised as “a feast for those who seek to stimulate all their senses to the point of near overload,” 72-year-old Alan Walton is the next person scheduled to skydive off Everest.