Discovery Channel is set to air a live broadcast of California high-altitude climber Joby Ogwyn’s attempt to make the first wing suit flight off the summit of Mount Everest.
Entitled Everest Jump Live, the event will be broadcast to 224 countries and territories in May. Discovery will air two one-hour pre-shows detailing Ogwyn’s training for the feat, followed by a two-hour live broadcast of his ascent up the mountain and the jump.
The 39-year-old’s custom-made suit – which connects the arms and legs to simulate wings – will be equipped with cameras to provide aerial views as he drops more than 10,000 feet at speeds of over 150 MPH.
The broadcast is the latest in a string of live events hitting broadcast and cable. National Geographic Channel announced in January that it would air a live broadcast from the International Space Station in March, and Discovery Channel previously aired Felix Baumgartner’s world record-breaking jump from space in the Red Bull Stratos project, as well as Nik Wallenda’s tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon via Skywire Live.
In 1999, a 24-year-old Ogwyn became the youngest American to conquer Everest. Nine years later, he set the world record for the fastest ascent of the mountain, making the normally three- to four-day hike from the base of the South side route to the summit in nine and a half hours. In October 2010, Ogwyn became the first person to fly a wing-suit next to Everest, landing at over 17,000 ft.
“This will be the final piece of my dream,” said Ogwyn in a statement. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve imagined what it would be like to fly. I can’t think of a more spectacular backdrop than Everest. Everything that I’ve ever accomplished in my life has just been practice for what I’m about to do.”
“This is history in the making,” said Eileen O’Neill, group president, Discovery and TLC Networks. “Discovery Channel continues to bring live broadcast events unlike anything you’ll see on television – from Felix Baumgartner’s world record for the highest space jump to Nik Wallenda’s incredible tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon.”
Prior to the jump, Ogwyn will perform test jumps in California, Florida, Utah and the Swiss Alps, and then travel to the Himalayas for final training followed by six weeks of acclimatization.
The broadcast will be produced by Peacock Productions. Gretchen Eisele, Colleen Halpin, Benjamin Ringe and Knute Walker will exec produce, while Howard Swartz serves as executive producer for Discovery.