Valery Rozov, a Russian BASE jumper and mountaineer died last Friday during an attempted jump from the 6,812 m (22,349 ft) Ama Dablam peak in the Himalayas, as reported by In addition to holding the current Guinness World Records title in BASE jumping, in 1999 and 2003 he became twice the world champion in parachuting. He was also the winner of the European Championship and the World Cup winner in the same sport, the X-games champion in skysurfing, twice the champion of Russia in mountaineering, and the world record holder in 400-way skydiving group acrobatics and 100-way wingsuit.

Rozov gained worldwide fame in 2009 when he, wearing a specially designed wingsuit became the first man to make a successful parachute jump into a spewing funnel in the crater of Mutnovsky, an active volcano in Russia's Kamchatka peninsula.

Tragic death only year after setting new Guinness world record

On 5 October 2016, Valery Rozov made headlines as he leapt from a height of around 7,700 m (25,262 ft) from Cho Oyu, the sixth-highest mountain in the world, located on the border between China and Nepal. He had spent approximately 90 seconds in free fall along the peak's northern wall, reaching a speed of around 200 km/h before opening his parachute and landing safely about two minutes later on a glacier at an altitude of around 6,000 m (19,685 ft).

It took Rozov and his team 21 days to reach his chosen take-off point on Cho Oyu, as a heavy snowfall delayed their ascent by one week. This leap broke the then Guinness world record for the height of the BASE jump exit point, as well as his own previous highest BASE exit point record of 2013, when he jumped from the Mount Change in the Everest massif, from a point at an altitude of 7,220 m (23,687 ft).

The latter jump was timed to happen exactly 60 years after Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first people to conquer Everest in 1953. As he recalled later, "Only after getting back home I realized how physically and psychologically challenging was this project, yet I was able to fulfil my old dream."

Paratrooper turned mountaineer and skydiver

Born in 1964 in Gorky as Nizhny Novgorod, Valery Rozov did his military service in VDV, the Soviet airborne troops.

Turning to mountain climbing in 1982, he completed between 1994 - 1996 the Seven Summits challenge which was followed by several champion titles in the discipline. After 2000 Valery became one of the main names of world BASE jumping. In the years following his 2009 jump into an active volcano, he parachuted from summits which included Ulvetanna in Antarctica, Mont Blanc in the Alps, Mount Shivling in the Himalayas, and Kibo, one of three peaks of the Mount Kilimanjaro. During his lifetime, he collected numerous champion titles in BASE jumping, parachuting, mountaineering, and made a total of more than ten thousand jumps. Alexander Sharkovsky in his tribute article in recalled that in the early 1990s Vladimir, Valery's older brother met a similar tragic death during an attempted parachute jump.