07 July 2011
Mountains and tall peaks have always been irresistibly appealing and fascinating to Russian climber and B.A.S.E. jumper Valery Rozov, who has accomplished a new feat today which has never been experimented until now. At dawn this morning, this extreme sports professional made a spectacular jump – the first one in history - from Mont Blanc’s Italian slope, more precisely just below Grand Pilier d’Angle (4243 m.). During his 35-second flight in freefall, Rozov, who was wearing his special wing-suit, flew at over 200 km/h before opening his parachute to land safe and sound on the Brenva Glacier (3100 m.).
46 year-old Rozov chose to take on this legendary peak and decided to reach Grand Pilier d’Angle on his own. During the two days before the jump, he climbed Mont Blanc along with Russian climber Alexander Ruchkin, French mountain guide David Authermann and Swiss mountain photographer Thomas Senf. The team started out on Monday 4 July and spent the first night at the Eccles bivouac (3850 m.) The next day, 5 July, Rozov climbed to Col De Peuterey (3934 m.) and continued on to Grand Pilier d’Angle to then descend - via a portion of the famed “Divine Providence” - to the scheduled spot for his jump at approximately 3900 m. This morning’s weather conditions were uncertain and Valery, after having put on his inseparable wing-suit, took the great leap at 6:45 a.m. The wind due to an arriving cold front prevented the B.A.S.E. jumper from making it to the valley to land at Courmayeur as he had planned, so he chose to end his flight on the Brenva Glacier.
Valery Rozov stated: “Being the first person to jump from the Italian slope of this magnificent mountain was not only a fantastic experience for me but a great honour as well. The wind forced me to make a shorter jump. It was a very technical jump. I couldn’t afford the smallest error. Mont Blanc is spectacular and it really won my heart. If weather conditions allow, I would like to try another jump in a couple of days from the Grandes Jorasses”.
No one has ever tried such a feat from this slope of Mont Blanc before Rozov. This is only one of the many records that this Russian athlete can boast of. Only a few months ago in December 2010, Valery tried his hand at an endeavour that borders the impossible: the “Red Bull Antarctica” project. For two weeks, the athlete climbed the most forbidding of mountains in the Antarctica region, the spectacular Mount Ulvetanna (2931 m.), in truly extreme conditions and temperatures that fell below -30°. He then made a special jump, wearing his wing-suit.
But that’s not all. In 2009, the B.A.S.E. jumper hurled himself from a helicopter into Mutnovsky, an active volcano in the Russian peninsula of Kamchatka and in 2008 he also made another sensational jump from Mount Elbrus, the highest peak of the Caucasus mountain range. Its 4600 m. earned him the European record for the highest jump.
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