SAFA Skysailor Magazine

8 SKY SAILOR September | October 2023 Flying the Khumbu Glacier, Nepal – Polio paragliders return to Mt Everest by Ken Hutt In 2022, the SAFA and NSW Paragliding Association supported paraglider pilot Ken Hutt and his team’s ‘Fly from Everest’ project, an ambitious attempt in the name of Rotary International’s ‘End Polio Now’ campaign to accomplish the world’s highest paragliding hike & fly from the summit of Mt Everest (8849m). The ‘Fly from Everest’ team had secured the first ever permit to fly in the Khumbu Valley, and the Nepali Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation issued them with a permit to launch from an altitude of 8000m, the South Col of Mt Everest. After successfully summitting Lobuche Peak (6119m) on an acclimatisation climb in late April, the team continued the quest on Everest. Passing through the notorious Khumbu Icefall a total of six times, and reaching Camp 3 on the Lhotse face, Ken then returned to BC with what could have been a life-threatening chest infection had he continued the summit push. He intended to recover and resume the summit attempt several days later, but disap- pointingly, could not due to this health issue. Nevertheless, the extensive world media attention and awareness, as well as the raising of over $360,000 for world polio eradication,