We were blogging about ballooning a few days back and thought you might like to know a little more about extreme balloon flights – where to start? Well it didn’t take us long to associate balloons with Mount Everest and so started our research. What appears below is what that research yielded which we think is pretty extraordinary and certainly an extreme way to go ballooning.
Yes it has been done – by the British film maker and adventurer Leo Dickinson, who in 1991 flew his balloon over the top of Mount Everest and captured this amazing photo.
This awe-inspiring photograph reflects the majesty of Mount Everest as you’ve never seen it before – from more than a mile above.The spectacular panorama shows the breathtaking landscape of the Himalayas from six miles above sea level.
It was shot by Dickinson wearing breathing apparatus in -56C temperatures 36,000 feet up.It is believed to be the highest panoramic picture taken by hand from a balloon, and was described by mountaineer Reinhold Messner as the ‘best snap on earth’.
The summit of Everest, the world’s highest peak at 29,035ft, takes centre stage above the 11,000ft vertical drop of the Kangshung Face, on the eastern side of the mountain. Dickinson took the photo from the stratosphere during his record-breaking balloon flight over Everest.
With Nepal on the left of the frame, and Tibet on the right, the stunning skyline westward shows nine of the planet’s highest summits.
These include Lhotse (27,940ft), Cho Oyu (26,906ft), Gyachung Kang (26,089 feet), Nuptse (25,850ft), Peak 38 (24, 904ft), Changtse (24,770ft), Shartse (24,471ft) and Ama Dablam (22,349ft).
Unfortunately it is not possible to show you any footage of the flight over Everest despite Dickinson having made a 52 minute film of his adventure. You can however buy a copy of the film for £20 which can be ordered from Leo’s website – the link for which is
Dickinson describes his adventure which nearly cost him his life due to the failure of his breathing equipment at 36,000 feet preventing oxygen from reaching his starving lungs – now if that isn’t extreme we might as well wrap it all up right here and now. Sincere respect to Mr Dickinson, an extreme adventurer.