'We have realized this project with a great respect for the Mountain, for the people who suffer incredibly and risk their life to climb there and for the Country which hosted us," says Didier Delsalle.
"I will be even happier if one day, with the benefits of these flights tests results; one of our helicopters can rescue someone in the 8000 meters region from a deep pulmonary or brain edema. This day, it will really be a great day and a great victory for me!'
With the landing, the story was far from over. A debate erupted: That's not Everest! That's not the summit!
... Was it in fact a chopper at all?! Confused, we stared at the pictures and videos. Although the proof was right there - some people kept pronouncing the world flat.
Everest historian Jochen Hemmleb studied the images closely, marked the waypoints and set the facts straight: It was Everest, and it was the summit.
On Everests South Side, the Valencia team shot a video and we ran it on ExplorersWeb TVs May 11th newscast. That's when we received an image that blew us away - the copter sported a sticker banner on its front reading The Mystery Chopper!
Amidst all Everest statistics, expedition politics and weather debates - sometimes an expedition comes out of nowhere and puts all the magic back. The Everest mystery chopper did just that.
Posted: Dec 27, 2005 01:48 am EST SUBSCRIBER CONTENT PREVIEW FOR FULL STORY: LOGIN OR SUBSCRIBE NOW - UP TO 3 MONTHS FREE
We have covered hundreds of expeditions in 2005. It's difficult to choose the best, as they all contributed in their own way, sharing their story - their very soul in fact - with us and the world. And yet, there are those who continue to linger in our minds long after their final debrief. We have chosen 8 expeditions who have contributed in an extraordinary way to the Spirit of Adventure in the year of 2005. Today number 6: Didier Delsalle - Everest Mystery Chopper The first Everest summiteer in 2005 was not a climber - but...