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Discovery Channel To Turn Scuttled Everest Jump Footage Into Documentary About Deadly Avalanche

EXCLUSIVE: Discovery Channel, which decided Sunday to scrap its much ballyhooed Everestlive Mount Everest jump after a weekend avalanche there killed 13, will instead telecast a special documenting the disaster. In much the same way the Naudet brothers happened to be at the World Trade Center towers the morning of September 11, 2001, filming a documentary about members of Lower Manhattan’s Engine 7, Ladder 1 firehouse, and wound up discoverychannel2instead producing the docu 9/11, so too were camera crews for the Discovery Channel jump at Everest at the time of the single deadliest incident in the history of the peak. NBC News’ Peacock Productions crews, which were to have produced the live jum, was at base camp at the time of the avalanche. Crews had been shooting footage in advance of Discovery’s planned five nights of live programs culminating in Joby Ogwyn’s May 11 jump.

The special will document last weekend’s disaster that struck at 7 AM Friday, Nepal time, and will follow the Sherpa community’s reaction, grieving, and ceremonies for the victims. Ogwyn will be interviewed for the special; he and his team were involved in recovering the bodies from the mountain. Read More »

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Discovery Cancels Everest Jump In Wake Of Avalanche Deaths

By | Sunday April 20, 2014 @ 12:44pm PDT

everest“In light of the overwhelming tragedy at Mt Everest and respect for the families of the fallen, Discovery Channel will not be going forward with Everest Jump Live,” the network said in a statement early Sunday afternoon, adding, ” Our thoughts and prayers go out to the whole Sherpa community.” On Friday morning NBC News, whose Peacock Productions is producing Discovery’s Mount Everest live jump, had said  “the future of the production will be assessed at the appropriate time” after an avalanche occurred Thursday night — the deadliest disaster ever recorded at the peak.

Related: Discovery’s Mount Everest Jump Date In Question After Avalanche Kills 13

On Saturday, the project’s star, Joby Ogwyn had tweeted that the project would continue, a charity would be set up “to take care of our fallen Sherpa and those who could fall in the future,” and that his jump had taken on a larger meaning:


But Discovery and other participants decided otherwise and the decision to pull the plug was made this morning. Read More »

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Discovery Channel’s Mount Everest Jump Date In Question After Avalanche Kills 13: Video

EverestNBC News, whose Peacock Productions is producing Discovery’s Mount Everest live jump, said this morning “the future of the production will be assessed at the appropriate time” after the deadliest disaster ever recorded at the peak killed 13 Sherpa guides last night. The guides were carrying equipment and supplies to camps for climbers getting ready for peak trekking season — including those preparing to participate in Discovery Channel‘s Everest Jump Live, produced by the NBC News division.

Related: ‘Everest’ Movie Crew OK After Tragic Avalanche

Discovery, which had just announced Monday the live two-hour event would air May 11, said this morning its star Joby Ogwyn was at base came at the time of the avalanche, which struck a group of about 50 — mostly Nepalese sherpas — at more than 20,000 feet. Four people remain missing, according to Nepal’s Tourism Ministry. Discovery said it has has not had conversations as to how the disaster might impact its plans. ”The avalanche last night on Mt. Everest is a terrible tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who are lost and with their families. The immediate priority for Joby and the team is to assist the search and rescue efforts in anyway possible.”

Related: Discovery Channel Preps For Big Leap With Five Nights Of ‘Everest: Live From Base Camp’

NBC News said its crews were on Mt. Everest preparing for Discovery’s special — in which Ogwyn is scheduled to climb Everest and leap from the summit wearing only a winged suit equipped with cameras – when the avalanche struck.

“The biggest tragedy of this is that it’s the very beginning of the [climbing] season and to lose this number of people at the very beginning of the season may be the end of the season here,”  cameraman Ed Wardle told NBC’s Today show co-host Savannah Guthrie.

“I think a lot of people are wondering whether it’s appropriate to go on, given the scale of this tragedy,” Guthrie quickly jumped in when Wardle’s “biggest tragedy” talk took that cold turn.  (Video after the jump)

NBC News issued a statement this morning saying, “We are grateful and relieved that the seven NBC News staffers on site are all accounted for and unharmed. Tragically, 13 Nepalese sherpas from a number of expedition companies who prepare the mountain each year for climbing season lost their lives, and the rescue mission continues. We are working closely with the team on the ground to assist however we can, and our thoughts and prayers are with the affected families.”

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Discovery’s NBC-Produced Mt. Everest Jump Scheduled For May 11

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 7:25am PDT

EverestDiscovery Channel says it scheduled  Everest Jump Live to debut during the short window of opportunity dictated by weather on Everest. Everest Jump Live is set for Sunday, May 11 at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT.   The 2-hour event, chronicling climber Joby Ogwyn‘s attempt to jump from the summit of Mt. Everest wearing a wing suit equipped with cameras, is  produced by NBC News’ Peacock Productions. NBC officially unveils its schedule to advertisers Monday morning.

NBC News’ Willie Geist will host the jump, and be joined by The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore, who will serve as chief meteorologist and track Everest’s unpredictable weather conditions. Kyle Martino of NBC Sports and Chris Jacobs of Discovery and Velocity will deliver on-the-ground updates at Everest Base Camp, while Geist and Cantore will be based at a studio in New York City.
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