If you thought Nik Wallenda's tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon (actually, the Little Colorado River Navajo Tribal Park if you want to be picky about it) seemed like a logistical nightmare, you'll appreciate the inherent challenges of Discovery's latest project. “Everest Jump Live” will not only have to wait for climber Joby Ogwyn to scramble up Mt. Everest, the weather will also need to be conducive for him jumping off of it in a wingsuit. Given that sudden weather changes account for a fair number of climber deaths, the May 11th 9:00 p.m. ET time slot has a caveat — weather permitting.
Just in case everything goes south, however, there will be a lot of commentators on hand to chatter through the time slot. NBC News” Willie Geist will host, and he will be joined by The Weather Channel”s Jim Cantore, who will serve as chief meteorologist and track Everest”s highly 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 designed specifically for the event incorporating the latest interactive technology and high-tech equipment.
Of course, Discovery isn't limiting programming to just a two-hour special. Leading up to May 11, Discovery will broadcast five nights of live programs from Everest titled “Everest: Live from Base Camp” beginning at 11:00 p.m. ET on Monday, May 5 (weather permitting) and simulcast on Science Channel and Discovery en Español. Hosted by Martino and Jacobs, it will take viewers behind-the-scenes of the most challenging and complicated live broadcast ever attempted. Outside of the United States, the show will broadcast live to select countries including India, Latin America and the United Kingdom beginning May 5th.
Those hoping to tune in to an epic disaster on live TV might be disappointed. Ogwyn has 20 years of mountaineering and eight years of wing suit flying under his belt. He first summited the world”s highest peak at 24, becoming the youngest American to make it to the top. In 2008, he set the world record for the fastest ascent of Mt. Everest, climbing from the base of the south side route to the summit in just nine and a half hours. It typically takes three to four days.
And, duh, there will be a social media component. Viewers can ask live questions of Joby on the nights he is still at basecamp. Social media questions will be sourced from the audience around the world who will have the opportunity to interact with Joby and the production team. Live cameras will also be in place at Everest Base Camp that can be viewed 24/7 at http://www.EverestJumpLive.com. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #EverestJumpLive. Additionally, regional hashtags will track social media conversation in local languages around the world.
Will you watch “Everest Jump Live”?