Timing will be everything in this dangerous ‘world’s first’ attempt to launch a paraglider on Mt Everest.
“Calm weather and a safe and high launch site are all needed,” stated the Rotary Club of Berry’s Ken Hutt.
In April 2019, Ken will lead a contingent of around twenty Rotarians and friends to Mt Everest Base Camp (and there’s still time for you to join in). The focus of the trek is to raise awareness and funding for the eradication of Polio. (If Mt Everest is on your bucket list, then be sure to read to the end of this article.)
Each of Ken’s trekking supporters will aim to raise at least $2000. So, with the 2 to 1 matching grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this will create a nice donation.
“Thank you for coming up with a unique way to raise funds for our PolioPlus programme. I admire your willingness to jump from Everest in order to support the eradication of Polio.
The Rotary world greatly appreciates what you are doing and the children of the world appreciate what you are doing. We wish you well with this initiative. Thank you for your dedication to our organization and its programmes.”
Barry Rassin
Rotary International President
Ken’s background is in Police Search and Rescue. So, he’s used to assessing dangers – and there are many dangers, but this is also not Ken’s first rodeo. He previously launched a paraglider from Mt Cho Oyo, the world’s sixth highest mountain at 7,200 meters (23,600 ft). This Tibetan effort raised over $100,000 for Polio eradication.
ken hutt paragliding
The summit of Mt Everest is 8,848 meters (29,028 ft) above sea level and the altitude at Base Camp is 5,380 m (17,600 ft). This is more than twice the height of Mt Kosciuszko (2,228 m).
Above 2,500 m, oxygen deprivation is one of the dangers, Ken and the team must prepare for.
After landing at Kathmandu, supporters will trek to the Mt Everest Base Camp for acclimatisation. Experienced local guides and porters will help carry the necessary gear for everyone’s comfort and safety.

Everest assault polo

Mt Everest Assault polo shirt design.

Rotary Fitness has created a unique polo shirt for the Rotary Club of Berry to use for fundraising. It features a Polio Paraglider on the front and a group of three support trekkers on the back. If you’d like to get one of these unique shirts; add your name to the Rotary Fitness email list and we’ll let you know when shirts are available. Sales of these shirts will support PolioPlus.
So far Ken has been fortunate to have a manufacturer donate a paraglider, valued at over $6,000. He is now looking for a major sponsor to get involved in this unique world record attempt.
If you’d like to join the expedition, or you’d like to assist, please contact Ken here.

Ken’s Rotary Life

Ken’s father was a Past President of the Rotary Club of Cronulla. Ken joined the Rotary Club of Berry in 2008. He has served as Foundation & International Director as well as Community Service Director. At District level, Ken has been the Polio Director.
The Rotary Club of Berry is an active club with many projects. They hold Small Farm field days in September, a Celtic Festival in May and a Christmas Street Parade. They also do fireworks on New Year’s Eve and assist at the Berry Show. Each month they also fundraise at a local community market.