He got to 7,200m and had the choice of flying from there, or proceeding to the 8,188m summit with the rest of the expedition. But he couldn’t do both.
Next morning, he stuck his head out the tent and it was a glorious, clear day with a 6 knot breeze wafting up the mountain. Perfect for flying. The guide wanted him to summit, but he decided that since the whole idea was to raise money for polio, summiting that mountain was not going to raise any money, paragliding off it was.
“In hindsight, I’m pretty disappointed I didn’t summit. I was pretty fit. I was feeling really good,” Hutt says.
He pulled the super lightweight (2.7kg) glider from his pack and suddenly became acutely aware of his own inexperience, and the fact he had only flown this particular glider once before — off a tiny hill near his home south of Sydney.
He would be flying in air one-third the thickness, hanging from a glider too small to carry his weight plus the ice axes, sleeping bag, rope and food he had to carry for self rescue.