Speedflying the ultimate high

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A Queenstown speedflying fanatic is spending 12 months training for a 10-minute adrenalin rush – skiing off a Tibetan mountain. 

Local Dugald Peters (pictured) and Wanaka-based Mal Haskins are leaving nothing to chance while preparing for their ultimate challenge. 

The duo will scale 8000 metre-high Shishapangma in Tibet next May before skiing off the top and using speed wings to whip 2500m down the mountain in a 10-minute burst. 

It’s potentially a world-first. 

In the meantime, the speedflying nuts are throwing themselves off peaks in the Wakatipu and have set their sights on another world-first later this year – speedflying off the summit of Mount Cook. 

Haskins aims to demo speedflying at the World Heli Challenge, kicking off tomorrow in Wanaka. 

“Shy of walking through a minefield to do a base jump from an 8000m peak, what we’re doing is quite up there – a super big challenge,” Peters, 32, says. 

You need to be close to the ground to get a real idea of the speed, he explains. 

“You could fly to Auckland in a 737 but you don’t really notice it – whereas we do get the benefit.” 

Haskins and Peters expect the Shishapangma expedition to take about 15 days and are trying to raise a whopping $55,000 to cover equipment and expenses. 

Peters says despite having limited experience as a mountaineer, fear isn’t a factor for him. 

He’s a former British paratrooper and now event manager for HQ New Zealand. 

“For me it’s a mountain and I want to fly off it. 

“I’ve got five simple rules, which are – look good doing it, enjoy doing it, don’t lose any body parts, don’t fall down any crevices and don’t get taken away in an avalanche,” Peters says.