If a villain were about to kill James Bond at the top of a Swiss peak, 007 might make an incredible escape like this. And JT Holmes would be the stuntman to pull it off. The extreme sportsman has been waiting for years to try it. And when the weather was finally right, he flew, skied and then jumped off the Eiger's rock face, pulling a parachute to break his 100-mph free fall. 60 Minutes cameras were there to record the breathtaking event, tried by Holmes for the first time on the famous peak that's more than two miles high. Anderson Cooper reports from the Swiss Alps on this latest extreme sports conquest on Sunday, Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. PT.
Holmes is a veteran of extreme sports. The former professional skier has skied some of most treacherous runs in the world and pioneered the use of wingsuits that allow humans to fly off mountains at speeds up to 140 mph before releasing parachutes. At the Eiger, Holmes took a helicopter to the summit. He then flew with a speed wing, a paragliding-like device, that allows him to fly over portions of the mountain face that cannot be skied. When he touched down he skied at 40 mph before leaping off a cliff for a free fall of some 20 seconds before yanking his parachute.
The jump is the most critical portion of the ride; his skis must detach at this point if they are not to get tangled in his chute and get him killed. He lost a friend that way in Italy.
What goes through his mind after the helicopter drops him off? "There's two mindsets... there's the Evel Knievel, which is kind of kamikaze, and, 'Who knows how it's going to work out?'" he says. "And then there's the James Bond. And Bond is composed and dialed. And he uses clever pieces of gear which he developed with Q to, you know, outwit his opponents and pull off tremendous things."
"Which one are you?" asks Cooper. "I'm Bond," laughs Holmes.