Discovery's Mt. Everest jump stunt canceled after avalanche disaster

Discovery's Mt. Everest jump stunt canceled after avalanche disaster
The avalanche on Mt. Everest on Friday was the deadliest recorded in the mountain's history. (Sam Taylor / AFP / Getty Images)

The massive avalanche on Mt. Everest that killed 16 Nepalese mountain guides has caused Discovery to have second thoughts about its planned stunt in which jumper Joby Ogwyn was to leap off the mountain in a specially made wing suit.

In a statement released Sunday, the cable channel said, "In light of the overwhelming tragedy at Mt. Everest and respect for the families of the fallen, Discovery Channel will not be going forward with Everest Jump Live. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the whole Sherpa community."

The original plan had been to air the jump as a live broadcast May 11, hoping to re-create the media and ratings success of tightrope walker Nik Wallenda's high wire walk across a portion of the Grand Canyon.

"Skywire Live" aired last summer in 200 countries and was Discovery's highest-rated live event, drawing an average of 10.7 million viewers during the two-hour, 20-minute special.

Ogwyn was on Everest at the time of the disaster and tweeted that he had lost his Sherpa team. While he initially seemed optimistic that he would continue with the jump, Discovery later made the decision to cancel it.

The avalanche, which occurred on the mountain's south side, is the deadliest ever recorded in Everest history.