Base Jumping: CrayCray - Yes or No?
Photo Credit: Basejumping.com
Base jumping is widely known to be the most extreme of extreme sports, with a death rate 43 times higher than skydiving! Before we get into just how cool BASE Jumping is, you ought to know how insanely dangerous it is. 1 in 60 jumps will end in a fatality and BASE Jumping is illegal in most places around the world. If you ever find yourself wearing a squirrel suit on the top of a cliff, give it a second thought before taking the plunge.
Ridiculous risks aside, BASE Jumping is one of the most exciting, enlivening experiences a human being can have. BASE is an acronym, standing for the four jumps needed to attain the elusive title of ‘BASE Jumper’. The four jumps are Buildings, Antennas, Spans, and Earth. A jumper must complete all four jump variations before being considered an actual BASE Jumper. Because this sport is so incredibly extreme, there are only a few BASE Jumpers still alive to tell the tale. The most famous places to jump are on the sides of extremely high cliffs or into mile-deep valleys. You may have seen pictures of jumpers taking nose dives from Trollveggen (Troll Way) in stunning Norway, or from El Capitan, the famous Yosemite rock face. These landmarks are favorites to many extreme athletes. Some of the most intense, record setting, climbing feats have also taken place at these very landmarks.
Jumping with the use of parachutes first began hundreds of years ago, in the seventeenth century. Only recently, however, did athletes take it one step farther and abandon (for the most part) the parachute altogether. A squirrel suit is made of a very light weight material that gives you small wing-like attachments to your arms and legs. Jumpers soar through the air, able to direct themselves by moving their arms and legs. When they approach the ground, they can release a small parachute, contained in a backpack they wear. A successful jump is undoubtedly cause for celebration. Check out any of hundreds of absolutely beautiful BASE Jumping videos, always filmed with a GoPro. The only thing better than watching the footage of these mile-high jumps is the view you get from the driver’s seat.