Some people are simply extreme. There is a special brand of thrillseekers who take in views of nature at deadly high speeds, becoming truly free. They share that sweet rush with us, filming as they fly, bringing us intense videos of enjoying nature and their controlled fall. We look at BASE jumping from breathtaking natural formations, wingsuit flying, speed flying, and ski-BASE jumping. These extreme sportsmen awaken their senses and live life to the fullest!
We’ve covered rugged hikes, caving, and rock climbing, so please keep an open mind for these extreme adventures. We’re not endorsing these sports, but if you “catch” it, too, and take it up, please have fun! Be safe. Thank you kindly.
3, 2, 1, Fly!
B.A.S.E. stand for the categories of fixed objects from which one can jump: buildings, antennas, spans (bridges), and earth. We focus on earth, majestic cliffs and, later, gorgeous snowy mountaintops. The scenery is stunning. For the adrenaline junkies, it forever imprints memories of both the adventure and the amazing natural views. That first jump, sometimes more, is a real head game. Your rational mind will not want you to step off the safety of the ledge and into thin air. But it’s super addicting as well. Yes, BASE jumping is one of the world’s more dangerous recreational activities. It is also a sport where the participants leave nothing to chance, requiring skill, planning every detail with good margins, and executing the jump in the right conditions.
Kjerag Kickoff Weekend 2009 – Wingsuit BASE jumping
When a philosophical blogger stated, “To risk your life for the sake of pleasure is something I cannot understand,” BASE jumper extraordinaire Halvor Angvik wrote a reply. “Every person has to take calculated risks at some points in life to get or do something they really want, something that makes life worth living. It does not have to be physical consequences; it might be an economical compromise, related to someone you love or other things you really value in life. Some risks might be bigger than others, but once you’ve found out what you really want to do in life I bet you would think it’s worth taking some risks for. What’s left of life if you won’t risk doing what you really want to do? Are you truly living then? I would not be.”
The video is some of Halvor Angvik’s jumps from the season kickoff in Kjerag, Norway, including exits 4, 5, 8 and Smellveggen. (For a rush, it’s best viewed full screen, baby!)
Wingsuit BASE Jumping
Some BASE jumpers must have truly dreamed of flying since they were young, since they wear a wingsuit which enables the human body to fly through the air. There’s a fine line between the extreme sports of BASE jumping and wingsuit flying; BASE jumpers often later wear a wingsuit. Proximity flying in a wingsuit can carry the flier so he or she can trace the contour of the wall. Wingsuit-only landings are not possible, not yet.
In the video, Loic Jean Albert, a well known BASE jumper said: “At the beginning of wingsuit BASE jumping, we try to fly as far away from the wall as possible. Now it’s getting boring, so we play around.”
(image credits: anadaopegao,anadaopegao)
Again quoting Halvor Angvik, “The most dangerous thing you can do with a wingsuit is to fly close proximity OVER the terrain. That requires a lot more planning and skills. You need to know that the angle of the terrain is well within your glide ratio limits and you need to know which parts of the flight you are in the clear to break off or pull, and where you have dedicated yourself to a line you will have to finish.”
BASE Jumping is BIG & Legal in Many Places
Although many countries allow BASE jumping, some would just as gladly arrest you. Other places require permission from both the area where you intend to land as well as from where you intend to jump. It’s legal though at Kjerag Mountain in Lysefjord, Norway. BASE jumpers are actually welcome! If the extravagant beauty of the cliffs, canyons, waterfalls, and spectacular fjords don’t take your breath away, perhaps that first step into thin air will?
(image credits: wetasschronicles,Angel Falls B.A.S.E. 09,seekextreme,nrksport,thegoat.backcountry,lysegard,ggpht)
New Zealand and Switzerland are also highly recommended areas, but there are many great places to BASE jump. These jumpers are not insane, they love life! They take calculated risks, but their love for nature is as extreme as their adventures. Do you see the treasure to be had in these stunning natural surroundings?
Although he is far from the only wonderfully talented BASE-jumping flier, Halvor Angvik stated all of this quite eloquently, “When it comes to jumping mountains, you get to travel and experience untouched nature and places you would never go to if it had not been for the jumping, and you meet a lot of people with the same interests on the way. The feeling of freedom I get from hiking and climbing around in the mountain, out of reach of cell coverage and civilization, knowing that I am going to fly off a mountain when I get to the top, gives me an inner peace unmatched by anything else.”
BASE jumping in Lauterbrunnen 2009
1, 2, 3 and then we go. Yes. 3, 2, 1 go!
This is an excellent video, from Angvik’s youtube channel, showcasing 10 days of jumping in the area of Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. From Angvik’s reply to Healing Philosophy, “These facts probably won’t change your mind about base jumping being a very high-risk activity, and it shouldn’t. It is a high-risk activity because any single mistake – whether it’s misjudgment of wind and weather, your skills for a specific object, or simply a mistake during flight or deployment, or equipment maintenance and packing – will most likely kill you. It might however help you to understand that I don’t do this for the risk itself, and the kick I get from handing my life over to faith and see how I manage. Every jump is planned to every last detail, and with good margins. I never doubt that my packing or rigging is good, because I will check it again until I am 110% sure it’s good, and I never fly off a mountain unless I am sure I can make the flight. It still doesn’t make it safe, but maybe it makes you see that it’s not that irresponsible either.”
Speed Flying & Speed Riding
(image credits: freerepublic,neatorama,,Daily Mail,skinet)
Speedflying evolved from speedriding, flying fast downhill on skis. It infuses off-piste skiing with paragliding, creating more niche extreme sports. If being out in nature helps you to find balance, and you can ski competently, then perhaps you would like to ski a little and basically glide or fly down the mountain? And if you run off the edge of the mountain? No problem, just fly down and land in the snow.
Speedriding, Speedflying and Wingsuit-Flying
If you have never really heard much about speedflying, then this video may help you. This combines speedriding, speedflying and wingsuit-flying in the area of Wengen, Switzerland. The person with the camera is Halvor Angvik with his co-pilot is Jokke Sommer. If you follow BASE jumping much at all, then you might recognize Jokke from when he was wearing and testing out his Vampire 3 wingsuit.
Shane McConkey – Ski & BASE Jump
Shane McConkey was a professional skier who, among many things, was famous for skiing into a double back-flip BASE jump off Eiger, a 13,025 foot mountain in the Bernese Alps of Switzerland. On March 26th, 2009, while ski-BASE jumping in Italy, one ski did not come off. This sent him into a spin at terminal velocity. The ski community suffered a great loss that day. (See tribute video)
Extreme BASE Jumping with Smoke
(image credits: NRKekstremsport)
Halvor Angvik stated, “Why do I jump? It is not because I’m fearless or braver than anyone else. I think I am as scared as any person and I certainly think a lot about the consequences of my actions. Neither is it for the adrenaline rush exclusively, though it is a good side effect. : )”
World BASE Race 2009
One last thing for your consideration, the World BASE Race 2010. Are you hooked yet? Want to try it or at least watch in person? There are many lovely locations where it is legal to BASE jump or speedfly. The only stupid extreme sport adventures are those undertaken without proper skills first being acquired and mastered. If you qualify, maybe we’ll see you in the World BASE Race 2010?