BASE Jumping

Monday, November 27th, 2006

BASE jumping is the sport of using a parachute to jump from fixed objects:

“BASE” is an acronym that stands for the four categories of fixed objects from which one can jump:
  • Building
  • Antenna (an uninhabited tower such as an aerial mast)
  • Span (a bridge, arch or dome)
  • Earth (a cliff or other natural formation)

The acronym “BASE” was coined by film-maker Carl Boenish, who in 1978 filmed the first jumps from El Capitan to be made using ram-air parachutes and the freefall tracking technique, which effectively defined modern BASE jumping.

The World BASE Fatality List records 104 deaths from BASE jumping, typically by wall or cliff strike, often by equipment malfunction, and sometimes simply by impact.

As my friend Todd noted, “if you touch the wall, a deployed chute collapses, never to open again.” Quite a thrill…

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