SoCal Winter B.A.S.E. Jumping & Other Aerial Shenanigans
A compilation of the fun times I’ve had while BASE jumping in Southern California. Using my local cliff as a training ground, I’ve met a ton of great people and had some awesome experiences in my first Californian Winter as a jumper.
The cliff used in this feature has 3 exit points that I’ve used ranging from a mere 160 feet to around 220 feet. All offering marginal time for correcting errors, off-headings, and occasionally less than forgiving landing areas. Jumps like this should be done with extreme caution and a respect for one’s own comfort level an experience.
All of these jumps were done using a static line method of jumping where a jumper will tie-off his pilot chute and attached bridal to a point on the object being jumped. When the jumper exits the object his or her force and the rigged pilot chute act as a deployment method for extra low jumping. Once the jumper reaches line stretch the main parachute begins to inflate and the pilot chute will detach from the object by breaking two loops of 80 pound break cord and freeing the jumper from the object completely. At this point it is up to the jumper to manage the opening and control any canopy surge while flying towards their intended landing area, if possible.
Other highlights of this season included a few hot air balloon jumps using a tracking suit made by Phoenix-Fly. On these jumps I was honing in on my terminal exits and openings, while also trying to improve flight times and gradually lower my opening altitude to something reasonable for wearing a BASE rig. Although these specialized setups allow you to open lower it is also important to be able to have enough altitude to deal with any potential malfunctions that could happen and still safely make it to a suitable landing area.
Another site appears in a small coastal area of Mexico where an abandoned construction site lays way for a very sketchy jump over a beautiful coastline of polished rock beach and green-blue waters. On this outing I actually decided not to jump after climbing the entire way up. For me the winds were too high and it was not worth the risk for me. I did get some great footage of the guys though.
It’s been a fun winter in California!
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Six Feet Deep Clothing
A heart-racing documentary portrait of Carl Boenish, the father of the BASE jumping movement, whose early passion for skydiving led him to ever more spectacular – and dangerous – feats of foot-launched human flight. Experience his jaw-dropping journey in life and love, to the pinnacle of his achievements when he and wife Jean broke the BASE jumping Guinness World Record in 1984 on the Norwegian “Troll Wall” mountain range. Incredibly, within days, triumph was followed by disaster. Told through a stunning mix of Carl’s 16mm archive footage, well-crafted re-enactments and state-of-the-art aerial photography, SUNSHINE SUPERMAN will leave you breathless and inspired.
Now available for Digital Download
Jeff Shapiro is a world-class adventure athlete, but at heart he’s a man of flight. An avid falconer and hang glider, Shapiro has found an “art form” in BASE jumping with a wingsuit. In this series debut of Montana Rooted, Shapiro takes a big step off the Bitterroot Mountains.
(born March 25, 1976 near Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States) is a professional skydiver and BASE jumper. He has jumped from sites including Paris’ Eiffel Tower, Seattle’s Space Needle, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, and the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Sure enough, Corliss has dedicated his life to human flight, and in so doing often makes the seemingly impossible a reality. He is one of the world’s foremost and best-known BASE-jumpers and wingsuit pilots. BASE stands for Building, Antenna, Span (bridges) and Earth (cliffs) all objects practitioners leap from using a parachute. In 14 years, Corliss has made more than 1,000 jumps, from the likes of the Eiffel Tower, Golden Gate Bridge, Angel Falls in Venezuela, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and into a half-mile deep cave in China. He hasn’t simply leapt off and pulled his parachute, though. To add an extra layer of challenge, push the bounds of his ability, and further slice the razor slim margin for error, he has performed acrobatic maneuvers – twists, somersaults, and gainers – during freefall. More recently he discovered the thrills and challenge of BASE-jumping with wingsuits, flying along some of the most stunning and dangerous mountain terrain. In the nearest approximation of human flight yet, wingsuits (which are more flying squirrel than bird or plane) allow the best pilots to trace the contours of cliffs, ridges, and mountainsides at high speed. All of which makes for an incredible spectacle: In July 2011, Corliss flew feet from the ground in the Swiss Alps, an event captured on camera and broadcast on ABC’s 20/20. Two months later, in September, Corliss swooped through an arch in the side of China’s iconic Tianmen Mountain, in front of a live television audience of millions.