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How to get into BASE jumping
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By Nathaniel Holt
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Nov 17, 2011
View from up above the hand crack
U cant its impossible.

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By Kenny Clark
From State College, PA
Nov 17, 2011
People are always jumping off the top of the cliff above Bad Bananas and Super Bowl Wall in Rock Canyon. Just hang around and catch them at the parking lot when they land.

EDIT: I would like to apologize for the timing of my comment. I had no idea someone had very recently died doing what I described. My apologies and condolences to the family.

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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Nov 17, 2011
El Chorro
Have you ever been under a canopy before? If not... go skydiving. You'll learn a lot more in that 60 seconds of flying and 5 mins under canopy than you will on the internet.

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By Brendan N. (grayhghost)
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Nov 17, 2011
Nathaniel Holt wrote:
I want to fly! I want to learn. I just dont know were to go to be trained properly. Everywhere it seem wants (what is to me) a large sum of money. I want to make sure that I am doing It correct under the guidance. But since it seems so costly, I am feeling my only choice to buy up a wingsuit, canopy, and harness and just go for it...... Unless I can get someone to teach me. But, I shit ye not, I will do it on my one if no one will help. So for my safety teach me! Cheers Nathaniel


Sure, I'll teach you. Make the trip up to SLC and we can spend an evening at The Front talking about your plan.

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By Brendan N. (grayhghost)
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Nov 17, 2011
I'll be there at 7pm. This is me. Brendan.

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By John J. Glime
From Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 17, 2011
...
sltrib.com/sltrib/news/5292565...


In regards to your questions, I am pretty sure ghost will tell you... naw... I'll just let ghost tell you.

Side note: It is never flying, it is always falling.

I can't help but add... I don't know where you are going to find someone to sell you BASE equipment... until you have shown you should have it... and I don't know how you think you can...

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By Brendan N. (grayhghost)
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Nov 17, 2011
Nathaniel Holt wrote:
The Front? Like the bouldering gym? I should be available at 7 to meet you there. If any changes happen let me know please. I live in provo so dont want to go all the way up there for noting Cheers


Yup. The Front Climbing Club. I'll be setting for the comp on Saturday.

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By John J. Glime
From Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 17, 2011
...
FWIW, you can't call up Apex and say you want to buy equipment. That isn't how it works.

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By Adrian Allred
From Tucson, Arizona
Nov 17, 2011
Nathaniel Holt wrote:
But, I shit ye not, I will do it on my one if no one will help.


Yer gonna die

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By Jeffrey Dunn
Administrator
Nov 17, 2011
John J. Glime wrote:
Side note: It is never flying, it is always falling.


Thankfully this statement is patently false.

Spend a year or so learning to skydive. Then you might even know the right questions to ask if you were to meet a basejumper.

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By Hank Caylor
Administrator
From Golden, CO
Nov 17, 2011
Pure bliss..
A SHORT AND TOO EVENTFUL JUMPING CAREER
by Chris McNamara

I saw my first BASE jumper while hanging out 2000 feet up El Capitan on the unrelentingly steep ‘Dawn Wall’. After sunset, my partner and I were on our portaledges eating dinner. Suddenly, we were shocked to hear a freight train heading right at us. It was either that or a big falling rock was about to clean us off the wall and kill us. But as we looked up, we a saw not a freight train or a giant rock but a falling body—perfectly horizontal and perfectly composed. The body didn't make a "whishing" sound. Instead, there was a violent ripping noise as though the air was being torn apart. Before we knew it, the jumper had passed 30 feet away and was gone. We were terrified, gripping the edges of our portaledge with hands and feet. Then, once we realized we weren't going to die, we turned to each other and I said, "That’s the coolest thing I've ever seen!"

In the beginning, I had no intention of jumping. But my girlfriend did, and one night I went along and climbed a 500-foot power tower with her and her ‘mentor’ who was giving her a first jump. After that, it seemed so easy to start that I just had to do it. I didn't even have skydives, which is of course how you’re supposed to do it. Standing at the exit point, I half hoped we could both just back off because of the sketchiness of the entire situation. But then it was my turn, and if figured… Sh#t, everything is worth doing once. And it was. While physical time is finite, mental time is quite elastic. Those two seconds before my canopy opened lasted forever.

After making a few BASE jumps I was into the sport but not grabbed by it. The rewards didn't seem to outweigh the risks. Then, I saw ‘SuperTerminal’, a video created by the Norwegian VKB jumpers. They were terrain flying with homemade tracking suits (modified wind breakers). Not only were they flying, they were flying CLOSE to stuff. That movie changed my whole perspective of BASE from a sport about falling to a sport about flying. Who doesn’t want to fly!? Clearly, I had found the inspiration to wingsuit BASE jump.

I’m a climber, and climbers always wish they were a part of the Golden Age: That period in the 60's and early 70's when all the big firsts were being done in Yosemite, and all previous standards were being shattered. That period in BASE jumping started with the first commercially available wingsuit in the late 90’s and will probably continue for another five years, or maybe a decade. After that, in all likelihood the progression will continue at a much slower pace. Climbing progression didn't end after the early 70's, But climbers with a sense of history realize that the sport will never again evolve that quickly and with that much excitement. The Golden Age of Wingsuit BASE is now.

When evaluating a jump, fear is your friend. It knocks some sense into you. However, once you have committed to the jump, fear just makes you tense and can reduce you to half of your self. At times, while standing on an exit, I decided to jump but my head was not straight. Sometimes, in those cases, I said, "Ah, f*#k it." Not because I really meant it - but because it cleared my head and let me relax. Once you have committed, you want to be like Robert Duval in the movie "Apocalypse Now." Bombs are going off all around him but he puts what he can't control out of his head, doesn’t seize up with fear, and generally kicks ass.

That being said, I, like many jumpers, had too many close calls. Most BASE jumpers usually have a brush with death within just a few years of jumping. For me, it was trying to out-fly a cliff band, realizing I wouldn't make it, and opening only 30 feet off the deck. There’s nothing like a three-second canopy ride to a boulder-field landing to wake you up… at least for a little while. But the truth is that when you’re motivated and progressing in BASE, a brush with death usually doesn't make you stop for too long. If anything, it reinforces your belief that things can be bleak for a split second… and then totally work out. This is a dangerous misconception.

BASE takes you way past an ordinary life and into a life of the endless unknown and countless possibilities. It’s no surprise that something so good comes at a hefty cost. Of the roughly 150 BASE jumpers that I’ve met, more than 10 are dead now. There is no escaping the brutal fact that if you meet a lot of BASE jumpers, in a few years a shocking number will no longer be around.

BASE jumping doesn’t seem to get safer with more experience. Sure, more experience can save you from making basic errors, but more experience also brings more confidence to push yourself farther. Once BASE jumping no longer has the same excitement it did originally, you look for new ways to make it exciting by trying new things. Even worse, that adrenaline you have when you first start—that mixture of fear and excitement that keeps you focused, eventually leaves. Things become routine, which is the last thing you want to happen. I realized this, and decided I needed to get out of the sport before I died BASE jumping. Here is what I realized:

• BASE jumping is probably the deadliest sport in the world.
• It is also probably the coolest.
• The best jumps are usually when you are just a little out of your comfort zone and pushing your own limits.
• The only way to be truly safe while BASE jumping is to not BASE jump.

Most jumpers will agree with the four statements above. Usually the first two rise up in your head while the second two are off to the side, creating subtle or not so subtle tension. It’s the conflict between those four statements that makes the sport so intense, complicated, and awesome. It’s why so many people love the sport, so many people quit after a few years, and so many people die.

Is BASE jumping worth dying for? If you have to ask, then the answer is probably no. When I found myself standing at the exit point wondering if it was worth it, then I sensed it was time to quit. I have this rule about jumping, and life in general: "If you’re faced with a big question and the answer is not Yes!!!!" then the answer is no.


nice job ghost, see ya' at the Turkey Boogie.

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By jhn payne
Nov 17, 2011
"Ragin Cajun" 5.12c Jackson Falls, So Il...
I'm not a jumper, but Hank that was a profound statement and well said, I could feel the adrenaline in your words. As an older trad dude I understand something about risk management and I appreciate all that you said.

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By Hank Caylor
Administrator
From Golden, CO
Nov 17, 2011
Pure bliss..
those were actually Chris Macnamaras words, an infamous and very retired(thank God!)BASE jumper.

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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Nov 17, 2011
My navigator keeps me from getting lost
Does anyone start by learning BASE jumping? I'd always assumed that people first become certified skydivers and then move on to BASE jumping.

Wouldn't starting with BASE be kind of like learning to drive in a Formula 1 race? Or, maybe NASCAR would be a better example.

edit after reading Hank's post: Clearly, some people do start with BASE but isn't that the exception rather than the rule?

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By Peter Franzen
Administrator
From Phoenix, AZ
Nov 17, 2011
Belay
Hank Caylor wrote:
BASE jumping doesn’t seem to get safer with more experience.

This is the biggie, I think. A quick browse through this page really hits that point home.

I think that it's awesome that people go out and BASE, but I have never met a jumper who wasn't acutely aware of the inherent risks of the sport.

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By Hank Caylor
Administrator
From Golden, CO
Nov 17, 2011
Pure bliss..
I'm glad grayghost is there for the save, coming onto a climbing forum and telling people you will kill yourself if someone doesn't teach you is fucking awful. SLC just lost a beloved jumper, in Provo, 2 DAYS AGO!! This Nathaniel(from Provo)has some nerve...ugh the entitlement generation at its worst..oh well, not my problem.
basejumper.com/

edit:more noob advice from Chris Mac,
Here would be my FastTrack program if money was no option. (Not the one i followed which i would not recommend.)

1) buy Great Book of BASE. read it 3 times. especially the chapters about how dangerous it is and why you should probably never do it (I wrote an essay about that and why i quit)

if you still want to jump...

2) go to Lodi - Parachute Center for a month. Do AFF. Then do about 50 Hop-N-Pops (jumps from 3-5K) and on every jump try to land withing 5 feet of a target you put on the ground. Then do another 50+ regular (13k) jumps.

3) Go to Twin Falls idaho. meet up with Miles D or other instructor. jump off the bridge 50+ times

4) go to Europe for 2-4 weeks. Probably Lauterbrunnen. Jump 50+ times.

5) back to Lodi. get wingsuit instruction from Ed or other qualified instructor. Do 50+ wingsuit skydives

6) back to Europe. Go to Arco, Lauterbrunnen, Eiger.

7) Quit the second the sport seems even remotely not worth the risk. (This will probably happen after 100-200 wingsuit base jumps )

8) Find new hobby that can scare you but much less likely to kill you (climbing, surfing, etc)

Done!

Should take about 6 months and cost 20-30K

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By Hank Caylor
Administrator
From Golden, CO
Nov 17, 2011
Pure bliss..
Nathaniel Holt wrote:
But, I shit ye not, I will do it on my one if no one will help.


sorry dude, my bad. you got this bro!!

fox13now.com/news/local/kstu-b...

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By Peter Franzen
Administrator
From Phoenix, AZ
Nov 17, 2011
Belay
"So I get on a forum I ask details of the best way to go about it."

Followed by saying that if you can't do it the best way, you'll just go out and do it by yourself.

"Ya, I am young college student who doesnt have ten grand (or whatever total cost would end being, sure more than I can initially front) stashed away in the bank to go to twin falls and learn that way."

Which is another way of saying that you can't afford to get into the sport. Sorry.

"So I think that maybe if I post in a climbing forum there may be BASE jumpers who would be happy to be ambassadors to the sport and provide a guiding hand towards the right direction."

And they did. You just don't like the advice that they're giving.

"Instead I get "ur gonna die" which my reply is, you're going to also."

Everyone is going to die, but believe it or not the people posting here would rather that you do it later rather than sooner.

"And Hank telling me I am the worst of my generation, and im an insult to the memory of a recent tragedy."

You're coming off as the very definition of someone who feels that they are entitled to something. You say you can't afford to do it the right way, so you're going to go out and do it the wrong way. The correct thing to do is to stand up and say that perhaps you shouldn't be doing it at all until you can afford it.

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By John J. Glime
From Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 17, 2011
...
Wormly81 wrote:
Thankfully this statement is patently false. Spend a year or so learning to skydive. Then you might even know the right questions to ask if you were to meet a basejumper.


Just checked Webster's dictionary. You are right, you can fly even when you are falling. Cool. But going down just the same.

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By Adrian Allred
From Tucson, Arizona
Nov 17, 2011
Just going straight into BASE jumping is like going straight to free solo climbing, sure it can be done, but for how long until you meet the end? So like I said...yer gonna die, but thats your perogative, and I'm not complaining about the gene pool getting a little thinner.

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By Brendan N. (grayhghost)
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Nov 17, 2011
John J. Glime wrote:
But going down just the same.


Down, and up. Watch to the end,

or just fast-forward to 50 seconds if you are really ADD.

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By Hank Caylor
Administrator
From Golden, CO
Nov 17, 2011
Pure bliss..
Nathaniel Holt wrote:
Thanks man! I knew ud come around :-) I can afford a set up... and obviously that was quite an idiotic thing for me to say... I dont really want to go jump off a cliff by myself with no training. I just want to learn. So it was a stupid way to approach things. It does paint the picture of "I want what I want, and I want it right now, and if you dont give it to me..." I really am not that way. And would rather take the slow step by step method. But regardless Hanks 30k fast track plan is out of my budget (and Id assume most peoples. Which I hope doesnt make them entitled bitches bc they cant afford that). Meaning, I still have no clue how to approach learning. At least Iv learned Im an suicidal, entitled, insulting person. I can tell my shrink we can stop talking about mom for a while. I got a whole new bag of issues to address :-)


That's not my 30k fast track plan, that's Chris Macnamaras. This sport is full of monetarily challenged people that sacked up, sold shit, saved up, worked another job and patiently bided thier time wisely learning and walking the walk. Starting your BASE quest off with that 1st post is just bad business for you. Glad you see that. Say hi to grayghost tonight and good luck.

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By John J. Glime
From Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 17, 2011
...
Please understand that I was/am not dissing BASE in the least. Just trying to let the kid understand flying concepts. I fly speedwings, paragliders, and hang gliders... I am always aware that I am falling, we can pause it for a moment, but you are going down. This was not a knock on BASE.

My way of expressing that last night was ill written. I think two days after a local death, combined with "I want to fly!" got to me a little.

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By Buff Johnson
Nov 17, 2011
smiley face
Certainly a situation for more direct mentoring in any case.

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By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 17, 2011
Andrew Gram
Hey bros, I really want to sail around the world! Sick! I can't afford a boat or sailing lessons though, and don't know how to swim or even want to spend the time learning how to first. I tied a bedsheet to a broom and duct taped it onto an old canoe someone was giving away on craiglist. I'm starting in San Francisco next week - who wants to go with me and show me how to do it?

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By Wayne Crill
From an Altered State
Nov 17, 2011
pilon fracture
Andrew Gram wrote:
Hey bros, I really want to sail around the world! Sick! I can't afford a boat or sailing lessons though, and don't know how to swim or even want to spend the time learning how to first. I tied a bedsheet to a broom and duct taped it onto an old canoe someone was giving away on craiglist. I'm starting in San Francisco next week - who wants to go with me and show me how to do it?


Very Nice Andrew!

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