Base jumping with wingsuits in Norway

by Volker Weber

Those guys won't need a retirement plan.

Comments

you may want to read this about "stevo". (and the rest to verify your theory about the retirement plan)

Samuel Orsenne, 2008-02-11

These people are crazy to take such risks. Don't they know that the mountains in Norway are filled with trolls? ;-)

Richard Schwartz, 2008-02-11

Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are. Still crazy.

Frank Mueller, 2008-02-11

Unbelievable, in this case, it's almost and understatement..

Pieterjan Lansbergen, 2008-02-11

@Samuel, that is a truly horrific list. What a waste of young lives...

Stuart McIntyre, 2008-02-11

@Stuart, I'm sure they died doing something they loved. If they had their time again they'd still be looking for something tall to jump off of.

Kerr Rainey, 2008-02-11

I'm assuming that the video was shot in slow motion. It all seems very soft and dreamlike. In reality, things probably happen much more rapidly, and given Samuel's list, the time/space margin of error is very small.

Nick Shelness, 2008-02-11

@Kerr

I used to skydive. Although it is a very beautiful and amazing thing to do the self inducted endorphin flash is so powerful that you become somewhat addicted to it - something which really annoyed me, because for me it was about the beauty of being in the sky, not about the thrill.

When you are in skydiving, you learn a lot about how little can make the difference between live and death. But with nowadays equipment it has actually turned into a relative safe sport. I haven't looked up the current statistics but probably it is in line with diving and for sure much safer than riding a motor bike. But when doing BASE jumps all safety measures such as backup canopies, electronic deploy systems and drilled standard procedures for solving known issues are of no use anymore.

One day I met a BASE jumper, I think it was in Florida, 1989 or so. And that was a really horrifying encounter. This guy was literally an adrenalin junkie. He owned nothing more than his parachute and a sleeping bag and hitchhiked from drop zone to drop zone. He made a living by packing the parachutes for other skydivers, I think the "fee" was 5 $ each. And when he couldn't make enough money for getting on the plane, he used to jump off the next antenna or bridge.

His outfit, talking and behaviour clearly demonstrated how troubled he was and in another environment (let's say being Mrs. Spears) he had been send to the next therapy resort immediately.

Tim Toron, 2008-02-11

@tim, I'm a skydiver and have met many base jumpers. A lot of pro skydivers base jump from time to time. I've seen a video of 3 FS world champions turning 3/4 points off a cliff. Most base jumpers I've meet are extremely meticulously about their rigs.

Kerr Rainey, 2008-02-11

@ Kerr

I agree there are some very nice BASE locations I also could have been interested in :)

But when I see this video and when I recall my own feelings while I was skydiving it seems to me that there is a fair chance that they don't do it for the beauty of the dive anymore but for the risk and the thrill.

And that's where I doubt that their friends died for something they loved. I am afraid many of them died for an addiction, for something they hadn't under control anymore.

Tim Toron, 2008-02-11

@tim, and there we will have to agree to disagree. Blue skies ;)

Kerr Rainey, 2008-02-12

When I blogged about this last year {link}, it was pointed out that Dwain Weston was one of the top BASE jumpers in the world who ended up killing himself in a wing suit, and he worked as a Notes consultant. Small world.

Alan Lepofsky, 2008-02-12

@Nick, I just managed to see this (bloody work proxies) and I don't think this is in slow motion. It's just the camera perspective and the fish eye lens makes it look slower than you might expect. If you look at some of the other video of wingsuit base jumps you can see some shots taken from the hillside as the jumpers fly past. Then you get the sense of speed.

Kerr Rainey, 2008-02-14

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