Base jumping. The most dangerous kind of extreme.
Why base jumping is considered the most dangerous kind of extreme
Base jumping is rightly considered a more dangerous form of hobby than its ancestor – parachuting. The difference lies in the fact that in parachuting, jumps take place from significantly higher altitudes, to which athletes are delivered using aircraft (airplanes, helicopters, balloons, etc.). At the same time, the recommended distance to the ground, at which it is necessary to open the parachute, is about 500-600 meters. In this case, in case of failure of the main parachute, the person has 10-11 seconds to free from the idle and the deployment of a reserve parachute. Base jumpers jump from a much lower height and the entire flight usually takes less than 6 seconds. Spare parachute just becomes useless. The problem is that due to the lower falling speed, the required exhaust force of the exhaust parachute to open the main dome is simply not enough. Therefore, traditional parachutes are not suitable for base jumping. For this extreme hobby, special satchels and parachutes equipped with large exhaust domes are being developed.
The story of the appearance of the most dangerous type of extreme sports – base jumping.
Unlike most types of extreme hobbies and extreme sports, this type of extreme sports has not only the exact year of birth, but also the exact date.
On August 8, 1978, Carl Benish, an air operator, filmed jumping of his friends from El Capitan rock in Yosemite National Park in the United States. By the way, in the film “Moths in the Wind”, shot in 1969, Karl worked as an air operator. His friends – Kent Lane, Mike Sherin, Tom Start and Ken Gosselin for the first time experienced a new design of the parachute – “wing”. Benish did not jump that day. It was then that the work of shooting stunts turned into a new kind of extreme hobby.
Karl Benish invented the name B.A.S.E, each letter meant the name of the object (building, antenna, bridge, earth), from each of which a base jumper must make at least one jump to get on the official list of base jumpers.
In 1981, the list began to fill up. Karl himself was in fourth place on this list, and his wife Gene in third. At the moment, this list includes more than one thousand fans of this type of extreme.
The life of the founder of base jumping tragically ended.
Karl Benisch was about to jump from the peak “Castle” of the famous Troll Wall located in Norway. On the eve he managed to set a record for the height of the jump by jumping from the peak “Bishop”. Going to jump, he suddenly turned to friends and asked: – “Do you remember the Bible, guys? And remember the story of how the devil brought Jesus Christ to the roof of the temple and persuaded him to jump down, believing that the angels would save him? ” After receiving an affirmative answer, Karl Benish said, patting his parachute: – “I will not need any angels.” With these words, he turned to the cliff and took two steps. In the third step, he tripped and crashed down. Trying to escape, Karl threw out an exhaust parachute, but he was too close to the wall and the air stream could not fill the dome. Benish rolled down, hitting the ledges and wrapping a parachute on himself. The impact on the ground, after falling from a height of 1,500 meters, was so strong that Karl’s body, like a ball, jumped up 10 meters.
Benish’s friends, shocked by what they saw, perceived his death as retribution for blasphemy. Frightened, they destroyed the record of Karl Benish’s last jump.
Despite the huge risk, base jumping remains quite popular, albeit a deadly form of extreme sports. Base jumpers, like miners, make mistakes once in a lifetime. The price of error is severe injury or death.
Extreme hobbies in which the jumper enjoys free fall, such as bungee jumping, rope jumping and even parachuting, are incomparably safer for human life and health.
An attempt to extend the free fall time led to the invention of a special wingsuit, which made base jumping even more extreme.