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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