Catching up with Matt Gerdes
BY: Lesley Gale
Matt Gerdes has been flying in the open air most of his life. Paragliding, skydiving, speed flying, base jumping… he is the author of the Great Book of BASE, a co-founder of Squirrel wingsuits and loves to take his friends on a flying adventure…
How many skydives, base jumps?
In the past ten years I have made close to 1,000 BASE jumps and around the same amount of skydives.
Other aerial sports you’ve done and to what sort of level?
Over 2,000 hours flying paragliders, since 2000.
Over 1,000 flights in speed flying wings, most sub 10m / 100sqft.
Equipment jumped, and history
My current main canopy is a PD Optimum and I think it’s the perfect solution for wingsuit jumping. Javelin Odyssey is my container.
Still alive after about a thousand jumps!
Favorite base moment
Landing safely at the foot of the Eiger north face with my friend Jimmy. It was my 19th BASE jump and I had 11 skydives at the time.
Continue reading Matt Gerdes
Matt Gerdes – September Sessions
Matt Gerdes tells us:
“BASE Jumping is probably the deadliest and most dangerous sport in existence. It is so dangerous that we actually don’t recommend that you do it. In fact, we honestly think it’s a bad idea. We also think it’s probably the most fun that a human being can have.”
Matt has completed over 1200 safe BASE jumps to date, the vast majority of which being wingsuit flights from alpine cliffs. He has opened many new lines of flight and his videos and BASE book are well known to jumpers around the world, with more than ten years’ experience in the paragliding industry.
Base Jump from paraglider Lauterbrunnen
Marco Schultz, Peter Blokker, JP de Kam
Peter Blokker, JP de Kam and Marco Schultz.
What a fun we had with the powers of mother nature!
Marco was born in Gouda, Netherlands. He started skydiving in 2005 and fueled by his passion for freeflying, he started Freefly Triquetra in 2010, providing coaching jumpers at Paracentrum Teuge.
Marco likes to share his knowledge with other jumpers and enjoys travelling. His BASE journey started in 2007, has jumped in 8 countries, participated in events such as Kemaliye Dark Canyon, Tallinn TV Tower and in 2014 he came in 2nd place at the ProBase Istanbul Showdown!
Pedra da Gavea, Rio de Janeiro
Mikolaj Twin Wingsuit Base Jump in Brazil
Pedra da Gávea is a mountain in Tijuca Forest, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Composed of granite and gneiss, its elevation is 844 metres (2,769 ft), making it one of the highest mountains in the world that ends directly in the ocean. Trails on the mountain were opened up by the local farming population in the early 1800s; today, the site is under the administration of the Tijuca National Park.
The mountain’s name translates as Rock of the Topsail, and was given to it during the expedition of Captain Gaspar de Lemos, begun in 1501, and in which the Rio de Janeiro bay (today Guanabara Bay, but after which the city was named) also received its name. The mountain, one of the first in Brazil to be named in Portuguese, was named by the expedition’s sailors, who compared its silhouette to that of the shape of a topsail of a carrack upon sighting it on January 1, 1502. That name in turn came to be given to the Gávea area of the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Differential weathering on one side of the rock has created what is described as a stylized human face. Markings on another face of the rock have been described as an inscription. Geologists and scientists are nearly in agreement that the “inscription” is the result of erosion and that the “face” is a product of pareidolia. Furthermore, the consensus of archaeologists and scholars in Brazil is that the mountain should not be viewed as an archaeological site.
Great wingsuit base jump of Mikolaj Twin from Pedra da Gávea in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.