BASE is an acronym that stands for Buildings, Antennae, Spans (or bridges), and Earth (or cliffs), clearly detailing which structures are used for this extreme sport. While many people use the term BASE jumping to loosely describe any number of activities that entail leaping from tall natural or man-made structures, the sport actually calls for the use of a parachute (one that is pre-packed and then either affixed to a base so that the shoot opens as the participant jumps from the structure, or opened at low altitude). This gives you a decent idea of how tall the structure must be in order that your chute will stop you from hitting the ground with too much impact. Of course, most jumpers will never reach terminal velocity, but because of the significant reduction in fall-time (as opposed to say, skydiving), participants must open their shoots pretty quickly after jumping. And yet, despite the fringe nature of such a dangerous sport, it has attracted the interest of extreme sports enthusiasts across the globe. Here are just a few awesome locations that have been used for jumps.
1. El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, California, USA. Not only can you marvel at the natural beauty of the landscape and wildlife spread across the valley below, you can also take a leap from the BASE-jumping site that is purported to have started the craze back in the ‘70s.
2.Christ the Redeemer Statue, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The statue, in and of itself, is not really tall enough for a BASE jump (coming in at only 130 feet tall). Luckily, it’s built atop Corcovado Mountain, a peak of approximately 2,300 feet overlooking the city and white sand beaches below. However, because the mountain doesn’t necessarily have a sheer cliff face, jumpers may want to opt for a paragliding chute to veer away and avoid hitting the mountainside on descent.
3. The Eiffel Tower, Paris, France. While the famous landmark of Paris was initially used by Franz Reichelt in 1912 to test his parachute coat (which looked something like a modern-day squirrel suit) only to die tragically upon the failure of his invention, it doesn’t make the towering structure any less awesome in terms of a BASE jump location. Of course, you may not be able to get permission to leap off the spindly upper levels and into the bright lights of the city below, but since when has that stopped a BASE jumper?
4. Mount Asgard, Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada. Named for the Norse realm of the Gods (basically their version of Mount Olympus), this twin peak is over a mile high. It was famously featured in the opening sequence of the 1976 film The Spy Who Loved Me when James Bond went over the edge on skis, introducing BASE jumping to a worldwide audience. In truth, the only way to reach the summit is with some hefty climbing gear, but the panoramic vista is well worth the effort.
5. Angel Falls, Bolivar State, Venezuela. This, the highest waterfall in the world, offers a drop of over 3,000 feet into the churning waters below. Although much of the water evaporates into mist before it hits the rocks at the base, the rapids of the Kerep River absorb whatever meager amount of water makes it down the cliffside.
Guest Post BIO: Jessica Carlton is a writer for Nursing School where you can find jobs, scholarships, and nursing career descriptions.