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Uncommonly Sensible

Keeping the "anal" in analytical... (While trying to remain civilized)

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Friday, October 20, 2006

And if your friends jumped off of a bridge...

...would you do that, too?!

As with aircraft, I would if I had a rope to hold onto:

I'll leave the skydiving to my brother Rich and my caving buddy Nate, et al.

Bridge Day is the largest extreme sports event in the world, held on the third Saturday in October every year in Fayetteville, West Virginia. 450 BASE jumpers, hundreds of rappellers, and up to 200,000 spectators are expected to attend this year's Bridge Day on Saturday, October 21, 2006.

The New River Gorge Bridge, 876' tall and the world's second longest single arch bridge, is the launch point for at least six hours (9am-3pm EDT) of legal, safe BASE jumps.


My first rappel was in Air Assault school, on a tower...gradually leading up to doing it out of a helicopter.

Since I got out of the military, my rappeling has been caving/rock climbing related.

I was hoping that this year's Bridge Day was going to be when I was in the area last weekend; I've been meaning to go for years, but have never managed it yet.

In previous years, when I organized whitewater rafting on the Gauley, the other participants didn't want to fight the crowds that weekend...but I did. However, I let the majority opinion rule.

Update (bad news):

There was a fatality at Bridge Day...the first since it began in 1987.

"Brian Lee Schubert, 66, died of injuries suffered when he hit the water 876 feet below the New River Gorge Bridge during West Virginia's annual Bridge Day festival, said Fayette County Sheriff Bill Laird.

Schubert, from Alta Loma, Calif., had been well known in the sport of BASE jumping since 1966, when he and a friend became the first people to jump from El Capitan, a nearly 3,000-foot-tall rock formation, in California's Yosemite National Park.

The sport's acronym stands for the places jumpers usually leap from: buildings, antennae, spans and earth."


Read the whole story here.

This is why I won't skydive.

Update II:

BASE jumper may have pulled chute late

Investigators will continue to examine the fatal incident, but witness accounts indicate Brian Lee Schubert's death Saturday was caused by the partial or late deployment of his chute...

Maybe he was "pushing the envelope"; I'm sure the skydiving community will have something to say on the subject, one way or another.

As for me, my non-skydiving policy remains in effect...

13 Comments:

Blogger Beerme said...

I think I'd rather watch them than be them. Yikes! I prefer the ground.
I would skydive, though. One of those things that I will get around to someday...

October 20, 2006 6:59 AM  
Blogger boberin said...

Pretty cool how they still acknowledge ones right to do stupid things (even if it is just once a year.
Reminds me of the story I saw yesterday where a man skydived out of an airplane onto a building then base jumped off the building to a waiting scooter that whisked him to a waiting speedboat (he did in fact elude capture)
Cool stuff for them that cares for that sort of thing

October 20, 2006 8:30 AM  
Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Whenever I'm "on the ropes" it usually refers to my being pummeled (figuratively of course).

(:D) Best regards...

October 20, 2006 8:33 AM  
Blogger JR said...

Is there a platform above the water??? Rappelling into the freezing water... I am catching a cold and shivering just thinking about that Bridge this time of year...

October 20, 2006 10:38 AM  
Blogger cave_nate said...

Yes, it is on the too do list.

As I heard, it is a fairly good place to base jump except the landing area is a bit tight. There is a lot to learn before base jumping , so for the time being I’m happy to skydive.

Btw, why do I jump out of “perfectly good” airplane…
The door was open :-)

October 20, 2006 11:03 AM  
Blogger camojack_senior said...

I have lived for many years with
the outlook that I would never
look back and say" I always wanted to do that. If something
looks exciting to you, Set a date
and do it.I remember picking
you up at church, your teach saw the motorcycle and she said she
always wanted to ride on a
motorcycle. That's when I decided
that I would never be able to say that and my boys have followed that lifestyle

October 20, 2006 12:46 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

Beerme:
I'd rather be one of them.

You can have skydiving, though; I take enough risks already.

boberin:
Stupid? Perhaps, but I'm guessing you've heard what they say about opinions.

One person's idea of stupidity is another's idea of fun.
(Nothing I do has killed me...so far)

Hawkeye®:
Yes, "on the ropes" generally means something different than "on rope".

JR:
From the angle in the picture, it would appear that they're going to rappel into the water, but they're not.

cave_nate:
Speaking as an aircraft mechanic, I can assure you that there's no such thing as a perfectly good airplane.

But we should resolve to jump off of that bridge one o' these years.
(I'll rappel; you can skydive if you wish)

camojack_senior:
Indeed we have...and without regrets.

October 20, 2006 8:16 PM  
Blogger darth_meister said...

Geronimo!

October 20, 2006 9:47 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

darth_meister:
If Geronimo had ever jumped out of a plane, would he have yelled "Me!"?

October 21, 2006 6:29 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

God said "LO Iam with you".

October 21, 2006 10:32 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

Maggie:
"...e[le]ven[teen] unto the end of the world"?

Yes, He is. Good thing, too...

October 21, 2006 2:09 PM  
Blogger pacavewolf said...

"Splat day" apparently is how the locals refer to Bridge day according to my guide on the white water rafting trip on the New river that ends at the bridge.

October 22, 2006 5:59 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

pacavewolf:
"Splat Day", huh?

Well, 'til now there were no fatalities, although I remember hearing about an inexperienced rappeler breaking his back a couple of years ago...

October 23, 2006 12:50 AM  

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