BASE jumping or fixed object jumping is the ultimate in extreme sports. BASE is an acronym that stands for Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth. It is a sport that is truly considered extreme by every measure of the word. It may just be the most dangerous sport on earth. To become a BASE jumper you should probably know how to skydive as the sport takes the skills from skydiving and uses them to jump from fixed objects. Most jumps are done from objects as low as 300 feet but as you will see that is not always the case.
BASE jumping was an underground sport for a long time and still remains highly illegal in many parts of the world. Still that doesn’t stop these hardcore jumpers from trying their hand at iconic landmarks such as the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil or the top of a mountain peak that took 22 days to climb. Some countries are now accepting this sport and inviting BASE jumpers to participate in competitions but these countries are few and far between. Watching a jumper leap from an object, open their parachute and land safely is both thrilling and nerve wracking and here are 10 extreme destinations where jumpers do just that.
10. Troll Wall, Norway
The Troll Wall boasts the tallest vertical face in Europe and has seen at least eight jumpers die in their descent. Although BASE jumping is technically legal in Norway it is actually illegal from this particular spot. The reason it’s illegal from this spot is rescuers have a hard time getting to jumpers if something goes wrong. This BASE jumping destination has a deep history with the sport. In 1984, Carl Boenish, the “father” of BASE jumping, was killed here shortly after setting the world record for the highest BASE jump in history.
9. Perrine Bridge, Idaho
If you want to jump legally, Perrine Bridge in Idaho is where you should head to. BASE jumping here is allowed year round without a permit, but don’t let that fool you, it’s still extremely dangerous. This may be one of the only man-made structure in the United States where BASE jumpers can jump legally and they flock here. It is unknown how many jumpers have died in this particular spot but so far in 2015 two deaths have been reported. Jumping from the bridge to the canyon floor below is thrilling but ultimately some jumpers pay the price.
8. Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland
This collection of breathtaking cliffs is responsible for more BASE jumping deaths than anywhere else in the world. The Lauterbrunnen Valley attracts daredevils from all over. There are many jumping points throughout the valley and the cliffs overlook the serene landscape. This part of the world has been the scene of thousands of very successful jumps and even boasts of BASE jumping schools for beginners looking to dice with death in search of the ultimate thrill.
7. Meru Peak, Himalayan Mountains
This peak was once home to the highest BASE jump from ‘Earth’ when Glenn Singleman and Heather Swan jumped from a height of 6,604 meters in June 2006. It took 22 days for this couple to climb up in subzero conditions and only took two minutes to reach base camp once they jumped. They reached speeds of 200 km/hr before opening their chutes. Unsure if this sport is legal off this peak, we don’t suggest trying it, unless of course you feel like conquering a mountain and risking your life, all in one adventure.
6. Angel Falls, Venezuela
Angel Falls is the highest waterfall on earth and that only adds to the allurement of it. BASE jumpers consider this site one of the most intense jump spots on earth and getting here is just the beginning. The drop is a vertical 2,600 feet and to jump off these falls you will need a permit. You will also need a tour operator to guide you from the starting point to the base of the falls, and then a helicopter to take you to the top. High winds causing gusts of water spray is always a concern. Jumping from the highest waterfall in the world is not only dangerous but ultimately thrilling.
5. New River Gorge Bridge, West Virginia
There is only one day of the year you are allowed to fling yourself off this bridge and that day is appropriately named ‘Bridge Day’. The jump is 876 feet from the bridge down to the river below. Over 400 jumpers flock here every year for their chance to participate in this annual celebration. Thousands of spectators turn out every year to watch the jumpers and if you have ever wanted to experience this sport surrounded by like-minded individuals, here is the place to do it.
4. Burj Khalifa, Dubai
It may not be legal but that didn’t stop legendary BASE jumpers Hervé le Gallou and Dave McDonnell from sneaking into the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and jumping off the 155th floor. These two disguised themselves as engineers in order to get into the building. They became the first two people to jump off the highest building in the world. Dubai has since let two other people legally jump off the building, but don’t hold your breath for more jumps time anytime soon.
3. Mount Thor, Baffin Island, Canada
Mount Thor holds the record as the greatest vertical drop in the world at 4,101 feet. It also happens to be magnificently amazing to look at. Climbers and jumpers come from all over the world to conquer this peak. It is highly illegal to fling oneself off this peak though as getting rescuers in is quite challenging. Mount Thor is located in Auyuittuq National Park and reaching this peak is often just as dangerous and hard as surviving the descent.
2. Christ the Redeemer Statue, Brazil
Jumping off this statue is not only illegal but very dangerous. Considering the fall is only a mere 98 feet it is thought to be one of the lowest base jumps on earth. What that means is jumpers only have 1.5 seconds to open their parachute. Austrian parachutist Felix Baumgartner was the first to attempt and successfully perform this jump in 1999 from the statue’s arm. To date he remains the only jumper that has managed to get up there and jump off without being caught.
1. KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
KL Tower is widely known as the ‘World’s BASE-jump Center’ since 1999, when the first jump took place. Ever since, it hosts the longest running urban BASE jumping event that features 100 jumpers. Over 4 days and 3 nights BASE jumpers throw themselves off the building- said to be one of the most thrilling and largest competitions of its kind on the planet. The jump off platform is set at the broadcast part of the tower head, at a height of 984.2 ft high.