In a testament to the spirit of human ingenuity and a harrowing celebration to the beauty of life and nature, majestically hurtling at 112 miles per hour down a jagged alpine fissure and too close for comfort above the scenic terrain of Switzerland, one has to only consider the appropriate time to pull the rip cord.
Welcome to the world of base jumping and squirrel suits, the adrenaline junkie response to the historically delicious synergy between peanut butter and chocolate, as there is literally no turning back or do overs, once the feet leave the sanctuary and sanity of solid ground. In the ever changing hierarchy of the extreme sky diving community, due to the high risks, and the reality of unfortunate mishaps, one constant has remained on top of the jumping pyramid in the form of the legendary Jeb Corliss.
Located on the hills overlooking the town of Walenstadt, the epic jump from the summit of Hinterrugg at over 7,500 feet above sea level, offers a panorama of mountain and lake views, of course if one actually survives the plunge, and beginners are not welcome. The heart pumping journey with a 6,000 foot elevation drop, has become such a staple for the bucket list of the base jumping community that message boards actually list a set of guidelines and etiquette that squirrel suit wearers should follow, which includes this reasonable and telling list of rules.
1. I would like to remind you all that this jump is not for beginners. Please only jump this jump if you are an advanced wingsuit pilot
2. Barn line: Please do not buzz by the barn only a couple of meters above the roof. There are people and animals living there, respect them and don’t invade their home!!
3. Only land on the top landing near to the farm. Do not land in Walenstadt. The people of Walenstadt get scared if you do this.
4. Pay the CHF 5.— for your day jumping at the exit.
5. Act as normal and responsible people.
Absolutely insane. Apparently, certain base jumpers have actually spooked people and animals during the hair raising descent, and certain individuals have attempted to make what they conceive as a “grand entrance” by choosing to land near crowds.
Thanks to YouTube, innovation of mobile video devices and the men and women who have stones the size of boulders, as the rest of us can live vicariously through the high flying exploits on computers and devices, in the safety of being firmly planted on solid ground.