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Old 27.01.2011, 02:19
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

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As a mother, if I had to choose, I would rather see my children smoke than basejump. I don't want my children to die young. Although I hate smoking, at least I would be grateful in the knowledge my smoking children wouldn't die suddenly and they'd probably outlive me anyway.
And that's your prerogative so to choose - and I respect your choice. My only questions would be - are you choosing that for your children or are you choosing that for you?

Would you also stop them flying? Surfing? Climbing? Diving? Hitchhiking round South America? Lifeboat Crew? Motorbiking? Off-piste skiing? Playing Rugby? At what point does the risk become "acceptable" to you, and the kids get Mum's Seal of Approval?


I, as a father, choose that my children might choose that they could die young doing something they are passionate about, rather than slowly wasting away from cancer (regardless of whether they outlive me or not). And, in that, they have and always will have and know that they have, my full support. Of course I talk to them about what they're up to, the risks involved and what they do to mitigate and minimise those risks. They may be my kids, and I do love 'em to bits, but I don't feel that I somehow own their lives.

As someone who was once in the third of those "high-risk" categories, I know that I probably have a different outlook on "life" than most people - and that's my prerogative.
I certainly know that the friends and colleagues that I lost and the ones that I didn't would - to a man or woman - all far rather have gone out the way they did, or flying down the side of a mountain, or offshore racing, or deep diving, or whatever, than lie in bed with a morphine driver in the arm and an oxygen cannula in the nose thinking "I wish I'd actually done something in my life".


Diiferent folks, different strokes, I guess
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  #42  
Old 27.01.2011, 10:10
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

One of my husbands good friends was killed while descending from the summit of K2, he had previously summited Everest along with many other of the worlds highest & most difficult mountains. While sad he had died we knew he died while living his life to it's fullest potential, he packed more life into hs 37 years than most most people do in 80. If I had a choice I would rather my children live a full and fullfilling life with the chance of dying young than stagnate on the couch with no adventure, no risk & no challenges. That to me would be a waste of a life.

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And that's your prerogative so to choose - and I respect your choice. My only questions would be - are you choosing that for your children or are you choosing that for you?

Would you also stop them flying? Surfing? Climbing? Diving? Hitchhiking round South America? Lifeboat Crew? Motorbiking? Off-piste skiing? Playing Rugby? At what point does the risk become "acceptable" to you, and the kids get Mum's Seal of Approval?


I, as a father, choose that my children might choose that they could die young doing something they are passionate about, rather than slowly wasting away from cancer (regardless of whether they outlive me or not). And, in that, they have and always will have and know that they have, my full support. Of course I talk to them about what they're up to, the risks involved and what they do to mitigate and minimise those risks. They may be my kids, and I do love 'em to bits, but I don't feel that I somehow own their lives.

As someone who was once in the third of those "high-risk" categories, I know that I probably have a different outlook on "life" than most people - and that's my prerogative.
I certainly know that the friends and colleagues that I lost and the ones that I didn't would - to a man or woman - all far rather have gone out the way they did, or flying down the side of a mountain, or offshore racing, or deep diving, or whatever, than lie in bed with a morphine driver in the arm and an oxygen cannula in the nose thinking "I wish I'd actually done something in my life".


Diiferent folks, different strokes, I guess
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  #43  
Old 27.01.2011, 10:23
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

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One of my husbands good friends was killed while descending from the summit of K2, he had previously summited Everest along with many other of the worlds highest & most difficult mountains. While sad he had died we knew he died while living his life to it's fullest potential, he packed more life into hs 37 years than most most people do in 80. If I had a choice I would rather my children live a full and fullfilling life with the chance of dying young than stagnate on the couch with no adventure, no risk & no challenges. That to me would be a waste of a life.
I think K2 is much more difficult comparing to Everest. Thousands of people managed to get to peak of Everest, while there is like 300 people who managed to get to K2. K2 was always considered very difficult and dead peak. I think every 5th dies, so there is 300+ who managed and like 70+ who died trying to reach the peak. And very lately there was quite some huge lost. I think there was ice cape broken few years ago and it took all guide lines, lots of people died.

My mountains experience just started a little bit more than a year ago after seeing the mountains here in Swiss (I live in country which is pretty much flat). I hope to take on some snowy peak sooner, but still don't have equipment or knowledge enough.

Of K2 I think like of lifetime challenge.

-david
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Old 27.01.2011, 10:31
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

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I'm not so sure I agree. There are loads of things in life that are dangerous and if we wanted to stay safe we'd wind up doing nothing. Motorbikes/skiing/smoking are classic examples. Each to their own at the end of the day.


20 died... How many others jumped and survived?
Just a different point of view...or probabilistic point of view
I would never compare things like base jumping to other sports ...from a documentary I watched about base jumpers ..their average base jumping life is is 5-6 years and most of the legends of the sports are either dead or quit or recovering from gruesome injuries
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  #45  
Old 27.01.2011, 11:30
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

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Wow! Quite an eye opener, reading through these comments...
I am amazed how such (supposedly) well educated and open minded people can jump to conclusions... "selfish", "stupid", "crazy", "wrekcless", etc.
I could spend the next two hours of my life sitting in front of the PC and typing a long reply, in which I'd try to explain the reasons for BASE, the advancement in technology and gear that BASE jumpers have at their disposal today... how there are different type of jumpers, how there are more people dying in a whole lot of other sports, etc... No worries, I won't bore you with that.
What I will do is tell you that through BASE I've met some of the most amazing people on this Planet... I've learned a lot about people, life, cultures, camaraderie, understanding, pain of loosing someone while still being happy for the life they lived, etc.
That being said, I'm gonna go smoke a Marlboro and drink some cognac...
Fly Free, Gary!
BSBD
Right on! That's why I stick to the good old Rollerball! It's a pitty some students can't find wind tunnels to do they're research.
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  #46  
Old 27.01.2011, 12:32
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

K2 is more difficult than Everest by quite a long way. It was his second attempt at the peak & he died in the incident you describe below. He stopped to help the injured climbers after the first avalanche & got swept away in the second. If he had been a selfish, self centred person like some in this thread are describing those who partake in "dangerous" sports then he would still be alive.

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I think K2 is much more difficult comparing to Everest. Thousands of people managed to get to peak of Everest, while there is like 300 people who managed to get to K2. K2 was always considered very difficult and dead peak. I think every 5th dies, so there is 300+ who managed and like 70+ who died trying to reach the peak. And very lately there was quite some huge lost. I think there was ice cape broken few years ago and it took all guide lines, lots of people died.

My mountains experience just started a little bit more than a year ago after seeing the mountains here in Swiss (I live in country which is pretty much flat). I hope to take on some snowy peak sooner, but still don't have equipment or knowledge enough.

Of K2 I think like of lifetime challenge.

-david
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Old 27.01.2011, 13:18
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

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Correct - yet as has been proven countless times by modern sailplanes with a sail ratio 35x bigger than that of a wing suit, when flying in close proximity to a cliff face and have neither sufficient control authority nor power to maneuver out of wind gusts a crash is inevitable.
Well, I happen to have piloted those sailplanes for a couple of years and there are some points I'd argue:

- the sailplane has a so much better sail ration because it has much bigger wings. Around 15-22 Meters. This is a huge surface which makes them of course more prone to crosswinds than a wingsuit.

- even the most modern sailplanes will not fly more than 100kmh along a cliff (unless you actually want to descend). A wingsuit makes easily 150 if I look at the videos. A crosswind is therefore even less effective.

- sailplanes hardly crash because of "unpredictable winds" - they crash in far more than 90% because of piloting mistakes. In the cases where the plane ends in a cliff it is usually bad weather: You do not want stability as a sailplane pilot - you need the air to be moving in order to find thermals going up. So you fly typically on days in which storms develop. Some stay out too long... a wingsuit jumper on the other hand will jump on the most stable days with high pressure systems making no move at all - at least the videos I have seen were all in complete sunshine... so there is relatively lite wind at all.

- experience. I made several hundred flights, but I would never go into the top end of the Alps alone. My dad does - after fourty years and several thousand starts as experience... wingsuit jumpers do not just go up a mountain and jump - They are all expert skydivers or paragliders. Just as you would not start with off-piste heli skiing as a beginner...


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There's a world of difference between the principles of flight testing (even those of the 40es) and "let's jump off a cliff and see how close can i get before i crash and die". I believe even the flying pioneers chose rather large expanses of flat land for their trial flights.
Simply put: The opposite. The first pioneer was Otto Lilienthal who build gliders and jumped down hills with them. 2000 times till he had a fatal accident - and his research did actually base the foundations for all the Wrights and whoever came after him.
And most who came after him did quite the opposite of of "vast flat land" - the pioneers used rubber band catapults to get shot down hills. Here is a video of a Swiss veteran plane club using the old methods again:

Of course you can argue that the pioneers "researched", but I would argue that only the engineers did - the pilots were the same guys that today jump off cliffs in flight suits....


P.S: I would never try this myself - but I do not think they have any deathwish or are stupid, they take risks based on their assessment of their own abilities and some overestimate their skills.

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  #48  
Old 27.01.2011, 14:02
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

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I, as a father, choose that my children might choose that they could die young doing something they are passionate about, rather than slowly wasting away from cancer (regardless of whether they outlive me or not). And, in that, they have and always will have and know that they have, my full support. Of course I talk to them about what they're up to, the risks involved and what they do to mitigate and minimise those risks. They may be my kids, and I do love 'em to bits, but I don't feel that I somehow own their lives.

As someone who was once in the third of those "high-risk" categories, I know that I probably have a different outlook on "life" than most people - and that's my prerogative.
I certainly know that the friends and colleagues that I lost and the ones that I didn't would - to a man or woman - all far rather have gone out the way they did, or flying down the side of a mountain, or offshore racing, or deep diving, or whatever, than lie in bed with a morphine driver in the arm and an oxygen cannula in the nose thinking "I wish I'd actually done something in my life".


Diiferent folks, different strokes, I guess
.
In this, and in your previous long post you seem to imply that there are only two extreme paths: either you engage in high risk sports like BASE and climbing K2, or waste away from smoking related cancer. Why are you missing the middle path that a lot of people take, that of enjoying life fully, playing a multitude of sports including some risky ones such as climbing, skiing, horse-riding etc, but just drawing a line when it comes to free-soloing big mountains, or attempting dangerous mountains where you know statistically for every four who summit, one doesn't return alive, or BASE jumping.

I love my son too, and want him to enjoy life fully, but I would kick his ass if he says he wants to climb K2 or BASE jump (even after he becomes an adult and becomes proficient in the sport). I respect all these sports, I would have no problem if he worships the icons of these sports, if he decorates his bedroom with their pictures, but I would defo kick his ass if he doesn't get a proper job and restrict his adventures to easy mountains on weekends. And I don't think for this reason I will be a badder father than you. Different folks, different strokes, I guess

In your previous long post you were making some comparison between smokers, B jumpers and fighter pilots. If your conclusion was that smokers are dumber than jumpers, most people would readily agree (even without any of your long risk analysis). But your comparison with fighter pilots is quite flawed, I must say. I think BASE jumping and a fighter pilot fighting for his country can hardly be compared. One is about having fun, with pure self-pleasure as the utmost goal; the other is a job and very self-less and sacrificial in nature. I can buy Eire's argument that B Jumpers have a passion, they do it, and it is fine (as long as they don't burn too much kerosene while they train), to that extent I can respect them, but let's not equate them to the military or firemen or that kind of noble profession and give them more than their due.
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  #49  
Old 27.01.2011, 14:05
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

I'm fully in favour of hyper dangerous sports and riding motor bikes without helmets, the only prerequisite I'd demand is that the participants had organ donor cards.
And also if (as regularly happens) some mental posho decides to walk to the north pole or row the Atlantic completely ill equipped and then needs to be rescued by somewhat braver individuals and millions of tax £s, I’d like to see these idiots roundly mocked and given a bill for their rescue.
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Old 27.01.2011, 14:36
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

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I’d like to see these idiots roundly mocked and given a bill for their rescue.
I have the same wish for chain-smoking cancer patients receiving healthcare services for their own mistakes in the six digits based on the insurances we all pay...
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Old 27.01.2011, 14:51
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

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your long risk analysis)..... But your comparison with fighter pilots is quite flawed, I must say. I think BASE jumping and a fighter pilot fighting for his country can hardly be compared. One is about having fun, with pure self-pleasure as the utmost goal; the other is a job and very self-less and sacrificial in nature. I can buy Eire's argument that B Jumpers have a passion, they do it, and it is fine (as long as they don't burn too much kerosene while they train), to that extent I can respect them, but let's not equate them to the military or firemen or that kind of noble profession and give them more than their due.

I think you'll find that a lot of air-force pilots (and commercial pilots) fly their jets for the thrill of flying (and for the money, of course). You'll find a lot of them doing silly things with paragliders and parachutes in their spare time at weekends.
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Old 27.01.2011, 15:01
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

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I think you'll find that a lot of air-force pilots (and commercial pilots) fly their jets for the thrill of flying (and for the money, of course). You'll find a lot of them doing silly things with paragliders and parachutes in their spare time at weekends.
I can agree with that; likewise many missionaries think what they are doing is fun, maybe they find it thrilling to expose themselves to risks when they serve in remote and dangerous places. However you cannot take out the crystal clear purpose in their work: it has direct, tangible benefit to society; society (or someone higher up in the organization) asks them to engage in those missions.

A BASE jumper has no such purpose (barring a few exceptions Eire mentioned, which also most clever scientists would try and get away with by using wind-tunnels). BASE jumping is transparently about self-pleasure.

As an aside, do you have any idea how many litres of kerosene get burned before someone becomes a BASE jumper?
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Old 27.01.2011, 15:01
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I have the same wish for chain-smoking cancer patients receiving healthcare services for their own mistakes in the six digits based on the insurances we all pay...
A false comparison with my statement, and completely fatuous.
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Old 27.01.2011, 15:13
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

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Smokers risk the health of others
How on earth do you figure THAT?

Tom
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Old 27.01.2011, 15:20
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

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How on earth do you figure THAT?

Tom
through passive smoking of course
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Old 27.01.2011, 15:34
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

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through passive smoking of course
Passive smoking in nonsense.

I inhale far more smoke cooking than by people smoking around me!

Tom
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Old 27.01.2011, 15:39
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

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Passive smoking in nonsense.

I inhale far more smoke cooking than by people smoking around me!

Tom
you are entitled to your beliefs, even if they are insane
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Old 27.01.2011, 15:46
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

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Passive smoking in nonsense.

I inhale far more smoke cooking than by people smoking around me!

Tom
Erm... not sure what you are cooking, but does the smoke of it include as strong nerve poison as nicotine?

You can kill a person with the amount of poison in a single pack of cigarettes if you know how... and a low level poisoning over a longer period of time does kill/cause cancer. This is known for many decades and it is frankly common sense.
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Old 27.01.2011, 15:51
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As an aside, do you have any idea how many litres of kerosene get burned before someone becomes a BASE jumper?
The same as for a normal skydiver.

Is that sufficient information, or do you need a numeric answer for some reason?
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Old 27.01.2011, 15:54
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

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Erm... not sure what you are cooking, but does the smoke of it include as strong nerve poison as nicotine?

You can kill a person with the amount of poison in a single pack of cigarettes if you know how... and a low level poisoning over a longer period of time does kill/cause cancer. This is known for many decades and it is frankly common sense.
I have a meat smoker on my balcony, among other culinary devices.

Worst is when I hot-smoke chiles, or jerked meats with a strong habanero based dry rub!

My great-aunt will be 99 this year, and still smokes.

I don't, wonder if I'll live as long?

Tom
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