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Old 26.01.2011, 11:25
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British base jumper dies in Switzerland

I can't imagine why anyone would want to do this sort of stunt. Still, it's very sad he died:


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...mate-rock.html
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Old 26.01.2011, 11:28
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

Well, I imagine the sensation you can have, jumping at this place.

Now they know it's dangerous and that several jumpers died there, as it is said in the article.
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Old 26.01.2011, 11:30
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

I find it to be an extremely selfish sport. The jumpers know the risk with every jump. However, it's the family and friends who suffer, never knowing if the jumper will survive their next adventure.

From 1994 to 2009 there were over 20 recorded base jumping-related deaths in Lauterbrunnen.
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Old 26.01.2011, 11:42
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

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I find it to be an extremely selfish sport. The jumpers know the risk with every jump. However, it's the family and friends who suffer, never knowing if the jumper will survive their next adventure.

From 1994 to 2009 there were over 20 recorded base jumping-related deaths in Lauterbrunnen.
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.

I know I wouldn't do it but I'm not going to stop others or tell them they're wrong.

20 died... How many others jumped and survived?
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Old 26.01.2011, 11:59
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

Here's a link regarding fatality statistics of base jumping from 1981 - 2011.

http://www.blincmagazine.com/forum/w...ity_Statistics

They quoted,

"160 Deaths In All, as you can see 2010 has been our worst year to date."
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Old 26.01.2011, 12:03
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

I find the sport fascinating. It's not something I will ever do myself but it intrigues me in the same way that pioneers who first climbed The Matterhorn or Everest or the North face of the Eiger or trekked to the poles. The people who are doing this are pushing the boundaries of what we as a race are capable of. If the Wright brothers had not experimented with flight we would not have international travel as we know it today. Who knows what is possible in the future from what is learned in base jumping today.... On top of that it must be an amazing rush.

As for safety, Olygirl is correct unfortunately there are a number of fatalities in the sport but other things can happen too. Last year an English base jumper was unfortunately killed in Lauterbrunnen while slipping off an exit point. Within a few days of this happening another English tourist was killed when he fell off a cliff near Wengen while out walking at night. Two incidents very close to one another, I'd say the guy who fell off the cliff in Wengen after leaving the pub was far more stupid than the base jumper who was 100% aware of the risks he was taking and still chose to do what he loved. The guy who fell off the cliff decided to go for a walk in an environment he knew bugger all about at night and suffered the consequences.

Two tragic accidents, one person went in with his eyes open, another with the wool pulled firmly over them. We can't wrap ourselves up in cotton wool Life is there to be lived you may as well get as much as you can out of it while you can.

Edit: In the last 10 days there have also been at least two fatalities related to falling off a cliff while skiing (Engelberg and Elm) and one while falling on a rock when skiing (Toggenberg). I know there are more people skiing, but fatalities unfortunately do happen in other sports too.
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Old 26.01.2011, 12:12
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

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I find the sport fascinating. It's not something I will ever do myself but it intrigues me in the same way that pioneers who first climbed The Matterhorn or Everest or the North face of the Eiger or trekked to the poles. The people who are doing this are pushing the boundaries of what we as a race are capable of.
The difference is that climbing the Matterhorn or Everest you can have a fair idea of the conditions you can be exposed to and can prepare and plan ahead accordingly (even at the pioneering stage). Base jumping is more akin to russian roulette - a) there's nothing that can warn you of a rogue windgust (which happen more regularly than one would think) unless someone is willing to develop a portable windshear radar... unlikely and b) no technology that can guard you against it once it happens.
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Old 26.01.2011, 12:16
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

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The difference is that climbing the Matterhorn or Everest you can have a fair idea of the conditions you can be exposed to and can prepare and plan ahead accordingly (even at the pioneering stage). Base jumping is more akin to russian roulette - a) there's nothing that can warn you of a rogue windgust (which happen more regularly than one would think) unless someone is willing to develop a portable windshear radar... unlikely and b) no technology that can guard you against it once it happens.
And these issues were faced by early pioneers of flight too.

I'd also argue that at the time when people were first climbing the peaks mentioned weather forecasting wasn't what it is today. Conditions could not be predicted in the same way as they can now and many, many people did lose their lives due to being stuck on the mountain by unexpected storms. I don't see any difference other than in circumstances. There are many books depicting what happened on early (and even recent) expeditions to these peaks.
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Old 26.01.2011, 12:17
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

BASE jumping is a sport I've always wanted to try. I'll still get to it at some point--we'll see when it fits in the schedule.
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Old 26.01.2011, 12:21
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

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The difference is that climbing the Matterhorn or Everest you can have a fair idea of the conditions you can be exposed to and can prepare and plan ahead accordingly (even at the pioneering stage).
He mentioned the Eiger. I think the 46(!) deaths that happened there during attempts to climb the north face are perfectly comparable with base jumping - some young guys tried to push the limits (and become famous) by doing something dangerous. I do not at all agree that this was more sensible and the guys were able to plan ahead at all.
The only difference was that they did not have youtube, but at the hight of the craze did tourists travel to the Kleine Scheidegg to literally watch the climbers live through telescopes.
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Old 26.01.2011, 12:25
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

i have full respect for the sport, but still, something need to be done. ive talked once to a local farmer down in lauterbrunnen, its not funny to collect every year a body on your land.
good Documentary about base jumping and lauterbrunnen (in german only). ueli gegenschatz (rip) also shows at the end the "evolution" of base jumping with wing suits.



people dying because their biggest wish is to fly like a bird is not something new.

Last edited by vwild1; 26.01.2011 at 14:42. Reason: fixed broken YouTube vid
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Old 26.01.2011, 12:44
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

A sad case but it will not stop adventure sports etc.

It is human nature to challenge oneself to the limits.

I guess that people who take part in dangerous pursuits are fully aware of the risks and would prefer to die like this than from disease, traffic accident or something similar.
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Old 26.01.2011, 12:46
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

Each to their own. Presumably their families know the risks these people take. Do not forget the jumper that died last year after jumping from the the then Sunrise Tower to launch the Red Bull branded mobiles here. This guy was extremely experienced and an insurance risk assessor - he still died.

Some sports are simplly inherently more dangerous - that's most likely the attraction - the fatalities rates are quite high - and in most cases there is some element of "bad luck". Cave diving and solo climbing are two other examples, the former of which will certainly ring an unpleasant bell with longer term members of this forum.
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Old 26.01.2011, 13:13
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

a truly amazing documentary on the subject

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/t...-off-buildings

don't ever see myself doing it - but can understand the rush these guys must get
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Old 26.01.2011, 13:46
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

What grown adult want to do is up to them, as long as it doesn't harm the innocent.

Some people get a buzz out of an adrenalin rush , some don't and you will never rationalise the two points of view.

To those partaking, they know the risks and they play the percentages. They think is worth it.

He knew what he was doing and the potential consequences - in fact, that was part of the attraction
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Old 26.01.2011, 14:10
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

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And these issues were faced by early pioneers of flight too.
With the difference is that the pioneers of flight didn't know there was a bullet in one of the six chambers and some have found out the hard way - whereas these guys do know in advance. If they're actually "pushing the limits" and doing (even) empirical research on new modes of transportation I might have missed it on the way.
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Old 26.01.2011, 14:10
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

I don't know what the death rate is for base jumping - i.e. what percentage live to a ripe old age but if you guessed at 50% dying which may, or may not be right, then that's about the same odds as a smoker dying from a smoking related disease.

And there are quite a few people who smoke and don't think it's too dangerous, or perhaps they appreciate that there's a high chance that smoking will kill them yet they still continue.

The arguments people have used here that base jumping is selfish if you have friends and a family is just as valid for smokers.

This isn't an anti-smoking rant - I'm just putting base jumping deaths in perspective.
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Old 26.01.2011, 14:22
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

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With the difference is that the pioneers of flight didn't know there was a bullet in one of the six chambers and some have found out the hard way - whereas these guys do know in advance. If they're actually "pushing the limits" and doing (even) empirical research on new modes of transportation I might have missed it on the way.
Hmm, how do you figure? If you fall from a certain height you go splatt! Did the early pioneers of air travel and parachuting discover anti gravity or something? If something went wrong they fell... end of story. Maybe some went about it in a more methodological way but I'd bet most of them were doing it for the same thrill that modern day base jumpers jump off cliffs for.

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I don't know what the death rate is for base jumping - i.e. what percentage live to a ripe old age but if you guessed at 50% dying which may, or may not be right, then that's about the same odds as a smoker dying from a smoking related disease.

And there are quite a few people who smoke and don't think it's too dangerous, or perhaps they appreciate that there's a high chance that smoking will kill them yet they still continue.

The arguments people have used here that base jumping is selfish if you have friends and a family is just as valid for smokers.

This isn't an anti-smoking rant - I'm just putting base jumping deaths in perspective.
There was an article published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2008 which estimated that the fatality rate was one in every 60 participants. The real figure is probably lower than this due to methodological issues in the article. No-one knows the true number of people who jump off fixed objects, just the number of people who have jumped off all 4 BASE objects and applied for a number. The true number of participants is likely to be a lot higher than given in the article whereas due to today's media the majority of fatal accidents will more than likely be picked up.

Another Study on 35 BASE Jumpers in the New Zealand Medical Journal (2008) looked at 9914 Jumps from 35 Base jumpers. 21 of these jumpers had 39 accidents in 9914 jumps.

As Tom said the fatality rate for smoking is closer to 1 in every 2. Maybe smoking takes longer but the end result is the same.

Like I said before, there have been a number of fatalities in everyday sports that many of us don't question already this year in Switzerland. We can wrap ourselves up in cotton wool or get on with life and enjoy it.
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Last edited by Eire; 26.01.2011 at 14:48.
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Old 26.01.2011, 15:04
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

Calling Luc P to tell us how it really is...
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Old 26.01.2011, 15:13
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Re: British base jumper dies in Switzerland

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Hmm, how do you figure? If you fall from a certain height you go splatt! Did the early pioneers of air travel and parachuting discover anti gravity or something? If something went wrong they fell... end of story. Maybe some went about it in a more methodological way but I'd bet most of them were doing it for the same thrill that modern day base jumpers jump off cliffs for.
Let me rephrase. If you fall - splat. Granted. No claim was made about anti-gravity. However early pioneers had little knowledge about aerology gained from balooning days, and little to no idea about airfoil behavior, what might cause it to go splat, and how to mitigate the splat factor. To the contrary BASE jumpers have (or have no excuse for not having) a good knowledge of aerology and aerodynamics yet deliberately choose to put themselves in a position where they know in advance there is no splat-mitigation factor and no recourse, no matter how much research you do. Much like cigarettes, it's not a matter of "if" - it's a matter of "when" - without the righteous parallel of "oh we're pushing the limits to discover something new". Pioneers crashed because they didn't know any better. Not so with Base jumpers.
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