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Longs Peak Base Jump 7/23/08


Original Post
FCJohn · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 395

I'm not sure if this story deserves cheers or jeers.... I'll leave it up to the community to decide.

My partner and I were 4 or 5 pitches up on the diamond on Wednesday, 7/23. We were the first party up through the North Chimney and were confident that no one was above us. Out of no where we hear a scream from above and the unmistakable whooshing sound of a large object in free fall. Our first though was to lean in to the wall, because someone launched a large rock of the top of Longs. Our next thought was that someone had just fallen from the summit or was trying to take their own life. Much to our relief and just about the time that the jumper was level with us (and only about 30 ft out from the wall) a canopy opened. The guy sailed almost clear to chasm lake and from our vantage point made a very speedy and clean get away after landing perfectly on a snow field.

On our way back to the car climbing Ranger Bill stopped us at Chasm Lake with some questions about what we witnessed. It sounds like there have been rumors of base jumpers off of Longs for years, but this was the first time that the rangers actually witness the act.

On a side note, I had a chance to meet the man, the myth, the legend Rich Servantes III coming up behind us on the Casual Route. Believe it or not, that guy was busting break dancing moves at 13,000 ft.

SAL · · broomdigiddy · Joined Mar 2007 · Points: 790

Holy friggen shitstains batman!!!
You met Servantes himself???

I sure hope you offered to rub his shoulders during belay changes.

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,476

Definitely no jeers needed. I know it's National Park policy and all, but I personally have nothing against base heads. Just send the rangers to this guy:



"I see, hear, and know NOTHING, Colonel Hogan!"
mattb19 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 250

Hope to see pics. I have no problem against base heads also and think that it is cool.

FCJohn · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 395

Its apparently made the local news in Fort Collins.

coloradoan.com/apps/pbcs.dl…

Sorden · · inside the Bubble, Colorado · Joined Sep 2003 · Points: 95
Servantes' Russian @ Delicate Arch with Ray Alava and Mike & Christine Paz.
The start to "LSP" is behind the flagpole.

John, it's really no big deal. Servantes does that stuff all the time; on the rocks, in the supermarket, he can't help it - he hears music in his head.

Awesome posting from the FC!

I was climbing on Wall Street last November when I heard a huge, terrible noise above my head. Thinking for a split second that it might be one of those ginormous slabs of chocolate cheese flaking off above I raised one hand over my dome for protection (survival instincts, you know.) The (first of three) BASE jumpers' canopy opened up with psycho-packed quickness. There's a good bike trail on the rim above Potash and an open landing on the street. It added some tangy spice to our mellow day with all the usual friendly locals in the Lucy area. I'm voting pro-BASE this year.
Kat A · · Bart and Lisa Ville, CO · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 495
FC John wrote:On a side note, I had a chance to meet the man, the myth, the legend Rich Servantes III coming up behind us on the Casual Route. Believe it or not, that guy was busting break dancing moves at 13,000 ft.
I'm wondering what Rich eats for breakfast, breakdancing at 13,000 ft. Well, if you're on a multipitch, of all people following you, Rich is a good guy. He was so chill while waiting for my partner and I to get up one of the routes in Eldo they were also climbing.
Sims · · Centennial · Joined Sep 2007 · Points: 655

FC John
It’s a pretty cool thing to watch.
Having been scared Shtless before I know how it feels at the time.
Not all the emotions and thoughts are good when you think it is an accident or worst happening.
It is so much better to be kicked back on a ledge enjoying the view.

Really what’s the deal jumping off the Diamond or El Cap.
What is the danger to non jumpers? Has a jumper ever landed on a hiker or a ranger?
I know some jumpers have died hitting the rock they jumped off. I saw a jumper land in the trees off El Cap.
But if we knew they were jumping it would cut back on having the crap scared out of you.
It has been a bad month. With no disrespect to loved ones of or those injured or worst it is far safer climbing, soloing or jumping that driving to the crag.
I almost was in an accident today the guy had to be drunk to be three feet in my lane with out a clue.

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,476

It's a pretty weird standard, allowing one activity that is potentially deadly and forbidding another. Bungie jumping off things is not yet forbidden, so those into that get your ya yas on before they decide it aint kosher.

Kevin Coopman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2004 · Points: 110

Basejumping off the Diamond rules!!

I think instead of "how many time have you been up the diamond" should be "how many flips can you do off the diamond".

Seriously, if a free soloist, base jumper, skier wants to die, cool they have the right as long as they do not hurt anyone. This is called freedom. Doing something cool is much better than eating sat/trans fat and becoming FAT as hell and making my health insurance rise drastically.

Kevin

ps: Elitch gardens now has weight restrictions on rides, I think NP in America should follow: think climbers could actually be in camp4

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,476

Do free soloists, base jumpers, and...ahem...climbers really *want* to die? Of course not. Some sports are statistically riskier than others, for sure. From some perspectives though, we are all nuts. Rather than splitting hairs about who is nuttier, it would be nice to embrace self-determination and allow people to do what they will as long as it doesn't unnecessarily impact others. They are a lot more permissive of things over in Chamonix. I think that model of regulation here would be refreshingly libertarian.

FCJohn · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 395

I've been sent a few PMs (media, authorities, etc) inquiring if I had pictures from the base jump. I did have a camera on me that day.

Whatever your motivation, I do not have pictures.

Mikeco · · Golden, CO · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 0

Sounds like a shirt-off day on the Diamond for sure.

Charles Danforth · · L'ville, CO · Joined Aug 2003 · Points: 170

I hear the record for base jumping all the 14ers is wide open. Can Servantes do it in a year? I'm betting no ;-)

Marc H · · Longmont, CO · Joined May 2007 · Points: 250

That's sick. I just started sky-diving myself in hopes of one day BASE jumping. Who knows if it will happen or not, but that's my goal.

Fuck the NPS.

--Marc

Mike Pharris · · Longmont, CO · Joined May 2007 · Points: 125
Marc Horan wrote:That's sick. I just started sky-diving myself in hopes of one day BASE jumping. Who knows if it will happen or not, but that's my goal. Fuck the NPS. --Marc
Freedom to do as you wish is all well and good until your exercise of an individual freedom affects the access the rest of us are granted/allowed to exercise ours.
Buster Jesik · · Allenspark, CO · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 375

I hear that Rich once tied with Chuck Norris in a break dancing contest...

GO BASE JUMPERS! I'v always wondered if someone with a wing suit could make it down to the trail head.

Hank Caylor · · Glenwood Springs, CO · Joined Dec 2003 · Points: 615
Marc Horan wrote:That's sick. I just started sky-diving myself in hopes of one day BASE jumping. Who knows if it will happen or not, but that's my goal. Fuck the NPS. --Marc
Give me a PM and I'll send you my phone #. We can get this done for ya'. No BASE jumper has ever injured a climber or hiker, it just scares the shit out of you the 1st time when you're on the wall.
Mikeco · · Golden, CO · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 0

But BASE jumpers should respect all jumping bans, right? I mean, if we respect falcon closures, we should respect NPS bans on jumping, right?

Right?

FCJohn · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 395
Not So Famous Old Dude wrote:Sounds like a shirt-off day on the Diamond for sure.
Nope, low 50s all day with sprinkles. About 1pm all hell broke loose with sleet and lightning.
Marc H · · Longmont, CO · Joined May 2007 · Points: 250
MikeP wrote: Freedom to do as you wish is all well and good until your exercise of an individual freedom affects the access the rest of us are granted/allowed to exercise ours.
Example of how BASE jumpers affect policies regarding climbers?

--Marc
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Colorado
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