The Skydiving and Aviation Related Photo Thread! (OT)

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Leggs

Sport climber
Is this a trick question?
Apr 29, 2013 - 08:30pm PT
Vegasclimber...

My first static line jump (I think i've mentioned this already on this thread) I hit my chin on the wheel of the plane ... HOW the F*#k does someone do THAT??

Didn't scare me. Went back 2 weeks later and jumped again!


~peace
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 29, 2013 - 08:43pm PT
Only one thing for it, Leggs....

Time to get yer knees in the breeze and take an air bath. Get on it! :D
Leggs

Sport climber
Is this a trick question?
Apr 30, 2013 - 06:37am PT
Time to get yer knees in the breeze and take an air bath. Get on it! :D

Well, when you put it THAT way.... OK!



~peace
Michelle Gill

climber
Redding, CA
Apr 30, 2013 - 07:16am PT
Credit: Michelle Gill
My first tandem jump a couple of years ago. Trevor and I are going on May 17th, the day of Ian's cancer diagnosis. He will be flying with us.
Leggs

Sport climber
Is this a trick question?
Apr 30, 2013 - 07:18am PT
Michelle... you're beautiful and awesome.

GREAT photo!

~peace to you and your family
squishy

Mountain climber
Apr 30, 2013 - 07:29am PT
I crashed the hell out of my fpv flying wing last week...it make for some really exciting video...even buzzed a cop..

BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 30, 2013 - 07:55am PT
After watching Tom Cosgriff fly right over us on Mescalito, I just HAD to do that.

Any route on the Dawn wall is the perfect observation point. After he did the first solo of Tribal Rite, he jumped right over us. We saw him topping out that afternoon and we (and apparently the rest of the valley) knew he would be hucking that evening. So we were laying in our portaledges waiting for it.

So we see this object falling and thought it was him. It wasn't him. While scrambling around looking for the exit point he accidentally bumped into a monster dead log with stump and roots, which fell right over the side. It was freaking amazing. The thing must have been fifteen feet long and five feet around at the roots. It didn't tumble or anything, it just went roaring by about 50 feet away from the wall. It was surreal. When it hit the ground and exploded, we heard a faint scream from the base. "F......!!!! YOU!!!!!

Well, we didn't exactly knock any trees off of Mescalito, but the boom of that log shattering woke up every bird on El Cap.

About fifteen minutes, here he came, a dark silhouette tracking. The roar of a falling human body is unreal loud, and he opened right in front of us a couple of hundred feet from the wall. Even a half assed track will put you 200 feet from the wall on El Cap. He yelled to us, "Sorry about the log, it was an accident!"

Then we got to watch the flashlights of the rangers searching for, finding, and busting him for the next hour.

It was one of the more mind bending sights that I have ever seen. So I thought, "DUDE!! I just GOTTA do that!!"

So that winter I managed to find a couple of skydivers who had jumped the New River Gorge Bridge on Bridge day. There weren't very many experienced BASE jumpers back then. Mainly it was skydivers who did the minimal number to get their BASE numbers and then they quit.

So I did 24 jumps, including all of my student static lines. I bought an ancient rig for 250 bucks, which consisted of a Strato Star main, a wonderhog container (with belly band), and a 29 foot navy conical reserve. I had three malfunctions on that rig in the 25 jumps that I owned it, resulting in three reserve rides. I'm not making this stuff up. It didn't have 3 ring releases, but old R-3's, which were on each shoulder and had to be pulled at the same time. I actually cut away once and had a pilot chute in tow for five seconds because the old reserve bridles were so short. All in the 25 jumps (and one BASE jump) that I put on that rig.

Here is a shot of me jumping that eternal POS rig from El Cap in the early eighties. There was 5 feet of snow on top and Walt took us up Eagle Gulley on 'cid the day before. That is a story of it's own.

Anyway, Google up Strato-Star. It was one of, or the first, square parachute. It landed so hard that it was rare to be able to stand up, and the glide ratio was so bad that I cleared the trees into the meadow with about fifty feet beneath my feet.

I thought it was fun as hell. I didn't know any better. So I went back home and the three of us ended up being like the Three Stooges, and all had long BASE careers. Back then there were so few full on BASE jumpers that everyone in the country knew every one else. The world, for that matter.

It really took off in the late eighties, but this is what it was like for me, because my two buddies had "modern" gear. I still have that green hat:

photo by Walt Shipley
photo by Walt Shipley
Credit: BASE104
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 30, 2013 - 08:05am PT
I ended up finding Phil Smith, who at over a hundred BASE jumps was the most experienced in the world. A lot of the sites that today's jumpers do today are ones that we opened. Some of those sites have been burned. That really sucks, because some were excellent. Phil and I were really close friends and did a ton of traveling around and finding objects with him.

I always got really upset when somebody did something stupid to shut down an object. We developed a really strict ethical code to protect objects, and we were careful enough for the first building with 100 jumps on it as it was going up. The easiest way to shut down objects is to get whacked. We wouldn't take anyone up who wasn't ready. Even then we policed ourselves, and did a pretty good job.

Back then, we would write letters to each other, call expensive long distance, and visit other states and other jumper's turf. They would take us along and show us the beta for how to properly jump an object without detection, and we had a whole slew of objects that never saw a daytime jump. We found the alarms, we befriended both security guards and even cops in LA, who would all come around and drink coffee watching the locals knock down the library tower and some other L.A. monuments.

I gotta tell the story of the fully charged 50,000 watt AM tower that we used to do. I can still hear that radio station at night sometimes.

FM and TV towers have a wave guide tube that exits at a hundred foot dildo on top. AM towers are fully charged and sit on huge ceramic insulators.

Getting onto that thing without grounding was pretty wild. It is its own story.

It was a great time, and the gear was getting figured out at a fantastic rate. A guy in Perris Valley figured out the first Velcro BASE rigs. His name was Handbury, and I used to jump one of Carl Boenish's before I had my own built. You would go buy an old days rig, cut everything off, and then sew a container onto it. We started using long bridles and HUGE 52 inch pilot chutes, figured out the line release mod to defeat line overs on slider down jumps, and the tail pocket, which is basically the modern tailgate. I remember J.D. Walker building the first smaller pilot chutes built for BASE. 52 inches is just too huge.

It didn't take us long to figure out that doggy seven cells were ideal, and we would all get our preferred seven cell skydiving main. There were no BASE manufacturers then. It blossomed in a two year period around 1987 to 1989 as far as gear went.

There were maybe fifteen or twenty BASE rigs in the world, and here I am jumping mine, which Greg Chalfont built using his singer sewing machine. The only available color was black.

Here it is. I later traded it to John Hoover (RIP) who used it for many more years.

Hank knows where this is. We used to get our permits from the NPS unti...
Hank knows where this is. We used to get our permits from the NPS until an unnamed as#@&%e got hurt and brought attention to it. I used to take solid four seconds on this thing, getting open at about 200 feet or less.
Credit: BASE104

Here is what the 52 inch pilot chutes looked like. Check out how badly they distort the main and slow forward speed. They made it hard to stand up a landing, and nobody made it to 100 without spending time in plaster..

Check out how badly the Para Innovator's 52 inch drogue, that we all u...
Check out how badly the Para Innovator's 52 inch drogue, that we all used to use, distorting the leading edge of the canopy. That's me.
Credit: BASE104
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 30, 2013 - 08:13am PT
for you Base..


BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 30, 2013 - 08:23am PT
^^^^^^Ha ha! Yep. We were that caveman.

To be honest, I was an early teen when the Brady Bunch was on. Later on I found out that Marsha Brady had gotten so into drugs that she traded sex for drugs. Man. If I had only known.

Here is a good picture, taken in Navajo land," circa 1989 or so. The Navajo's loved BASE jumpers and hated climbers. Our guide's house was filled with pictures of jumpers going back to Carl Boenish, the godfather of modern BASE.

L to R. Mark Herndon &#40;me&#41;, Guide Dan Staley, Ernie Long, Georg...
L to R. Mark Herndon (me), Guide Dan Staley, Ernie Long, George Roso, Alan Heatherington (UK), and Phil Smith (BASE #1)
Credit: BASE104
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 30, 2013 - 08:41am PT
We were all into punk, particularly Fear, The Sex Pistols, Black Flag, etc.

Nobody smoked weed. It was beer and hallucinogens. Camp 4 was like that for a while as well. If you look at the picture above, you will see the high top converse shoes that were cool at the time.

I remember Fish, Deucey, Swilliam, all in that same era. It was pretty wild.

Now I would be worried about some jackass noob getting on his cellphone and calling 911 if you jumped El Cap and they saw it.

BITD, the climbers and the BASE jumpers were a very tight knit family. A climber would never burn a jumper. Before me there were a few climbers who had gotten into BASE, like Randy Leavitt, Rob Slater, Tom Cosgriff, and a few others who I should remember but can't. I think that I was the first one to get totally sucked into BASE and actually gave up climbing other than a wall now and then. It was a very cool time and place. I pillaged the valley one year, usually alone, but often with SoCal buds who were passing through.

I was living right under the LEO's nose and they couldn't figure out who I was. They knew that I existed, but I was rarely seen by anyone but climbers, and never got busted, although I did have to split from the valley a couple of times to let things cool down.

I used to keep my rig and jumpsuit up under a boulder in the woods beneath Sentinel. I was uber paranoid and uber secretive. I savaged the place that one year. Ask Deuce or Walling or Swilliam or Mimi. They all kind of vaguely knew what I was up to, but I still didn't tell anyone unless they had to know.

I still feel paranoid about it.

I had it totally dialed. I knew where the rangers were at all times, studied them, and had the place all to my own.

Ammon. Dude. You gotta stop hucking El Cap. Go up to Half Dome where they will never catch you.

The first thing is to separate you from the rig. Hide it beneath a boulder. Then move a distance from it and crawl under a boulder and pull leaves over you if you even think that the heat is around the corner.
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 30, 2013 - 09:06am PT
Wow, BASE. Thanks a lot for sharing some tales on this thread. Awesome stuff. Those pictures are classic to the extreme.

That shot of the Wonderhog (used to say the wonder was for "wonder if it's going to open this time") is super hard core.

I started jumping in the early 90s, and my jumpmaster Hank Winig was one of the early adopters of BASE. Back then they were doing direct-bag jumps out at Lake Powell, all kinds of crazy stuff using XL Clouds, Pegasus, anything that had 7 cells.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 30, 2013 - 09:26am PT
I opened up Lake Powell. Carl Boenish found it and did a few static line jumps off of a little cliff, but we went there later on and opened up the big cliff next door. We spent a full week and did over 100 jumps between 4 of us.

Direct bag is lame. It is an easy way to get numbers. That's all. You might as well be a sack of sh#t. Sorry, that is just how we felt when Mark Hewitt went out to a little bridge and did almost twenty direct bags so that he could beat out Phil Smith with the most jumps in the world.

Phil was scouting and doing new objects. I think the number of objects matters more than the number of jumps. I know that there is at least one guy at the Potato Bridge who has a thousand or some crazy number of jumps.

We always thought that slider up and long delays was much cooler than 1 second delays (no offense, Hank). Now with wing suits, I just cry that I missed it.

Here is a shot of the first jumps at Lake Powell. I'm the low guy on the round. You could really burn it down with a round.

Yeah, we were naked...
Yeah, we were naked...
Credit: BASE104
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 30, 2013 - 09:37am PT
No offense taken, BASE. Hank moved away from the DB stuff pretty quick, and had a good time on a lot of other objects. His main love was CRW, and he was on the Diamond Quest team for a few years. Fun times, packing for those guys.

Oldest rig I currently have in storage is a dual roundy. Crossbow container, Pioneer 28 main and a Featherlite 22 reserve. Still in great shape.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 30, 2013 - 09:56am PT
I'm not trolling - was there 'base' before Sylvester?

ps
Vegas, I've had a B-17 fly over me twice this week!
Yesterday it went right over my house at 1000' AGL! But it was foggy
so I could only sort of see it. Ohhh, but that music!
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 30, 2013 - 01:10pm PT
There were a couple of guys who jumped El Cap with rounds way back in the day. They ragdolled around and got pretty banged up. From what I know, this was the first Valley BASE jump. Sylvester did it with skis, and then famously skied off of Asgard in the scene that supposedly resurrected the James Bond films from their slow death.

If you haven't seen that scene, well, it rules. He was jumping a round Piglet with the Union Jack on it.

I don't know if anyone knows what a Piglet is, but it was a smallish round that had a bunch of vents and stuff in it. Phil Smith had a light weight one built out of F-111 fabric, and I used to jump the snot out of that sucker on jumps where the landing was good..overhanging cliffs. It opened soooo evenly every time that I would burn it down very low. I later took to taking my reserve (a preserve III) out and jumping it, as you can see in that Lake Powell shot above.

You can't do much more than a three second delay on a square without a slider without risking blowing it up. The rounds fit that 4-6 second delay range very well. I did a whole bunch of jumps on rounds.

I even saw George Roso jump a Para Commander (the popular round until squares came along) off of the big cliff at Powell.

If anyone knows anything about a Para Commander, you will realize that BASE jumping one off of a 600 cliff was pretty out there. I saw it happen, though. He found the canopy in a pile of old stuff under the rigger's table at the dropzone, free to whoever wanted to make a car cover.

Those old parachutes were incredibly bulky. The lines were huge, the fabric was heavy. A 25 or 30 lb weight was not uncommon.

There was a period just before square reserves showed up where everyone had 9 cell skydiving mains and round reserves. We would use those round reserves for certain jumps. nobody does this anymore, but they worked great. The openings were incredibly predictable. It wasn't legal to sneak it back into your container, but a couple of us did it. by that time, the round reserves would pack down to a tiny size and you could stand up a landing sometimes. The idea was to pull so low that you would land before hitting the object. It worked very well.

They landed too hard for buildings. They were best with sandy or water landing spots.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 30, 2013 - 01:15pm PT
Sheet base! PC 1 and 2s were the stuff bitd! Way bettr that surplus 28' rounds with the TU mods. But,, did he base jump that pc with a SLEEVE!???
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 30, 2013 - 01:24pm PT
I meant Hankster. He has been doing too many short delays. As an aging fart, long delay terminal flights are the best. When you see people tossing their pilot chutes right at exit, those kind of suck.

I wish that I could convert some old VHS to CD and post them up. I've got a copy of John Hoover flying through a window in L.A. he came back out and spun in on top of a 2 story building. Unhurt other than a zillion stitches.

Hank Caylor has the all time best building strike story in the history of BASE. He flew through a window into a room, took the elevator down in a bloody mess, and was later caught. The way he tells it is sooo funny. I need to meet Hank some day. I am a big fan!

This is one of the funniest interviews that you will ever seen. The Taco's own Hankster..

I have to admit that we could do most things drunk as well....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQe3kqTYW4c
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 30, 2013 - 01:26pm PT
Not a sleeve. We would just flake the rounds and put a rubber band over the vent hole at the top.

The rounds that I used were fine and other people used them. But yep. I witnessed (now Doctor) George Roso jump a PC off of a 600 foot cliff. If it had sniveled he would have gotten mangled, even in water.

It wasn't me, but I witnessed it.
JayMark

Social climber
Oxnard, CA
Apr 30, 2013 - 01:43pm PT
Base, the Strato Star was my first square too. I weighed about 175 then and that being a 5 cell really went upwind great. You had to really stick the landing though or you could just drill yourself in to the ground :) I liked mine though, until I blew the front lines off opening at too fast a speed. I went to the Cloud after that and missed the great upwind approaches. I still have the Star and the Cloud as I've been away from jumping for some time now. Great to read your posts. Thanks.

JEM
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