And I was responding to the poster who defended his friend by telling us all that in base, his statements are not to be questioned, he is so damn hot.
I never made that statement. Here is what I wrote:
Ken, don't know you. BASE104 has done a ton of sheet. Big walls, alpine, BASE (hence the 104), Alaska treks solo. You just piss me off that you are passing judgment; he is a friend. If you knew him you would appreciate his enthusiastic spirit and self reliance. The guy knows where he is coming from.
John Penca, aka johntp
edit: apologies for the OT post, but I stand up for my friends.
Seems to me there is a lot of meat in this subject.Some opinions or conclusions seem valid others not so much.
As a climber and more so as a one time euro-style extreme ski-mountaineer I cannot see much validity to the idea that BASE can be a Felony infraction of the law in any form. There just is not enough risk of public harm or intent to harm involved in my opinion.
I certainly can understand fines and misdemeanor status in various place.
Now regarding the risk involved. I'm a slightly informed layman regarding BASE. It is fascinating and there was a time I would have taken it up in a heartbeat. I was just too broke back then and perhaps more importantly just was not around it.
I am certain the the amount of risk involved is fully up to the choices of the participant. The full spectrum from very low to very high is surely available. As in climbing Risks are mitigated based on difficulty/objective issues, experience, skill and judgement of conditions
It seems pretty foolish to simply say that all BASE is too risky. Are some participants foolish risk takers is a more complicated question but I am sure that some are. Here we are Getting into judgement call land just the same as in climbing. What you feel is worth the risk is different for another human being.
But I'm sure you all have known climbers you thought simply were pushing themselves too far on a regular basis. People who got hurt or worse and you simply were not very surprised or maybe you even thought.. I'm surprised it took so long.
I guess my point is this. I support anyone's right to risk their own lives in ways that do not seriously risk the lives of others. I may not personally respect your decision and you may not care how I feel anyway but...
It's in the end about protecting freedom.. protecting our reasons for living seems nearly as, if not more important than protecting life itself.
Give me liberty or give me death seems an extreme but understandable viewpoint.
As it is with climbs, all objects have a certain objective risk. Meaning that you have to adjust your gear and methods for each particular object.
I have gone to the trouble of climbing 1500 foot objects, and when I got to the top the wind direction had changed, making it far more dangerous than it would have been if the wind had been blowing in the right direction with a certain windspeed.
If I didn't like it, I would climb back down without hesitation. I freely admit to backing off of a number of jumps if the conditions weren't good, and these were mostly objects that I had done many times previously.
As with climbs, some jumps are more dangerous than others, and you know this when you plan a jump. It seems obvious to me, but non-jumpers have no clue as to how the jumper decides to jump or not jump an object.
Some jumps are actually pretty darn safe. Some are not. You pack differently for different objects, choose different gear, and change methods for each individual jump.
The worst thing you can do is start yacking about the risk when you don't understand even the basics of how to do a BASE jump.
Like climbing, which has objective dangers such as rockfall or storms, BASE also has objective dangers.
Right now we are seeing a lot of wingsuit fatalities. I'm no expert on wingsuits, but I skydived and BASE jumped enough to have a grasp of the dangers involved. Wingsuiting is still sort of new, and things such as choosing the right suit can have serious dangers.