Flying back to the USA from Europe gives me lots of time to think and write. So you’re going to get a data nerd’s perspective on my BASE jumping trip to Europe. I was abroad from May 21st to July 4th, 2018. That’s 44 days spent abroad. Good thing I don’t have a home or apartment because I just spent 12% of my year away from the USA! That would have been a lot of money paid in rent or mortgage to not use the place!
This trip felt really different for me than all my other BASE jumping trips. So many things in my life are different this year… I’ve got a lot more BASE experience and knowledge, my confidence and my physical fitness have never been better, and my mental state is the best it’s ever been. So many amazing things have been happening this year and this trip was just a continuation of all the positive things (and people!) in my life. This was my third season jumping in Norway and Switzerland and I accomplished some things that have been on my “BASE goals list” now that I believe I have the experience and skills necessary to do them safely.
- I jumped Smelveggen - a cliff in Norway that requires a 3+ minute parachute ride and you land in town - and landed on the trampoline at Olav’s Pub in Lysebodn. I had seen videos of Heliboogie before I even started skydiving where people were landing on the trampoline. I told myself, “I’m going to land on that trampoline some day” and that some day finally happened.
- I started jumping more challenging places - Specifically: Via Ferrata. Stechelburg is just a few kilometers down the road from Lauterbrunnen and has higher cliffs than those in Lauterbrunnen, but they require more skill to jump because of the longer sloped talus and more obstacles in the landing area. I had jumped the easiest Stechelburg exit (Low Ultimate) once last year, but this year I jumped Via Ferrata eleven times!
- I jumped Nose 3.5 - otherwise known as “The Ear”, this exit was opened by the late Rami Kajala and is considerend an extremely advanced jump when compared to the surrounding Noses (1, 2, 2.5, 3, and High). It’s a highly visual jump and requires focus and good tracking skills.
- I was able to lead others to exit points. This was by far the most rewarding accomplishment this summer. So many people have helped me in the past years to learn where these special places are and I’m finally able to give back to my friends and the community by helping lead other jumpers to exits. These hikes aren’t on maps and aren’t public knowledge (in most cases) so the only way to transfer knowledge about jumps is by passing the knowledge from one jumper to another.
So now let me break down my trip for you by the numbers!
✈️ 6 flight itineraries with 11 individual flights ️
3 international airport lounges visited
I get into lots of airport lounges for free as a benefit of my Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. The benefit is called “Priority Pass” and it’s saved me at least a hundred dollars on airport meals this summer! If you travel a lot and are looking for a new credit card, I can’t recommend this card enough! Yes, I’m putting a referral link here… sorry, not sorry. It’s a great card geared towards high frequency travelers like me. It’s too bad there’s no Priority Pass lounge in Oslo since I flew through there the most.
🚗 3 rental cars with 2534 kilometers driven (1575 miles)
🚌 2 busses
🚂 2 trains
1 new BASE rig and parachute
35 total jumps
2 countries jumped
🇨🇭 27 in Switzerland
🇳🇴 8 in Norway
🚁 7 helicopter rides to the top of the mountain
🏃🏻 2 hikes down
1 in Norway - Kjerag Waterfall
1 in Switzerland - Yellow Ocean
11 unique exit points jumped with 3 exits I’ve never jumped before
616 seconds of freefall (10.27 minutes)
- 18 seconds on average (per jump)
- 16 seconds on average in Switzerland
- 24 seconds on average in Norway
1400 seconds of canopy flight (23.33 minutes)
- 40 seconds on average (per jump)
- 29 seconds on average in Switzerland
- 77 seconds on average in Norway (57 seconds when disregarding the outlier 3.57 minute canopy flight from Smelvegen)
2 jumps where I regretted jumping and should have walked down.
I learn a lot from the jumps I don’t do. I learn even more from the jumps I do and know I shouldn’t have.
First tattoo out of the United States!
2:30:19 of GoPro footage recorded on 107 files using 2 cameras
Yes, more than 2.5 hours!
26+ new Facebook friends
Countless special moments shared with friends hiking, driving, jumping, eating, drinking, and packing our parachutes.
90 minutes in the Wingsuit Wind Tunnel
Here’s my spreadsheet if you’re interested. I jotted down the timecodes of launch, deployment, and landing for every jump to gather this data.