event was created as a Make a Wish Foundation fundraiser along with a Warren
Miller ski movie premiere. I cruised out to Reno a few days early to check out the
building we would be jumping and drop in ramp we would be skiing off. The
weather on the day before the jump was calm in the morning and as the day went
on the wind picked up to about 15 mph before sunset.
Miles and I were all scheduled to jump in the afternoon right when the wind had
picked up the previous day.
Wind in a
city is not the best thing for BASE jumping, the buildings push the wind in
different directions and it creates a lot of turbulence making it difficult to
The ramp was 30 feet tall and 30 feet long with a two foot wide strip of
silicone sprayed plastic for the first ten feet then packed down shaved ice for
the rest. This change of surfaces also meant for a change in speed, during the
2 seconds or less that we were actually on the ramp skiing, we went from slow
on the plastic to very fast on the shaved ice.
The building is 360 feet to the landing area in the parking lot and 300 feet to
the pool deck directly below the ramp. With a normal one to two sec delay
before opening your parachute you would have about a ten sec flight to a soft
asphalt land. This is not much time when you need to negotiate the strong cross
wind and light polls in the landing area.
All said this was a very demanding BASE jump with a lot of different variables
coming into play. With over 1000 people watching from the streets below and a
roof top full of media it was time to make our first jumps and the pressure was
on. Round one went smooth, we all made it off the ramp fine, I launched out
over the street with nice big back flip to a clean opening with soft landing.
Once we were all on the ground we talked more about the wind speed and decided
to pack up our parachutes and see if the wind would calm down any for a second
Back on top again and the wind is not claming down at all, but hey when to get
the chance to ski off a building much less jump a building legally. So we go
for round two, JT lights the fire with a smooth front flip and Shane does the
same. I had been thinking about a double back flip days before but decided the
building was too small, now the thoughts were back in my head, I could pull it
off if I rotated fast.
fast was what I did, before I knew it I had done the two flips opened out of my
tuck and pulled my chute. Normally on my double backs opening out of the tuck
would slow the rotation and give my chute time to open cleanly. This time my
rotation was so fast that when I opened up my tuck I just kept on going. My
feet rotated up into my lines and when the canopy cracked open only one of my
feet swung down.
I looked up to find my binding hooked on a line, blood rushed through my body
as I reached up to try and pull it out. Pulling on that side of the parachute
dove me back toward the building, with my right hand and turn it back away from
the wall of windows and concrete. I reached up again to try and get my leg free,
once again having to turn away from the building. At that moment I looked
forward and saw that I was about to fly right into another building at about 60
feet off the ground, at the last second I turned my parachute around barely
missing a traffic light and slammed into the street on one leg. My whole flight
lasted only 7 sec.
speed impact surprisingly didn't shatter my leg into pieces, I some how limped
away with only some ligament damage in my knee and a little road rash on my
The event raised 30,000 dollars for the Make a Wish Foundation and the Warren
Miller premiere was sold out at 4,000 people that night. I am off the crutches
and working on getting all my strength and luck back so I can get back in the
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Go big or stay in bed!
Jesse for a much needed update! We’ve
been so busy down here this year that we haven’t had much time for updates
(yet!), but we’re gearing up for some awesome stuff for the rest of the winter! We’ve got a whole crew following and
competing in all of the major ski competitions this year from the IFSA world
and national tour to the X-Games, US Open, and everything else in between…
It’s also that time of year for stuff to go on sale, so give
us a ring at the shop 970.349.6664 and ask for the NS Discount when placing a
phone order, we’ll hook it up on all new gear from this year!