The Biggest BASE Jump in the World

At the end of September we spent a long weekend at the Eiger. I jumped with a small GPS unit from which I have uploaded a few tracklogs to google earth. It is my pleasure to share them with you here.

Two of these Eiger jumps were very special, to me. The first was from the normal 'Mushroom' exit point, which is jumped regularly in the summer months. What was special about this day was the fact that I was finally able (after about 6 tries this summer) to fly my wingsuit to the valley floor at Grindelwald, which is just over 5km away and 2000m below the exit point.

The second jump is now being called 'The biggest BASE jump in the world'. This 'new' spot has always been there, 500m higher on the Eiger than the normal exit point, but until Dean Potter started exploring the upper wall no BASE jumper had ever bothered to look for it. Skydivers are a silly bunch, really, and that's why we like hanging out with adventurers. In August, Dean's persistence paid off and he and Andy West were the first off of this new spot (Incidentally, Andy West also completed, with Dave Barlia, the first ever Mushroom wingsuit jump in 2000).

As yet unnamed (March 2010 - Edited to add that Dean has named it 'The Ecstasy Board') this exit point is a ~2700m vertical flight to Grindelwald. It is a technical exit that is not easy to access, simply because of the fact that ice is common on the ascent route. The exit is high on the Eiger and actually quite easy to find. Just look for it on the ridge at around 3600m.

The first three people to jump this exit were all Americans with Tony Suits (Dean, Andy, and myself). We think that's cute, and everyone else can suckit.

Special thanks to Dean for his unique and adventuresome vision, and to Andy for his commitment to total Eigerness.

My GPS tracklogs of both flights. The first flight, from the Mushroom, ends with my deployment in the flat fields at Grindelwald Grund, landing under canopy at the campground there. The second wingsuit flight from the higher exit point passes by the Mushroom and then continues toward, but not all the way to, Grindelwald (tired arms). I then flew under canopy to land in the same place.

Looking toward Grindelwald, with the Mushroom exit point on the left and the 'Heiger' exit, higher on the right.

Largely unrelated: Here's another big one much closer to home, called the Dent de Crolles. This beauty is an 1800m wingsuit flight with a nice long plateau that you have to clear if you want to get all the vertical out of the jump. Lots of people do it, but when you're standing on the exit point it definitely looks impossible. Tons o' Fun.