Ski BASE in Yootah
Looking down the snowy in-run I felt a feeling of slight nervousness mixed with excitement. I had skied off many cliffs before this, but never while wearing a parachute.
My friend Heath had just taken off. As he started coming around for his front flip he disappeared out of my vision. All of this seemed to happen in slow motion, but it was as real time as it gets. I could hear his canopy open from on top of the cliff. Everything sounded good as he let out a big “yahoo!” while he came into my sight. This was both of our first ski BASE jumps.
There’s something comforting about being alone on the edge of a 400-foot cliff. By then you have probably gone through the logic and assessed your skills for any potential risks. To an outsider, there’s no way to make sense of it. The idea of jumping from a perfectly safe fixed object into a potential unknown for nothing but emotional appeasement is always labeled as “crazy”. If you partake in this you are automatically labeled a “daredevil” by obtuse media outlets. Crazy categorizes the irrational. There’s nothing irrational about skiing off a large cliff with a parachute on as long as you have considered all possible options of what can go wrong. Using this is called judgment and using judgment is antithetical to irrational behavior.
After a few deep breaths I jumped and forced my skis forward down the track that ended abruptly via cliff. Everything was rushing past but my eyes focused on where I would take off. I dove out forward and the rushing seemed to morph into a slow and smooth moment. As I saw my skis come around I pitched my pilot chute and felt the parachute extract off my back. The moment of intensity was over, but it led to being able to fly back to the car and land next to Heath. We both were smiling and had a mutual understanding of each other’s excitement. As we geared up and got into his truck, I asked, “what’s on tomorrow’s agenda?”