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Moab

by admin
1) Prepare before visiting

Apex BASE, located in Moab, recommends that jumpers have a minimum of 40 previous BASE jumps before visiting the area. Be sure to practice object avoidance, and have a plan for avoiding object strike when (not if) you have your first 180.

2) Do not underestimate the difficulty of these jumps

Because of the popularity of the area, many jumpers assume that it is suitable for beginners. This is not the case. Most cliffs in Moab are vertical (not overhung) and slider down (below 400' in altitude). This means that avoiding object strike after an off heading opening requires skill, currency, and experience.

3) Respect the environment

Remember that this is a public wilderness area shared by many groups. Follow good wilderness ethics and minimize our impact and visibility in the area. The hard, dark spots in the ground around Moab are called “Cryptobiotic Soil.” These pockets of life are the basis for all the higher life in this desert environment. They are fragile, and off-trail hiking easily destroys them. When hiking or walking in Moab, keep an eye on the ground, pack your trash out, and keep your feet off the crypto.

4) Contact the Locals

There are several local BASE jumpers in Moab, including the staffs of Apex BASE (435 259–1085) and Skydive Moab (435 259-JUMP). If you are new to Moab, guiding to local exit points is available from Skydive Moab for a daily fee. The locals know the area, and they also know the risks. Be sure to follow their lead when approaching new jumps in this area.

5) Carry a cell phone

In case of accident, it’s important to be able to call help quickly. Carry a cell phone with you when jumping, and check that you get reception in the area. If you don’t have service at a jump, know where the nearest place you have service is, and how long it will take you to get there in the event of an accident.

6) Be prepared with appropriate equipment and training

Be aware that much of the Moab area is remote wilderness, and that many jumps are in these areas. Carry extra water, first aid supplies, and rescue equipment when visiting remote sites. Training in rescue and first aid is definitely recommended, and jumping specific rescue and first aid training is available from Apex BASE.

From another source

To all my BASE brothers and sisters coming to Moab. I am posting this special notice to make some polite requests of you all and to offer my help to those of you wanting to jump some cool, new sites. I would like to ask those of you who decide to go exploring on your own to please confine your travels to established roads and trails. The desert ecosystem is an extremely fragile one and takes years to heal from vehicle tracks and foot travel.

Please do not take this great privilege of legal BASE jumping in the Moab area lightly. The land managers like the BLM and The National Park Service, as well as several environmental groups are watching our actions very carefully. Please realize that our “privilege” to BASE jump here can be taken away at any time. This is our opportunity to show everyone that we are responsible for our actions and that we care about the land we are using. I can clearly see the potential for us to develop a better relationship with The National Park Service by demonstrating to them that we can BASE jump safely and responsibly with minimum impact to our valuable resources.

I know that we have been down the hard road with our sport. The general public thinks we’re totally crazy. The NPS doesn’t want to deal with us. The news media uses us as cannon fodder to sell sensational and mostly negative stories. But we must put our anger aside and prove to everyone that we are simply “”sportsmen pursuing our sport”. Please confine your walking in new areas to dry washes and slickrock as much as possible. Do not drive a vehicle off established roads. Do not leave any litter. Pick up any litter you see, even if it’s not yours. Learn to think like an Aborigine; love the land, as if it was your mother.

I implore you all not to encourage lowtimers to jump here under any circumstances. This is not the place to learn to BASE jump. Wind can be a serious factor here and should be treated with great respect. You will have off-heading openings and you will need to be able to deal with them FOR SURE.

The Grand County Search and Rescue Team will be on alert in the event that they are needed. The Sheriff’s phone number is 259–8115. Or if you forget, call 911 and request the Grand County Search and Rescue Team. Many of the areas we now jump are extremely remote and the best plan is to not get hurt or hung on the wall. I will have ropes and some basic rescue gear in my vehicle in case I can be of help to anyone without the need to call out the team, but they are there if you really need them and they are really good people.

One important consideration for visiting BASE jumpers out here is the environment. Many people feel that the desert is a barren wasteland where we can drive and walk wherever we feel to get to an exit point and that the landscape cannot be harmed. I’m finding out more and more that the desert out here is very fragile. Concern for the environment should be of utmost importance to us if we wish to earn respect from the NPS and the BLM.

Both of these agencies out here are dealing with a huge increase in hikers, jeepers, mountain bikers and so forth and these agencies are very intolerant of land users who damage the desert. Since we are a relatively new land user group here in Moab it would really benefit us to show these agencies that we can respect the desert better than most other visitors.

There is a type of natural ground cover here called cryptobiotic soil (just call it “crypto” like the locals do) which looks like hardened clumps of black sand. It is actually a weave of sticky cyanobacteria filaments (AKA blue-green algae), moss, lichen, fungi and so on. This stuff helps to hold the sand down during wind storms and it also provides vital nutrients to surrounding plants and trees.

If we walk or drive on this crypto it will destroy the delicate filaments and will take many years for it to grow back. Until it grows back, an unsightly footprint or tire track will remain which may entice others to walk on or drive through the stuff creating a vicious cycle of impacts which will never fully recover. Let’s put a stop to it now! PLEASE, DO NOT WALK OR DRIVE ON CRYPTOBIOTIC SOIL. Walk on bare rock or in the dry washes as much as you possibly can while accessing exit points. The NPS, BLM and the community of Moab will respect us for our environmental concern. Hell, after a while they may even start to like us.


Submitted by admin on 2007-06-20 | Last Modified on 2007-06-29

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