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What solo jumps are all about (Visit this link) new

by REDAKTOR

I didn't really plan on jumping alone that day, but the crew bailed out at the last minute. For the better, I thought, grabbed my gear and headed downtown. There's really something about these lone jumps, and I mean completely alone, no ground crew. I guess it's the chance to quietly think about a lot of things that makes us do it. As I approached the construction site of a beautiful 163 meter B, I asked myself just what the hell am I doing here? I was going to repeat this question a lot this night...

Back when we first jumped this one, nobody thought it would be possible to repeat it since we could not get away fast enough. One of the guys hit a wire going from the fifth floor, having his Flik collapse and reopen with a 180, smashing him into a tree. The guy was okay, and even the canopy sustained repairable damage. But by the time we sorted things out, cops were on the site, and it took a lot effort to bullshit our way out of arrest. But curiosity got the best of us, so we tried it again, and pulled it off with a nice, clean getaway. The dense, overcrowded urban development actually worked in our favor, preventing the on site security from getting to us in time.

Acceptable weather conditions for this B don't happen to often, 2 or 3 days a month tops, so when I was planing on what to jump that night, it didn't take long to decide. I arrived there at about 10 PM, it was dark and quiet in there. Despite the active construction during the day, no night shift, and that is just plain provoking:) A quick stop at the LZ, no surprises there. Though that landing area pretty much sucks, it nothing too overly complicated. As I hid in the bushes on high ground near by, observing the site for any surprises I first noticed how everything was going very smoothly, which was a bad thing, as it makes you too relaxed and gets your guard down. 2 guard post, same concrete fence, 1 man patrolling slowly, enjoying his smoke. Nope, nothing out of the ordinary(or so I thought). Basejumping Article Image1_large

That B

The fun started just as I pulled up over the fence. Problem is, the only way over that fence is next to a bank, so any suspicious activity there is sure to get a quick reaction. Just as I was hanging over that fence staring into the quiet darkness and judging weather it's all clear or not, a get a beam of light right at me, and see a very surprised guard who is trying to make out just what the hell is that thing hanging on the fence. He wasn't supposed to patrol for another 20 minutes I thought to myself as I was rolling on the ground, after doing an impressive ninja style flip jump off that fence. Hoping that nobody noticed my stupid attempt at a "quiet" getaway, I quickly fled the scene and returned to my favorite bushes. I gave it 30 minutes or so, but surprisingly there was no commotion at all. Maybe he didn't see me? Or perhaps he figured I was his hallucination, who knows? I decided to give another shot, and just as I went back to the fence, I saw a parked police car next to it, and some cops searching the area around. Since a big black gear bag was pretty much a dead giveaway, at that second I executed a left face that any drill instructor would be very proud of and walked quickly away, wondering if I'll get cuffed in the next 30 seconds. To my surprise, no pursuit. Well, tonight's definitely not my night, that for sure. But since I was there already, I decided to go take a quick recon of another object. In the 20 minutes that it took me to get there, I kept wondering how long would the police still be there.

The recon didn't reveal anything new, same 130 meter crane. But the LZ are... well, they're landable, but you shouldn't plan on doing anything important in the next month or so. I gave a quick call to a friend, filled him in on what happened, and got a weather report. Damn, the winds got even better for that B. So what's the problem? I got the whole night ahead of me, so 2 failed attempts aren't gonna stop me, right?

I decided to act quickly this time, as it was around 0:00 already, and pedestrians were scarce. No delays this time, just get up on that fence, slide down and get in that building! So just as I was preparing to pull myself up, I hear a door opening behind me, from that bank building. So I turn around and see a guy walking out, caring a a chair. Are you fucking kidding me?! What, is he going to take a seat in front of me and watch as I trespass? But no, he keeps on walking, giving me that "I know what you came here for" look. So I helplessly go to the corner of the site which has some benches, just drop there and giggle. Somebody really doesn't want me to jump tonight. Now I'm not superstitious but... hey, what's this? I haven't noticed this tree before. It goes right over the fence, and on the other side is a pyramid of bricks! Well, that's all the signs I need, that for sure. A road is nearby, some cars standing on a red light. Wait for them to leave, and up we go! So instead of sliding down on the other side I quietly walk down. No guards, no yelling, wow. After very long 10 seconds it took me to get though the compound and inside, I could barely restrain myself from running. I was filled with over-excitement that I was back in the game(or so I thought). 3rd floor, take a left, straight, a right, then left and left again. Now where was that grating I need to climb over? After about 20 minutes of unsuccessful attempts to find the passage up, I realize that I'm lost, and lost for good, as the building complex is pretty big, and I haven't got a clue as to where I am. I managed to find and open stairway, but the only got me as far as the 8th floor, no good. I call my friend again, and ask for directions, and he tells me pretty much what I tried but I can't do that again as we can't get a common reference point. More wandering around. Everything seems the same, gray concrete everywhere. I'm getting pretty tired from all this walking, maybe I should get out now? Nah, that would be lame, after all that has happened. So I search and search, but the problem is that there are lights only in the middle of the complex, near the stairways and such. Closer to the perimeter it's dark. Since I decided to do a room by room sweep of the entire floor, to find that bloody grating, I carefully started using my flashlight. At some point I see a wall in front, looks familiar. I give it a shine and FUCK! that was a window, giving off good glare! Man I hope nobody saw that. Let's see, is that window visible from the guard post's? Yup, it's right next to one. Let's hope for the best. I walk back to the center, decide to go one floor up, and I hear people running. Up the main stairs, 4 or 5 of them with big flash lights, they're running fast and sound really, really pissed. I try run quietly to the nearest room, only to find a dead end and the room fully lighted! Fuck fuck fuck! I can see them already, only 2 floors more for them. Very fast walking to avoid the noise, probably pointless, I can hear them right behind me. Need to get away from the lights. There! a corridor, with a small side room maybe 3 by 2 meters big, half of it is complete darkness. Just as I slip into that shadow, and cut my breathing, I see that hoard run through the main hall, swearing worse then a sailor on shore leave. Who am I kidding, they'll find me here in no time... but where to go? The corridor ends in a room with a window, and surely I can't go back to the main area. So I wait. I hear them searching, going through the floor, yelling. And here they are, 2 of them, making a turn in my direction. At that point, I regretted 2 things: one is that I was not in a democratic, law abiding country, and the other is that I didn't have any padding on, only my helmet. They get closer and closer, and... they walk by! Now how stupid would you have to be to not check a damn 2x3 room?! They check the big room further down, mutter something about some asshole and walk away. I calmed down, and started thinking that I just might get through this. The voices kept getting quieter, then stopped completely. Have they given up? No, they probably went to check another floor. I wonder if they posted someone on the stairway?

After giving it 15 minutes or so, I finally decided to take a look at what's going on in the main hall. just as I was about to move, I hear a door opening nearby. Somebody's walking right in my direction. I freeze. Just keep walking I say to myself, but he takes a turn and goes right into my hiding spot. Game over, too... wait, he doesn't see me?! Looks like his eyes didn't adjust to the dark yet and he missed me in the shadow! I could have reached him with my hand at that time. So he looks right trough me, as though I'm not there, turns around, and... starts to take a piss in the opposite corner. Only at that time did I actually started to use my smell perception, it just wasn't important earlier. Well, now I know why those 2 guards earlier didn't check this room. As he kept pissing, I carefully weighted all of my options. Should I run? Stay put? Sneak off? Or maybe just knock him out from behind? No, that's just stupid. So I stay put. He finishes, turns around, and does the last thing I expected him to do. He just walked out, failing to notice me, again. At that point, I seriously thought that maybe I turned invisible? I mean, people get their superpowers in stress situations in all those movies, maybe that's it? But then I catch a definite smell of alcohol in that foul aroma, stating that that guy had more the a few beers tonight. Well, talk about lucky... After he left and went back trough the door, I didn't care anymore and just walked out of there, going forward, not sure where I was going. And what do you know, there was that grating, inconspicuously open in one place after our last visit. Whew! Basejumping Article Image2_large

At the top

After going 30 stories or so, only then did I decided to stop for a break. My shirt was soaking wet and I really needed a rest. I take a look at my watch. 2:55 AM, man this turned out to be a long night! More that anything I wanted cold beer at the time, but somehow I knew that there's more to come, there had to be. I knew that I had to change stairs soon, but on every floor I tried, I heard a noise as though somebody was walking there, very slowly. After hearing it for the fifth time, logic dictated that it was probably just the wind, but I was so paranoid already, that I decided to get to the top and find another entrance to the roof. To my surprise I found one, these stairs turned out to lead straight to it. Now how did we miss this one earlier?

On the roof I finally was able to relax. For some reason I didn't care if I were caught anymore, maybe because I though that it can't get any worse that it already was. Or maybe because I can swoosh my rig on and get the hell out of there, the quick way. So I geared up, checked the exit. The winds were picking up, that wasn't good. But I wasn't just about to go down, no way. So I got ready, and just I was about to go, a wind gust cooled me off, and I waited a bit more. So I leaned over the exit for one last time to check the wind, and noticed something shiny. It was a thin wire, like a piano wire, going right below the exit. Actually, there were 3 of them, close together. A real chill went down my spine as I imagined that that wind gust didn't happen, and I was testing a new and revolutionary method of teaching front flips. I realized that I couldn't possibly jump and clear all 3 rows, so I had to cut them off somehow. I wonder who put them there, and why? It all seamed very interesting, but I really didn't have the time, as the wind was slowly but surely getting stronger. So I found a piece of fitting nearby, and started to do some vandalism. I managed to rip 2 rows of the wire, but on the third one, I dropped the fitting. And what do you know, it fell down below, right next to the guard booth. I could hear the sound it made all the way up here, despite the wind. I needed to go, and to go right now!

I can jump over that wire, no problem I thought to myself. My favorite count, I push as hard as I can, and... no, I didn't clear it and hit it with my foot. That's strange, why didn't I flip I thought, as I was falling faster and faster, having those balconies speed by me. Did it break? Just as I was about to think that over, a loud voice in my head yells PULL! PULL YOU STUPID STUPID IDIOT!

Needles to say that opening hurt, as 4 second delays with no slider usually do. Now all I was thinking about was weather I would penetrate the wind and make it to the LZ. Funny that at that time, I remembered a long holywar at a skydiving forum on how to penetrate the wind better, rear risers or full flight. Nevertheless, I made it there, but barely. Great, now to get the hell out. Just as I finished stashing my chute in the bag, a guard approaches me. He didn't look like a guard from the B. Oh, he's probably from that office that is part of the landing area, I mean I did land in the parking lot.
- And just what are you doing here? he asked, somewhat angry
- Me? I was just leaving.
- Oh yeah? And whatch ya got in that bag?
- What, this? It's just a parachute.
- A parachute? Did you just jump off that building?
- No
- Riiight... So why did you fly here?
- Well, I'm sorry to trespass, but this was the only place I could land!
- Oh yeah? Well I saw some dumbasses a while ago, around this time of night, and they landed over there!
- Well, you see officer, winds blowing from the east today, and you can't land there, there's turbulence and a chance to hit those wires, and... I better go now
- Go where? The gates out of here are closed.
- That's okay, I climb over.
- No no. let me open that for you...

When I was loading up on beer while waiting for a cab, a guy next in line noticed my helmet sticking out, and asked weather it was I who jumped from that building over there a short while ago. He turned out to be a skydiver, which concluded this very interesting string of coincidences that day. I also remember getting home very, very drunk, and very happy.

For some reason, I haven't jumped solo a long time after that. And when people asked why, I just told them that I already knew what solo jumps are all about.


Submitted by REDAKTOR on 2012-01-13

Rating: 12345   Go Login to rate this article.  | Votes: 12 | Comments: 8 | Views: 4257

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8 Comments CommentAdd a Comment

 Stardust_
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 2012-01-13
Great article, thank you for sharing.
 nakeddave
nakeddave
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 2012-01-15
one hell of a story bro!
 jayach05
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 2012-01-16
5 out of 5 stars thats an intense article
 MBA-FRANK
MBA-FRANK
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 2012-02-26
5 out of 5 stars Great article, full of info, very interesting.
 samadhi
samadhi
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 2012-06-25
fun writing style, reading the jump is like busting your nut finally...feels good haha
 xtremebehavior
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 2012-11-18
wowzas scary!! I would love to talk to you more about solo jumping and conduct an interview for a research project on extreme consumer behavior. If you would like to participate, my email is vanbmn9@gmail.com
 ChadFugi
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 2013-01-24
Great read thanks !
 climb2freefall
climb2freefall
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 2013-09-04
5 out of 5 stars Hilarious, felt like I was there. Hope you washed your shoes off after! Great write up!

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