This bungee jump location is closed for the season, so we thought we would use it to make a base jump.
Its a beautiful spot, the river is vibrant blue but also clear. The gorge in general is very picturesque.
We assessed the river bank, as we wanted to find the best way to wade across after the base jump, as we plan to land on the otherside of the river on the shingle.
I had seen a couple of videos of base jumps being made here before, so I had an idea of how it worked, but what I wasnt expecting is the speed at which the river was flowing. It was FAST, and the depth was between knee and waist height, and some parts over head height.
We had to be very careful.
The narrow parts of the river provide the shortest crossing, but will be the fastest flowing, so if we fell over it could end up dragging us down river to a deep spot where we could freeze or drown.
We found a spot that 'appeared' to be knee height all the way across, so we grabbed our gear and started to hike up to the top of the cliff.
We had another basejumper wait on the ground as he didnt fancy this jump due to the temperature of the water, which was 1 degree C, and the worry of landing in the river.
I borrowed his life vest, as the thought of landing in the river due to an off-heading opening worried me also.
The hike took about 25 minutes and was up and down all the way.
We couldnt see the bungee jump platform that sticks out from the cliff, but we knew we were on the right path.
Aha! This looks like it.
This is it, a little clubhouse where they get bungee jumpers ready.
Looks like they have left it in a bit of a state, either that or teenagers have been up here...
I wonder who the poor sod was who had to carry that fridge all this way haha
Ok time to gear up.
Lets walk the boom and have a mooch about. It moved from side to side as well as up and down, it wasnt pleasant. I do feel a little sorry for anyone doing a bungee jump here as I think they would be terrified haha.
This must be the bit where they get the bungee jumpers to exit.
We decided its not a great spot for us to tie in our static lines from, so we chose the end of the boom. We did think about freefalling it as at 107 meters it is more than high enough, but as always there are some things to consider:
. What if we freefall from here and get a left 90 degree opening? - We will hit the cliff, or maybe not but we may end up landing in the river or road via some trees.
. There is a cross wind, and we don't like cross winds when base jumping.
So we decided the freefall risk to reward ratio was not worth it.
Here is what the the right hand side looked like...not super friendly either, not land area and lots of cliff.
So I started to tie on, on the end.
Waiting for the crosswind to settle.
My buddy gives me a quick pin check before I jump.
3, 2, 1 see ya!
Wahey! It opened!
Only, 45 degrees to the right!
This isnt too much of an issue as I grabbed my toggles pretty quick and turned the canopy around.
View from the ground.
Basejumper no.2, Gary
Bang! Lookie what we have here, Gary gets a 45 degree off-heading to the right also.
We are putting this down to the crosswind, as we both had good body positions on exit.
Ok so now we didnt die or drown, we need to get changed.
We brought board shorts knowing we had to cross the river to get out.
Under estimated how shit bare foot would be on the ground. The air temp was 4 - 6C and the water was 1C.
We had to cross here, you can see the 3rd basejumper waiting for us.
Mountain water, SO COLD. Our feet went numb within seconds and it was a struggle to stay up right as the current was so strong and it was harsh stones on our feet.
Within a few metres we found ourselves waist deep and being pushed down the river sideways.
Our feet could barely hold us up anymore as we were being lifted by the current. This was at the point where started to shit ourselves as if either of us slipped or fell, we would be dragged instantly down river to a part which had rapids at head height.
I was certain we would die. Once slipped you would never be able to get traction again to stand up.
Look at the speed, I am stood still and you can see the rush of water. The photo really doesnt do it justice. We later googled this river and it has claimed many lives.
I felt like I was on an episode of 'I shouldnt be alive'.
At this moment we turned around, we were at the point where we couldnt walk any further without being pushed down river towards deeper parts. We struggled getting back to where we started but we did get there in the end.
My feet were blue and my legs were raging with redness. My feet went from freezing to numb. I couldnt feel them, its the most cold they have ever been, colder than surfing and wakeboarding in the Winter.
Right now, I was getting into survival mode. I made Gary walk along the bank to see if there was another way out up river. I shouted to Shaun on the other side of the river to get on Google Earth and have a look. Even if we had to walk a couple of miles, it would be better than trying to cross that river.
No mobile phone service, ofcourse.
We are in another ghost town, we hadnt seen one other human in the 2 hours we were there.
Fuck sake. We are stuck.
In 2 hours it would be dark, so I thought I would get my hiking boots out of my stash bag and make a run for it across the river. I was getting cold now, my stomach was wet, my feet and legs frozen.
Both Gary and I dried our feet off with our underwear and then put our socks on to warm up a little, followed by boots.
We knew by doing this we would cause extra drag in the water but we had no other choice, and as long as we had grip we could stand stronger in the water.
Gary led the way this time and found a route that didnt go quite as deep.
After 5 mins, we made it, the end.
My feet didnt thaw out until the next day, I passed up on the base jump we had planned for later that day.
Lesson we learned here is when you think you are prepared for every eventuality, you are not.
No mobile phone reception, no way for Shaun to call help. Fucking stupid.
This jump gets done in the Summer as the river is shallow and not flowing fast at all, and ofcourse there is help about.
If I ever do it again, I will do it in the Summer months.
Thanks for reading again.
I HAVE POSTED A VIDEO, BUT STEEMIT READERS SEEM TO PREFER WRITTEN CONTENT, WHICH IS WHY I DID THIS POST.
I AM NOT A BASE JUMPING INSTRUCTOR. IT IS FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY. DO NOT GO AND ATTEMPT TO JUMP OFF A BUNGEE JUMP PLATFORM BECAUSE YOU SAW MY POST. .
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