Bridge Day 2015

WV Bridge Day

WV Bridge Day

I set out a month ago to write an article about the injustices being placed upon BASE jumpers, Vendors and Rappellers at the West Virginia Bridge Day Festival.  I did so at the request of my good friend, Alan Lewis who was leading a boycott of the event by BASE jumpers via social media.  I interviewed Alan for his reasoning of the boycott and what he had hoped to do in the long run for BASE.

I wrote an article that basically asked the question, “Did the BDC live under a rock?  How could they insist on fingerprinting people?  What had this nation become when such invasions of privacy are becoming acceptable and the norm?”

I turned the article into Lara Kjeldsen, the co-founder and editor of Blue Skies Magazine for consideration for publication.  It was returned to me stamped, “rejected”.  The notations explained it read as I was being bias and overly supportive of the BASE jumping community without speaking to the other parties involved in the event.  I had place a call to the BDC, but hadn’t heard back, so I assumed they had “no comment”.  I was wrong.

In truth, they were waiting to hold this months BDC meeting to revise the options for security checks and wanted to be able to give me updated information.

Turned out everything I had read or been told via social media, everything that had been explained to Alan  or read, really wasn’t the truth of the matter.  When I confronted Alan with the documents, the cold hard truths, I asked him if he thought I should just kill the article.

He replied, “No, the truth has to come out.  The BASE community will be better off in knowing the truth and can move forward in building a relationship with the BDC.”

Here is a snippet of what’s to come  in the May issue of Blue Skies Magazine.

According to the BDC, Vertical Horizons only communicated twice with them in an email  back in January 2015 requesting the withdrawal of the company’s application as BD BASE coördinator and an email asking for information on the scanner.

Sharon Cruikshank has gone on the record to state once Mr. Bell posted the photo of the jumpers exhibiting the “fuck you” hand gesture, the relationship had already begun to deteriorate.  A October 2014 meeting was the last time they had any face to face discussions with Bell.  Director Cruikshank has also gone on record to state, “She has never had any discussions or has it been brought before the board that Fayetteville work with the BASE community to set up 365 days of jumping.”   If such a discussion had taken place it would seem in the meeting minutes or achieved in emails.

She further provided BDC meeting minutes showing that Vertical Horizon’s failed to attend the board meetings as specified in their contract.  “There is no communication if one of the parties is not present at the table.”

BASE, Rappelling, Staff and Vendors personal data collected for background checks , then turned over to the 911 call center to be processed and files stored by the respective coördinator.

At no time was the BDC, WV State Police, NPS or other coordinators privy to that data.  The contract between the coördinator and the BDC gives specific directions on the handling of background checks and no where do they ask participants personal information shared by the coördinator, expect with the 911 call center/sheriff.

I interviewed Benjy Simpson, the owner of the Bridge Walk and coördinator for Rappelling at the event.  He said, he has never been asked to turnover personal data collected on participants, other than to the sheriff’s 911 call center to process the security checks.  He pointed out that if agencies didn’t want BASE jumpers at the event, they could merely not schedule BASE, the NPS could deny the permit and put an end to it just like that.  For anyone to think BASE jumping is profitable for the BDC, you need to check your ego at the door and look at the big picture.

There are no lists of jumpers, there is no evil plot to harass jumper’s, it’s all just “urban myth” created by the jumper’s themselves.

The BDC, WV State Police, NPS have all taken a beating on social media without firing a shot back as to not given validity to the statements being made. However, now that the dust has cleared, they continue to work towards making BD a successful event once again this year; they granted me an extension amount of their time in interviews and providing black and white data/information.

Be sure to check out the May issue of Blue Skies Magazine for my article, Bridge Day 2015: Communication Breakdown

Be kind to yourself and one another, Peace.

Cynthia Lynn

Quadriplegic’s Adventure Dream

Quadriplegic Pete Bonser, http://www.petebonser.com, has a dream to BASE JUMP. We intend to that dream come true and film a documentary.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/598162734/quadriplegics-adventure-dream

About this project by Dr. Spatula

Pete’s dream is to go to the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls Idaho and make a BASE jump.

Sean Chuma of http://www.TandemBASE.com is donating his time to make this dream come true.

Because of Pete’s condition, and the amount of pain he is in, he cannot just get on a commercial flight or take a 12 hour road trip.

Most of this documentary will be made with donated time and resources but We need to cover the cost of using a Cessna 206 or better to transport Pete and a couple of caregivers as quickly as possible. We will start the adventure in Santa Rosa California, and document everything about the trip to Twin Falls, the set up, the jump, the people involved, and try to capture the feeling of a dream come true.

I am a pilot and will most likely be flying the plane myself.

Please visit http://www.PeteBonser.com

Risks and challenges

The largest obstacles right now are safely transporting Pete with minimal complications and designing and testing a custom harness to make sure the BASE jump goes without a problem.

A word from Sean Chuma:
I have had a huge vision for a while that is fueled by jumping and being part of the dreams of Lonnie Bissonnette, and by the spinal cord injury of one of my very best friends, Chris Scott. It is starting to become a reality by combining visions with Pete Bonser, a quadriplegic, who I will be taking on a Tandem Base jump on the weekend of April 18-19. This is the start of a whole program, I envision, to help people with spinal cord injuries, etc. experience the absolutely amazing activity of BASE jumping. Give someone a dream and they can take it farther to create miracles within, to change their life for the better. I see it, in a way, as a form of healing therapy. It is something that seemed impossible. Now it is going to become a reality. This is turning into something bigger than life. It’s a story unfolding and telling itself and manifesting through us. We are looking for financial help, so if you are able to help, we would be more grateful than we already are.

Limited Edition BASE tees by Silent Studio

The next design is ready for pre-order. ONLY 50 shirts will be available for purchase. Get yours now!

Order Here!

 

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Limited Edition BASE Tees by Silent Studio

Attention:  Only 50 will be printed.  Pre-orders are being taken, get your order NOW.

Click link to place order: Silent Studio

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Coming Soon!    Like Silent Studio on Facebook, click link here.

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My latest project is here: Pitties, Pistons, Pin-ups and a Promise

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I have been on break from writing the past 4 months as I have been concentrating on a fundraising project in which I chaired.  The project consists of a hot calendar, cool t-shirt, a vintage classic cocktail party and an opportunity for a family portrait with the calendar photographer herself, Carolyn Lloyd of Carolyn Lloyd Photography.

Presenting: “Pitties, Pistons, Pin-ups and a Promise” for the benefit of Peace for Pits, Inc. a Chicagoland based rescue serving Illinois’s “bully breeds”.

Please consider a t-shirt or calendar purchase if you do not live in the Chicagoland area to attend the other scheduled events.

Thank you for supporting my writing efforts, but also my charity endeavors.

Warmest Regards,

Cynthia Lynn

Note: Calendars and T-shirts are only available for shipping in the United States.

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2015 Calendar

2015 Calendar

Launch Party

Launch Party

Photo Session

Photo Session

T-Shirts

T-Shirts

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You can call me Hankster.

My first BASE jumper interview was at the mercy of  Hank Caylor.  I titled the piece, “The Man, The Myth, The Legend” after hearing the story of his mishap about a jump gone bad with him crashing through a buildings window and taking the elevator down to the lobby.  That alone is legend worthy, but I soon discovered Mr. Caylor has building his legend since his first steps as a toddler.

From broken bones, to lacerations, to bruises and good old fashion scraps and minor burns he surpassed the amateur status in his early teen years.

A friend, the lovely and o’ so talented writer Annette O’Neil  posted a video clip of Caylor from one of his early films “The Sharp End” on Facebook today and it put me in the sharing mood.  Thanks Annette!

 


Extra featuring Hank Caylor from Sender Film’s “The Sharp End.” Sender Films has all rights to this video, please visit them at: Sender Films

You can check out my interview with Hank here.

All hail the man, the myth, the legend.

Respect.

The Power of One: O Henry Part II

In part one of the series I introduced you to Henry’s introduction into Peace for Pits when he received a last hour reprieve sparing his life.  This week I sat down with the little fellow and he answered my questions regarding life beyond the cages of Chicago Animal Control and Care as he prepares for his forever family.

Peace for Pits, Inc. Henry

Peace for Pits, 
Henry enjoys his American Bagel bone

  Keep Calm Dog Name: Henry O’Henry Foster Guardian’s: Tom & Lisa Dog Age: 1 year Dog Breed: Pit Bull Mix Siblings: (human): Sage, 13, Amanda, 11 Harmony, 12 Classes attended/attending: will begin @ Narnia in April My nickname is: Hen  

Henry

We are family, I have all my fosters hanging with me.

The type of family I am searching for to share my life with will be available to spend generous amounts of time with me, offer lots of petting, attention, cuddle time and love.

When I grow up I want to be: a happy family dog with good manners.

My favorite place to sleep is: on the couch with foster momma, but then she puts me in my crate for the night. However, I would sleep in the big beds upstairs if they would invite me to do so.

Henry and Foster Dad Tom

Henry and Foster Dad Tom

My favorite holiday is: St Patricks Day because that’s my 1st family holiday after being released from dog jail.

My best friend is: Alexa, I liked her right away, her lap was mine.

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Henry looking for a snack.

My favorite treat: carrots, spinach, olives, celery, cucumber, kale & lettuce.  I am a veggie dog, living green keeps the body clean and lean.

My favorite toy: tire

My favorite season of the year is: warm weather, not a fan of cold, rain nor heavy winds.

My favorite trip was when we went to: so far it’s been whenever Aunt Cyn takes me in the car into town to run errands.  My ultimate ride was when we  left the city on my FREEDOM ride. My favorite quote is: “This is Henry’s toy!” My favorite pastime activity: sitting- I love to just sit on my own & look at my family & say “look what a good boy I am!”

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Henry sitting in his spot on the sofa

 I look really cute when I: hop toward my toys to fetch them, or run/gallop back with them in  my mouth to share with my family. The biggest mess I ever made was: a little puke in my crate, but I was careful to move my blanket out of the way & politely puke in just the little corner of crate. The first thing I ate that I wasn’t supposed to: shoes, but I just nibbled on them. The one time I was a hero was: staying alive on the streets as a stray and then surviving at the shelter until my freedom day. I am really good at: getting attention, just ask the neighbors and all my fosters friends.  Girls just can’t resist how handsome I am and ask to meet me and give me a petting.

Henry strutting his stuff

Henry strutting his stuff

I am sometimes afraid of: the dark, nighttime outside is scary, also an opossum or field mouse may startle me. The one thing I can’t resist is: snuggling on couch next to humans. 1964883_10200734549805914_865602595_n I think my siblings  are: Sage- loud & energetic, Amanda- loving & compassionate, Harmony- gentle & caring

Foster brother and Henry

Foster brother Sage and Henry

My toughest challenge so far has been: going back into the crate when my family leaves the house. Please share something that you learned from your dog and what they have meant to your family. We have learned that the negative stereotype about pit bulls are untrue and that Henry is a calm & gentle pup. He is very loving and makes a great addition to the family.  Henry enjoys joining in all family activities and wants to be in the thick of things constantly. How/Why the dog’s name was chosen: His name came about from the candy bar O’Henry which is chocolate and caramel. Also, because his foster Auntie’s said we’d be saying “O’Henry you’re too cute” or “O’Henry your’re so smart”, or “O’Henry you’re a little stinker”.  He loves his name, his ears perk right up when he hears it and he comes running when called.  Henry fits him perfectly. What is it about their particular breed that you are fond of? In Henry’s case, he is a pit bull mix.  He is on the smaller size at under 40 lbs, very intelligent, quick learner, loves the kids, mannered baby boy who has been a great family dog.  He has the build of his bigger family members but fits perfectly into our town home style living. Everything you love about the breed in a bite size package.

Henry sharing the sofa

Henry sharing the sofa

Thank you to Tom, Lisa and Henry for their participation in the interview.

 

If you are interested in adopting Henry, please complete an application on the Peace for Pits website, click here.

Henry begins his obedience training on April 1st, he will be attending a 6 week session In Home.

Women’s History Month

This singing legend didn’t go for any purse puppy breed as her canine companion.

Name this Lady and the breed of her furry friend in the comments section below.

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(1946 photo released by the Library of Congress)

The Power of One : O’Henry

The Power of One is a series of articles about canines and the people who saved them. One person, at one moment can make all the difference to one animal.  The journey of a dog being rescued can be long, their path can be filled with many people taking on the role of that one person to assure they get their second chance at life.

Introducing A 102121: Part I

A 102121 used to identify him, PA028 is the kennel number he called home for the last days.  He arrived at Chicago Animal Care and Control on January 26, 2014 as a stray picked up in the Englewood (Chicago) neighborhood.

A 8 month old, brown Merle and White Pit Bull Terrier.  The percentages for A 102121 to receive a reprieve and second chance at life dropped with every turning of the calendars pages.

The reality is Pit Bull Terrier’s face discrimination through Breed Select Legislation (BSL), are saddled with a bad reputation through misrepresentation and suffer from over breeding due to ignorance of owners, backyard breeders and criminal enterprises.

A 102121 had the cards stack against him the minute he took his first breath in this world. He doesn’t know what Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is, or why people fear him, or why his kind suffer abuse through forced breeding.  And he’ll never understand what enjoyment can possibly be derived from forcing brother to kill brother in a ring for money. Or the evil of torturing his sister until her body gives out and her last breath drawn.

He only knows unconditional love –  no different than any other of man’s furry best friends.  He wants to give out kisses, cuddle up close for comfort, feel your hand stroke the length of his back, or tickle his tummy with belly rubs.  He wants to have fresh water, food and a safe place to lay his head at night.  He lives to be your best friend, your loyal buddy, your guardian and companion without ever questioning gender, breed, financial potential or misgivings.

A 102121 went from “adoptable” to “death-row”.  Literally, he moved from one area of the shelter to another, just like the “big house” down in Joliet, Illinois.

The fine volunteers of the CACC transfer team had taken a liking to A 102121, as they do with all of the dogs they care for while pleading for rescues to come to their aid.

These people are the true warriors and heroes of rescue work in animal welfare. They are these dogs saving grace, the one person who uses their voice to start a dog on it’s journey to a second chance.  They are also the one person often to give a gentle touch or say a kind word to a dog whose second chance didn’t come. Bless you for all you do when so many others do not.

They saw potential in the small brown Merle & White Pittie named Ramon Rampage.  A Facebook plea went out by Peace for Pits rescue: “This brindle guy has 5 days to find a foster home or he’d be put to sleep. He is young, and lacks social skills. So he needs to be an only pet until we can build up his positive experiences with other dogs. If you can foster, please fill out an application online at www.peaceforpitsrescue.org”

I began sharing their plea on my personal page.  A 102121/Ramon Rampage/Wild Child/Brindle Guy had that look that said, “I am too young to die.  I have so much to see and do. There is garbage bins to knock over, mud puddles to roll in, car rides to take, cuddles to be had and kisses to be given; where is my best friend?”

Then came the day.  His last hour.  I didn’t want to look to see if he had been edited with the all now too familiar “RIP” on his listing. I felt as though if I didn’t look, it meant it didn’t happen.

I finally gave in and instead I sent Peace for Pits  co-founder, Megan Lindberg an email asking.  She replied she didn’t have the heart to email CACC as of yet, the news was probably not what she wanted to hear.  And just as I thought to myself “at least I am not the only ignoring the inevitable…

Her reply email arrived, “He’s ALIVE” is all it said.  It’s all it had to say.  Christmas morning had come early.

I put out another plea; this time tagging a couple I knew didn’t own a dog and praying maybe they would spot my plea and succumb to his need. I offered to train him, be his dog walker, dog sit him, whatever it would take to enable them to home him as fosters.

At 6pm that evening, they responded with a Facebook pm asking what they needed to do to help.  “Yes!  There was the chance he could be saved.”

They completed the foster paperwork and sent it to Peace for Pits (P4P’s) rescue.  I emailed P4P’s and asked them to please look for the application and to consider putting A 201121 on hold at the CACC until they reviewed the information.

At 1am I received Megan’s email saying, “Brindle guy is on hold. Lisa is now approved as his foster.”

Amen.  I can rest now.

The next day, Megan confirmed with CACC that A 201121 was  a “save”.  I received an email asking when would be a good time to “bust him out”.  Like I said, “just like the big house in Joliet”.  

She gave me the honor of joining her team on this special day. Ashley, one of A 201121 supporters, Megan’s husband and rescue co-founder, Mike and my sister Jill were there for the “busting out” party.

He came running out from behind the doors leading away from the kennels, pulling Ashley and right into Jill as she bent to greet him.  This little dude was saying, “Hey ladies, let’s blow this joint and now!”

Megan, Mike and Ashley loaded us up with his new belongings courtesy of the rescue. Jill placed the little dude in his crate and we set off on his freedom ride.

He rested the trip heading out of the city and to his new life.  Freedom looked good on him.  This is when Jill named him Henry, “He looks like caramel and chocolate, like an O’Henry candy bar, she said, as we tested out names. “Henry is also a gentle name”, she added.

She called out, “Henry”, and his head shot up in the crate.  She called it out a couple of more times, with his ears perking up and his eyes widening.  And so, A 201121 became Henry.

We arrived at our home where he happily bathed, washing away the ick of kennel life.  We picked out some new toys, bed and fleece blankets from our stash and played for a bit to chill before returning to the road for the next leg to his foster home.

Henry’s foster family couldn’t contain themselves and came out to greet him on the driveway.  He immediately went for a walk around the yard for a chance to relieve himself before heading in for the grand tour of the main living space.

His crate, otherwise known as Henry’s Dog Cave set up and playtime commenced. Henry proved a quick learner and after all the family introductions, more new toys, tours of the house and some quick training, little Henry was ready for nap time.

But for the grace of God and the empathy of multiple people who chose to be that one person who said “No. Not today. I will not let you die.” Henry lives.

The power of one person at one moment makes all the difference.

Please don’t wait until “someday” to reach out and help, be that one person today.  The Henry’s of the world don’t have the option of someday.

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download

Find Henry on Petfinder

(foster-sister not included)

In Part II, you’ll read my interview with the cutie himself, Henry and meet the people who raised their voices for him.

New Online BASE Publication: Edge Base Jumping Magazine

Edge Base jumping Magazine

 

March 1, 2014 marks the publication date of Edge Magazine’s first issue of their online “base jumping magazine, written by base jumpers for base jumpers”.

The first issue is filled with articles by the likes of:

  • Rick Harrison
  • Lonnie Bissonnette
  • Jokke Sommer
  • Tim Howell
  • Alastair Macartney
  • Hubert Schober
  • and yours truly as they reprint my article on Tracy Walker.

With gear reviews by Dan Vicary of Valley BASE Gear and Chris “Douggs” McDougall of BASEDREAMS.

You can check out a preview of the magazine here.

Find them on FACEBOOK here.

On the web here.

The Time Is Now…To Subscribe to Blue Skies That Is

Ding ding ding!!

Last call for subscriptions and renewals! To get on the list for the March issue, get your subscription in before close of business tomorrow. Get the goodness – and nag your friends until they do the same! 

Subscribe HBlue Skies Magazineere

 

 

 

 

 

By not being a subscription holder you missed out last month on…

Bounce Proof: by Matt Blank, One man’s thoughts on the risks of BASE jumping and keeping oneself alive.

63 Vertical Women: by Melissa Lowe and Amy Chmelecki, Women’s Vertical World Record account from Skydive Arizona.

Photo Interview: Jennifer Sensenbaugh: by Zach Lewis

Celebration of Erik’s Birthday: by Kandace Rawling, a story of remembrance.

Sky Couples In Honor of Valentines:

  • The Story of Weenie and The Butt, by Hank Caylor (Weenie)
  • Dear Babe, by Josh Epstein
  • Sky Couple, Mark Wilson and Tricia Small, by Eli Godwin
  • Wedding Bliss, by Melanie Grillet

The Year of the Pilot, by The Fuckin’ Pilot

Turning Points, Shifting Skydiving World: by Kurt Gaebel, NSL

and of course all the good stuff packed into The Flyby and Dear SkyGod.

 

Someone You Should Know… Andy Copland

His handle was “Pikey Base” on the Basejumper.com forum, had a smart dry-wit  attitude one would expect from a member of the Cincy BASE crew.  He would cuss you up one side and down the other before you realized and then do it again.   He’d tell you where to shove, stick, put, push, or squeeze it and then some.  In short, he can be a arse.

Andy Copland

Andy Copland

Yet, you can’t help not taking a liking to the guy.  If anything he is honest and that you have to respect.  Even if at times it’s too much information, such as announcing in his Facebook status that he just took his morning dump.

Andy was one of a handful of BASE jumpers to reach out to me 4 years ago when I began writing about BASE.  In fact, I tease Andy not only was he mentoring a newbie then, but me as well.  I would text him questions 24/7 and he’ll tell you, “I would answer them after gripping, “bloody hell woman”.

Regardless of my silly questions, he would meet me online early each morning for a chat while we read the morning news and had coffee.  I can always count on Andy to answer me with a straightforward reply and although I might not always want to hear the answer given, he’ll never shy away from telling it to me.

Anyone who has taken up a conversation, stood at the edge and had the pleasure of making his acquaintance can appreciate having that pleasure and the fear of almost losing him.

Eight months ago, Andy suffered a horrific accident when his parachute failed and his body slammed into the ground at the DZ where he works.  Suffering from chronic pain while he is in need of further surgery to repair the leg and continue the healing and rehabilitation process.  Unable to acquire that medical attention here in the states, his best hope is to return to England where the care is provided for free to its citizenry.

Andy and Sarah

Recently, Sarah Ann, began an online Etsy store Snowflake Stitching selling her handmade scarves to supplement their income and save up to move to England. Sarah Ann is one tough woman, she has to be if she is marrying Andy, come on, have you been reading what I have written?

That being said, let’s put in a business plug for Snowflake Stitching, Sarah Ann’s the creative talent, while Andy makes for an excellent sales rep.   He says the scarves are “soft and warm” having tested them against his freshly shaven face.  The man is secure in his masculinity and unabashedly proud of Sarah Ann; not to mention madly in love.

Snowflake Stitching

Snowflake Stitching

Name of Business: Snowflake Stitching

Website:Snowflake Stitching Etsy Shop

Social Network: Facebook

Industry Type: Handmade clothing accessories

Date Business Opened: December 6, 2013

Description: Snowflake Stitching is an Etsy business that I created to offer custom-made scarves for people all over the world.

Most Rewarding Experience: The most rewarding experience that I have had so far is, I get to make two scarves for two young girls that are in a local foster home, for their Christmas. These girls have not received anything for Christmas in a few years, and I get to make something for them to enjoy.

Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge that I have had so far is time management. It’s hard to make time for everything in your life, especially your loved ones.

2014 Goal: My goal is to simply supplement my income so I can stop working three separate jobs. To offer something classically stylish and a scarf that is timeless.

Personal sales pitch: Scarves use to be a part of every woman’s wardrobe. With our modern design we aim to make your scarf the centerpiece of your outfit once again.

Please pass along the Snowflake Stitching links to your friends and family.  The scarves make unique thoughtful custom gifts, as well as support friends within the BASE community.

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Without further ado,

~15 Questions with Pikey BASE~

Name: Andy Copland

Age: 29

Marital Status: Engaged

Children: Unknown

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Hometown: Newmarket, England

Education: College Dropout

Number of Jumps: 300+

Year of first Jump: 2007

BASE number: 1338

Year of first Skydive: 2005

Container: Apex DP/Prism

Canopy: FLiK 220 3 of 7 and Mojo

Profession: Skydiver

Nickname: Candy Opland. Don’t Ask.

Something else we shouldn't ask about???

Something else we shouldn’t ask about???

1. What will your epitaph read?

If you are reading this then you are wasting your day.

2. What is your greatest fear in life? Falling, cliché

3. When someone contacts you and asks you to personally teach them to BASE jump, what advice do you offer them first?

Just this week I had another person ask me to teach them and I haven’t agreed as such as I am injured but did agree to teach him to pack and learn some things before his FJC. Generally people asking tend to be either too humble or too cocky. I am more about mental preparation and attitude than jump numbers. There are guys out there with 10,000 skydives who I wouldn’t touch and some guys with 100 jumps I would. The too cocky ones I tell to beat it, the too humble ones I remind them that they have to think for themselves as very few things in this sport are really in stone and there is a lot to learn whether it’s from a bloke with 100 jumps or 1000.

4. What is your jump philosophy and what shaped that philosophy?

I’m not really sure how to answer this question…. I guess my philosophy is ask yourself why you are doing this. It isn’t playing chess, but by the same merit it also isn’t russian roulette. But it is a high risk activity and the consequences can be dire. It’s always that first solo that makes it all make sense. You have no jumpers with you, no ground crew, no one. It gives you a chance to reflect on the risk vs reward, and is it ever rewarding for me. In a nutshell….My philosophy is treat the sport as a lifestyle, not a hobby or it just isn’t worth it for me. I think what shaped that thinking is just being in BASE a few years I seen people get hurt from silly mistakes because they were a yearly Perrine jumper and I’m a snobby cunt.

5. What do you do to de-stress?

Junk food and movies with my girl away from the drop zone and everyone associated with it.

7. Do you foresee “enough ever being enough” for you when it comes to seeking out new adventures?

Never. I have always been a day dreamer and those day dreams are usually full of travel and adventure

8. Do you see a common thread in all jumpers, regardless of place, gender or skill level?

Absolutely, this sport just transforms the meaning of friendship and it doesn’t matter their skill level or gender up there; it’s about being in that moment with good friends. I like to think we all share that, but maybe I’m a corny romanticist.

9. Name a jumper who you most admire and why so?

Oh Christ…. So many to mention. Lonnie Bissonnette of course for his sheer determination to never give up. Brett Kistler may come as a surprise to some, but he balances travel, culture and BASE jumping nicely even if he does look like the Hitler youth. I have a real admiration for those who just go out and get the job done quietly too like Jimmy Kensill who was also my mentor and has well over 1000 BASE jumps by now. Also everyone at Anti Gravity BASE  are committed to helping injured jumpers. They helped me out in my time of need.

Sarah Ann, Lonnie Bissonnette, and Andy

Sarah Ann, Lonnie Bissonnette, and Andy

10. How much do you adhere to the old school BASE ethics?

I cared about them a lot more when I started as I didn’t want to step on any toes but eventually I realised that as long as you are not burning someones city to the ground then it’s fair game. I try to contact the locals every time, if I can’t get hold of them I’ll go find something to jump at night. Now if it’s my backyard then you can’t tell me how to play in it, my yard = my rules and if I want to jump a building at noon that’s my prerogative

11. What is more frightening, planning a wedding or standing on the edge of an exit point?

I’ve never planned a wedding so I would guess the wedding. I’d be too scared to even attempt something as crazy as that. I’ll let Sarah and her friends deal with that mess.

12. What was the biggest challenge in your life this past year?

Recovering from an accident at work. I had a freak accident and my canopy collapsed. At work I fly an 84sq/ft canopy so when it collapsed at 50-100 ft there was no recovering from it. I impacted hard and broke my L4, my right femur, my right heel and my left tib/fib compounded so badly I severed an artery in my leg and crushed the ankle. It was really in the air as to whether they would be able to save my lower leg as they worked for a pulse. I’m 8 months in and still unable to walk for long periods of time let alone get back to work.

13.  Where did you gain your strength to overcome the challenge?

Without a doubt Sarah has been the rock during all this, she has suffered from the accident almost as much as me. Also everyone at Skydive The Farm has been great supporting me.

14.  Where do you foresee yourself in 5 years?

I would like to be back in Europe, preferably on a beach and close to a drop zone. Anywhere as long as I am jumping again, that is my goal in the coming years.

15.   Do you have any regrets about your BASE jumping career?

I wouldn’t say they are regrets, but I do wish I got all the footage of my jumps from some of my mates before they went in! Jokes aside, not really no. I try not to live with regrets as regrets tie you to the past, and I am a firm believer in looking ahead.

Andy Copland

Andy Copland

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Brett Kistler aka Hitler Youth Poster Child

Brett Kistler aka Hitler Youth Poster Child

2013 World BASE Race

Two jumpers in gear at the back of the exit ramps,

The starter will ask…

“Jumper A ready?” – confirm,

“Jumper B ready?” – confirm

Jumpers take your starting position at the edge.

The starter begins countdown, “5 – 4″

A single signal is repeated 3 times, bip, bip, bip

Welcome to the World BASE Race

Envision two men standing on wooden platforms at the edge of a mountain cliff. Each man is dressed in what appears to be a flying squirrel suit. At the signal, they jump and race head-on to the finish line, deploying their parachutes and gliding to a safe landing. Mind blowing? Extraordinary? A testament to man’s intestinal fortitude? Innovative genius? A sporting event unlike any other in the world? If you answered yes to all of the above, then let me introduce you to an event that P.T. Barnum would have billed as part of “The Greatest Show on Earth”.

It’s been four years since I first wrote those words regarding the World BASE Race of 2009.  Base jumping was new to me and wingsuit racing was new to the sport itself.  Co-founder and former director of the event Paul Fortun spoke of the race becoming the greatest public party for the athletes and spectators alike.  

If the caliber of athletes, gear and number of spectators gathering pre-race day is any indication, I’d say there’s about to be one hell of a party.

To all the athletes have a safe race.

Enjoy last years teaser video.

Video

Kjersti Eide “Off The Wall with Opera Browser” Commercial

Play it safe and subscribe to Blue Skies magazine today so you don’t miss out on my upcoming article on Kjersti “Kitty Kat” Eide.

 

On June 27, 2013, a new female 16 way World Record BASE jump was recorded, below are the ladies that participated in the record. 

Amanda Vicharelli,Erin Shutes, Holly Mailander, Lika Borzova, Maria McFly Steinmayr, Kjersti Eide, Susanne Lampe, Roberta Mancino, Daniella Curly Liaris, Tine Richter, Lori Butz, Christine Johansen, Rima El-Masri Baich, Livia Dickie, Jenny McZolla and myself :)

New Women World Record June 20, 2013

15 Way Women World Record

15 Way Women World Record Celebration Dance

Women Base jumpers Lika Borzova, Kjersti Eide, Hege Ringard, Tine Richter, Livia Dickie, Rima El-Masri Baich, Roberta Mancino, Erin Shutes, Daniella Curly Liaris, Holly Mailander,  Jenny McZolla and Lori Butz set a new record off  Exit 6 in Kjerag, Norway.

Note:  At the time of publishing, we were still awaiting confirmation on three of the jumpers names.

 

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5 Point Film Festival in Colorado-Split Of A Second

This weekend is SPLIT OF A SECOND up on the 5 Point Film Festival in Colorado, April 25, 2013,  Check the Festival’s trailer, it is beautiful! With Espen Fadnes, Björn Fävremark, John Boisen, Lars Idmyr

 

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Alexander Polli: 2013 Wingsuit Flight (Opening of Season)

There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.  Ronald Reagan

Alexander Polli is one such man who has removed all constraints from his mind and is free to achieve what others consider the impossible.

Published on Apr 16, 2013
Wingsuit / BASE-jump athlete Alexander Polli does the never before done—a tactical flight through a narrow cave on a rugged mountainside. The flight starts with a jump from a hovering helicopter, Alexander reaches speeds of 250 km/h (155 mph) while following a precise trajectory leading to the cave opening, he then fully commits and flies directly through the narrow opening of the “Batman Cave!”
Shot in full HD, this extraordinary flight exceeds the level of commitment most fliers would ever consider—there can be no attempting, the only option is success!
The narrow cave, no wider than Alexander is tall, is located in Roca Foradada Mountains in Montserrat, Spain—a location that has inspired this professional Italian Norwegian athlete’s flying dream his whole life. Alexander hopes his success will inspire others not only to ‘climb over their mountains,’ but to also fly right through them!

Subscribe to EpicTV:
http://www.youtube.com/epictvadventure

Like Alexander Polli on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/Official.Alex…

Like Morals Arrivederci on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/MoralsArrived…

Follow Alexander Polli on Twitter:
http://www.twitter.com/alexanderpolli

http://www.alexanderpolli.com

CREDITS:

Edit: Morals Arrivederci
http://www.facebook.com/MoralsArrived…
http://www.moralsarrivederci.com

Post-production: Sugodesign
http://www.sugodesign.tv
https://vimeo.com/sugodesign

Music and sound design:
Mnemonic Industries
http://www.m-inds.com

May 7th, 2013 First Jump Course with Chris ‘douggs’ McDougall

Chris ‘douggs’ Mcdougall will be conducting a First Jump Course at the Perrine Memorial Bridge, aka The Potato Bridge, in Idaho, May 7th-May 17th, 2013.

If you have completed 200 skydives, have your own rig, and read/studied The Great Book of BASE; You can contact Chris via douggs@basedreams.com to discuss your qualifications and registration process and fees.

Please share this information with those you feel would benefit from this opportunity. Thank you.

For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
Leonardo da Vinci

Google News BASE Alerts April 4, 2013

Daredevil Pulls Off ‘Jason Bourne of BASE Jumping‘ Inside a Hotel
U.S. News & World Report
The jump may be one of the most technically challenging BASE jumps ever attempted. Miles Daisher, who has more than 2,700 jumps to his name, stood on the 19th story balcony of the Gaylord National Hotel, jumped and fell for six stories before deploying
See all stories on this topic »

You can read more about Miles in an article Cynthia did with him for Blue Skies Magazine here.

And check out today’s post by Clair Marie “Learning How to BASE Jump”. or at least, do that first jump. :)

Douggs Adds to Legacy with BASE jump in Kuwait

In case you missed it…there are lots of photos on Instagram of the jump as it took place.

414m fall  into the history books and hearts of the Kuwaiti people…

 

~from Chris’s Facebook Status Feed

Holy Shit…..we did it :) Kuwait’s first 2 base jumps ever and achieved in perfect Aussie style :) I am so proud to have a whole country support me in our joint dreams! I really hope i can be appreciated in my home country of Australia one day but in the mean time…… I am happy to make the rest of the world happy while my country is busy being ultra gay!…..Oz is missing out. Lucky you like cricket Aussies!!!!

I am so happy and Proud of base jumping right now and the fact that East VS West means absolutely nothing to the real human being!…… fuck the Governments and may happiness and love rule the universe and adventure sports :)

 

Congratulations Chris!

Al Hamra Tower Poster

 

DaNcEcLaSs Episode 3: Happy BASE Dancing Edition (2012)

Kudos to the Little Fluffer for inspiring those around her to dance at the exit, dance at the landing zone, dance in the street, in the parking lot, at the Troll Wall sign, on mountains across Europe, on top of RapeVan, morning, noon and night. She danced her way through 2012 and convinced all around her to do the same.

To all those BASE dancers, remember dance, gear check, dance, gear check, dance, gear check, jump.

24 Interviews: Nope Can’t Take It Back, It’s In Cyberspace and Print

Today my 24th interview began landing in readers post boxes around the globe, as my 10th BASE article appears in the February 2013 issue of Blue Skies Magazine.

My latest is ESPEN FADNES SMOOTH OPERATOR.  If the opportunity to meet Mr. Fadnes, “Fast-Dog” of Midget BASE fame arises, take it.

ProBASE-World-Cup-Espen

Espen “Fast-Dog” Fadnes

In fact if you are new to BASE jumping I guarantee that you will learn something about the sport, about the interviewees and yourself by reading from my body of work about BASE.  And again, if you have the opportunity to meet or speak to these people, take it.

  • Hank Caylor
  • Rigger Lee
  • Brendan Nicholson
  • Calvin 19 and his sisters Annie and Emily
  • Jeb Corliss
  • Clair Marie (The BASE Girl)
  • Rick Harrison
  • Tracey Space Walker
  • Michael Pelkey
  • Jevto Dedijer (BASE 66)
  • Lonnie Bissonette
  • Tim Mangan
  • Matt Frolich
  • Anniken Binz
  • Lika Borzova
  • Livia Dickie
  • Karen Lewis Dalton
  • Ana Isabel Dao
  • Tony Uragalla  (Tony Suits)
  • Miles and Nikki Daisher
  • Espen Fadness

These people embodied the essence of my blog tagline,”Everyone has a story to tell…some people use more exclamation marks than others.”

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Blue Skies Magazine: February 2013 Issue

Greeting’s from the desk of the editor of Blue Skies Magazine:

Happy Valentine’s Day.  We have a little treat for you, and it’s called the February issue of Blue Skies Mag, which is mailing out now.

If you don’t have your magazine by March 1, please email kolla@blueskiesmag.com. In the meantime, hang tight and keep checking your mailbox for this tasty morsel of delight.

If you’re not a subscriber, you can still get this issue with a new subscription or renewal. Just let us know what month you want to start with when you CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE. Subtle, I know. That’s what this day is all about.

So here is what is inside issue #40:

Cover Photo The great and powerful Jeffro takes a selfie. i40_February2013
“Making Old Skool Cool. Red Bull Air Force jumper Jeff Provenzano hadn’t seen Stefan Klaus or a sky surf board in years, but both showed up one day in Eloy, Arizona. A mirror glued to the bottom of the board and ‘Bam there it is. Pretty weird seeing a full-body reflection of yourself in freefall. I could not help but laugh.'”

“No Shit There I Was”
Katena (the one who's not a boy) on a day where she didn't land in the Atlantic Ocean.
Katena (the one who’s not a boy) on a day where she didn’t land in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Did you hear about the wingsuit chick who landed in the ocean at Sebastian Invasion? Katena Houfek was that chick and this is her story.

The FlyBy Monthly tit4tat, reader news, Blue Skies Mailbox, Point Break quiz, new NZ Aerosports CF canopy, and a fantastic new way to memorize randoms.

“Go Fast Slingshot” by Jimmy Pouchert, Apex BASE
You didn't think there was only one energy drink, did you?
You didn’t think there was only one energy drink, did you?

Jimmy Pouchert was a human spitball for the Crown Prince.

♥ “Kickin’ It Old Skool” by Randy Swallows

Jumpers Over Seventy (JOS)
Jumpers Over Seventy (JOS)

Randy Swallows photographed the record and has a few thoughts on these oldest of the old-school school. Bottom line: They’re awesome.

♥♥♥

“Espen Fadnes: Smooth Operator” by Cynthia Guzman

Espen Fadnes, ProBASE World Cup 2012 Champion
Espen Fadnes, ProBASE World Cup 2012 Champion

The amazing Miss Cynthia interviews the current ProBASE World Cup champ, who thinks, “I was at my best as a BASE jumper in 2006-2007. I hope to be that good one day again. To fly with that confidence. Maybe next year. I’ll try to do 300-400 wingsuit skydives before next season and then maybe…”

♥♥♥

“Top 10 Tunnel Flyers” by Jacob Diliberto

Havaard Flaat in the Bedford tunnel doing...something.
Havaard Flaat in the Bedford tunnel doing…something.

Jake assesses the tunnel talent around the world and makes his male and female rankings.

♥ 

Sebastian Invasion Photo Essay by Norman Kent
A picture here of the pictures featured would not help us in our goal to sell print magazines.

♥ 

“Paying the Piper: David Michael Winland, Tattoo Artist”

Some of David's work on the arm of Jason Peters.
Some of David’s work on the arm of Jason Peters.

David Winland and his shop, Judas Custom Tattoo & Social Club, was voted “Best DZ Tattoo Artist” in our December 2012 issue, so let’s get to know him, shall we? Oh and PS – the aerial photo in this feature was taken by Vince Arnone, whom we didn’t get photo credit in the mag for. Sorry Vince!

“Tales of the Badass: SoCal Converge” by Sydney Williams
Sydney interviews not one, but three badasses this month. Andy, Travis, and Matt are not too terrible at freeflying.

♥ 

“Turning Points: 4-Way Personnel Drama” by Kurt Gaebel, NSL
Kurt analyzes the new Arizona Airpseed and SDC Rhythm XP lineups. And as the title suggests, it involves a little drama.

“TSA Two-Step” by the Fuckin’ Pilot
Dean “Princess” Ricci is not in the Transportation Safety Administration’s fan club. Neither is Barry Williams, but they each have very different ways of showing it.

“I’m Serious!” by Melanie Curtis

Coach Mel and Team Luau Confusion, having no fun at all.
Coach Mel and Team Luau Confusion, having no fun at all.

Who says 4-way is serious?

Argon Air, Helipad Inspectors by Moe Viletto
A completely true story about a completely fake company, owned by BASE jumpers Bill Ding and Cliff Leaper.

SkyGod is apparently a Communist now.

That’s all! We hope you like this issue. Please send us feedback! Did you like something? Hate something? Have an opinion one way or the other on anything at all? Email me at lara@blueskiesmag.com or submit anonymously through our Letter to the Editor form online.

Donate to the cause: Let’s help Lori do great things!

Hi All,
I had the pleasure to meet Lori back in 2012 in Norway during BASE season.  I was very fortunate indeed, for when I fell ill at a jump site, she quickly drove me back to the hotel for care.  She didn’t hesitate for a moment and I will forever grateful for her caring ways.

If you can help, please make a donation to her fund enabling her to do great volunteer work.  No donation is too small as they all add up.

Thanks!

Cynthia Lynn

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A message from Lori Butz:

Hey Guys,
I’m fixin’ to go help with some Ortho surgery here in a little bit, but we need money for the plane tickets. Please donate a little if you can, seriously $20 would be great. It will go directly to pay for my flight to Huehuetenango, Guatemala. There i will assist really good Orthopedic Surgeons doing life changing operations on very poor and deserving patients. We average 60 cases in the 4 operating days we have down there. (i’ve done this 8 times already). Congenital Hip Dislocations, Malunions, Club feet, yeah, that’s life changing when you can walk!!! Seriously!! You should do this! It will make you happy! Personally, i will be sacrificing a few weekends packing for this trip, unpacking from this trip, and being on this trip. I am covering my own room and board. I am taking time off without pay from my job to go on this trip. I am selfish with my time and money and i could easily spend it climbing or skydiving or drinking cocktails on the roof. I do this because I can and when you can you should. That’s how we make the world a better place. We act respectfully to neach other and we help out people who need it. And you can do this right now . . . click the link . . . . click the link

Awesome Fundraiser Link 

This donation site has been set up to make it easy for you to do an awesome thing that will make you feel good. Namely, chipping in to pay for the cost of my airfare to Guatemala where I will be assisting the Operation Rainbow team under Dr. Gus Giamalas for my 9th straight year in a row! We work hard and we change the lives of nice people you will probably never meet, but still, isn’t it nice to think “my $50 helped a little girl with club feet to walk normally. How life changing. How rad. I feel good about myself!” Yes, these warm feelings can be yours!! Donate now! Please. :-)