I arrived in Idaho and got straight down to business!
I’m here for training and pre production work for my ‘next project’ – which I can now reveal is going to be a television series! As you can imagine I’m very, very excited… and throwing myself (literally!) into all the work that needs to be done.
The team told me that BASE jump training was going ahead with RedBull athlete Miles Daisher.
“Miles has completed more known base jumps then anyone on the planet- well over 2,700. In 2005, he set a base jumping record by launching 57 times in a single day, climbing a total of nearly 29,000 vertical feet to do so. Logged over 3,100 skydives. Creator of two new sports “skyaking” (aerobatic skydiving while seated in a kayak, for high- performance landing on water) and “Rope- swing base jumping” (launching a freewheeling base jump by swinging of a building or bridge).”
If I was going to learn to BASE jump what better coach could I wish for than Miles!
Heading to Twin Falls, I was expecting that the day would be spent talking about BASE jumping, that we’d be doing some theory, looking at kit and seeing the jump site.
It was always my understanding that to BASE jump it was necessary to have a lot of skydives under your belt first. Apparently this isn’t the case. People can actually learn to BASE jump with no other flying experience but of course it’s far better (and safer) to have the experience of skydiving or paragliding. Miles said that as I was a paraglider it was great start.
I then learnt that the plan was to spend the morning as I had thought, talking about BASE jumping, doing some theory, looking at kit and seeing the jump site and then the plan for the afternoon….. was to actually go BASE jumping!
Miles is a fireball of energy and his knowledge, expertise and full on approach were brilliant.
We spent time packing up the kit and while Miles was doing that he was explaining how it all works, we talked about the process of learning to BASE jump. To begin I would do a static line jump – that meant Miles would hold the pilot chute (which is the small parachute that drags open the main chute) so initially the only concern would be jumping. After two seconds of free fall the parachute would open and I would then fly down and land. Simple!
As we headed out to Perrine Bridge I was getting rather nervous. Luckily there wasn’t a lot of time to focus on my nerves, Miles worked with us on muscle memory training and talked us through the whole process. We scouted the landing zone and worked out a Plan A, a Plan B, a Plan C and a Plan Z!
Walking out along the bridge was like an out of body experience. I was scared but it was essential to get a hold of myself and focus on what I was about to do. It was like the time I fell off Mont Blanc – I was falling but I needed to be calm and sort myself out. Which is exactly what I did.
I was going first! Climbing over the railing was probably the worst part, I held on tight and placed my feet. Once in position – face forward, leaning out – I looked ahead. The point Miles gave us to look at was a mound of earth that was Evel Knievel’s jump ramp where in 1974 he’d famously attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon on a rocket cycle!
Miles said I was good to go… I went through my final checks.
“SEE YA” …. and with that flung myself off the bridge!
As experiences go, it was up there with the biggest sensory overload I think I’ve ever had.
The focus, concentration, fear, thrill, physical sensations and relief when you touch down safely are a lot to have going on.
Meeting Miles was brilliant – he’s a unique person and having him as my coach was a privilege.
As we drove away from the bridge that evening all I could think was, “Mum is going to be so cross with me”….
This is a short Punkt video clip of one of my first static line jumps…