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elcapitan

My name is Tina Schubert Lindebaum

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You guys are also welcome to free spots in my class, if you want them.

I'd love to have you talk to the class a little about your jumps, and what was going on back then.
[reply/]

Tom,

Thank you for your kind offer. If your classes don't coincide with Johnny's, I'd love to sit in on both of them:)

In theory, there is no difference bretween theory and practice. In practice, however, there is. -

"RIP Forever Brian Schubert. Always remembered, Never forgotten" - Leroy DB
http://www.johnny

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>>Is there any possibility you still have the newspaper clipping? My copies disappeared many years ago. I'd love to have a copy.<<

I do have them. Send me a mailing address to: [email protected] and I'll send you copies. I'll need some time as they are buried in mountain of BASE history stuff. Here's one piece, see the attachment; I had out the other day.

Here's the text from the "Mariposa Gazette" dated July 28, 1966:

"Two Men Sustain Injuries in El Capitan Parachute Leap"

"Brian Schubert 26 and Michael Pelkey, also 26, both experienced sky divers of southern Calif, had a near brush with death when they survived a parachute jump of 3,200 feet from the summit of El Capitan in Yosemite last Sunday.

Pelkey, who sustained a broken ankle and abrasions, was found by a motorist, next to a road near the base of the gigantic rock. The motorist notified Park headquarters, and an ambulance was dispatched to the scene. On their arrival, Pelkey told the ambulance crew of the jump, and said Schubert was lying seriously injured at the base of El Capitan. Rangers found him a short time later and carried him to the ambulance on a stretcher. He had sustained a broken leg and foot.

The men, both of Barstow, jumped from the top of the rock at about 5 p.m. Sunday, after hiking up the back side on a public path, according to rangers. The daring attempt at a descent was the first to occur here, but many attempts have been made to climb the almost vertical face of the mammoth formation.

Violent updrafts and a strong wind repeatedly smashed the men against the side of the rock. Their injuries were sustained as they tried to push away from the rock wall, as they swung like pendulums in their opened chutes. "The air currents were really tricky. We didn't expect anything like it," said Pelkey.

John M. David, Part Superintendent called the act "fool-hardy" and expressed amazement that the daredevils were not killed.

William A. Schnettler, Park management assistant said the stunt would not have been permitted, if the intention of the men had been known. Rules will be drafted immediately to avoid repetition of Sunday's incident, according to Schnettler."


>>Anybody has any idea where and when 'modern' jumping took off in Europe? France perhaps...?<<

"Modern" is a loaded term. I started using it only to differentiate between before and after Carl Boenish's 1978 El Cap loads. I wish now I hadn't as what Mike and Brian did in 1966, in general, can also be considered, "modern." I suppose what I really meant by the term was to denote the actual start of the sport as before Carl Boenish the jumps made were more like one-off stunts.

Anyway, disregarding the term "modern" the first documented cliff jump was done in the German Dolomites by Mr. Felbemayr in 1965. I'm not sure if it’s the same jump, or a similar jump, but look through the BASE section of skydivingmoives.com and there's a video. It's similar to the jumps Mike and Brian made a year later 1966, but with a shorter delay.

Now, I want to be careful with the following. Over the years I've received a few nasty notes from my Euro-brothers who accused me of being USA-centric. They'd say fixed object jumping certainly began in Europe, and they are right. They point to the Dolomites 1965 jump as proof. However, this is short sighted, as the very first parachute jumps ever made were indeed made in Europe, but much earlier. The 15th century saw parachutes tested as a means to escape fires in tall stone towers in Italy.

However, as a sport, and this is the key, it certainly began with Carl Boenish, in Yosemite, in 1978. Carl showed the world these were more than just one-off stunts. He showed us that fixed object jumping was repeatable. I have never said Carl Boenish invented fixed object jumping. I have always said he is the "father" of the sport. The person who actually made the very first parachute, hundreds of years before the invention of the airplane or hot air balloon, is forever lost in ancient history.

Okay, with that bit out of the way, here's the answer to your question.

In the very first issue of the first ever "BASE" magazine published by Carl Boenish in January of 1981 there appeared the mention of "modern" fixed object jumping in Europe. The piece is called:

"Tollveggen, Norway -- The El Capitan of Norway – Discovered!"

It's a long piece, but here are the particulars. The European version of Carl Boenish is Jorma Oster. The first word there is jumping in Norway reaches us in the summer of 1979 when Jorma Oster is jumping Kjerag. Later he led the expeditions for the first Troll wall jumps. Carl was with them and filmed these jumps. So we can say the first "modern" fixed object jumps are made in Europe in 1979.

These jumps made headlines in the newspapers and Europeans began to show up at the Troll wall in droves. Fourteen months later the accident rate at the Troll began to soar. One rescue involved two Germans and cost over a $100,000 U.S. The accidents, in hindsight, can be forgiven as in 1981 we weren't really BASE jumpers yet. We were still only skydivers jumping off rocks. Many of the accidents can be attributed to not tracking away, doing RW, or freefalling too long.

One very prepared English jumper is interviewed by the press and found to be carrying an extensive first aid kit that included morphine. The newspapers the next day carried the hysterical headline "From the Troll Wall with Morphine".

The "Norwegian Parachute Association" (not sure what it's called) stepped in and essentially banned its members from fixed object jumping. The Norwegian Air force even threatened to ban all skydiving in the country if fixed object didn’t end. It was a time Carl Boenish sadly remarked European fixed object jumping was going the same way as in America. "We have," he said, "another fight on our hands."

So now here we are on July 4th, 2005, Independence Day here in the states, and we are still fighting. We're having a Comet bashing party here tonight so I'm going to go and get ready for that. But, if I may, let's chill on the infighting and remember who the common enemies are. We are in a fight against intolerance and ignorance, a fight for our right to fly. Lets' remember how far we've come, and how far we still have to go . . .

NickD :)BASE 194

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Hi Mike,
Nice interesting thread.
Did You and Brian do a 2 way ?
If not, did you two think about doing a 2 Way ?.
As I might of missed something reading this expanded thread.
My mind has not been so Bright Lately.
Thank You
Gerald Harendza, El Capitan # 494

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_____________________________

Nice interesting thread.
Did You and Brian do a 2 way ?
If not, did you two think about doing a 2 Way ?.
As I might of missed something reading this expanded thread.
My mind has not been so Bright Lately.
Thank You
_____________________________

Hi Gerald,

I'm assuming the term 2-way indicates a two-man hookup. We didn't consider doing anything fancy. We didn't actually stage the exact exit sequence in advance. Our intention was to be the first to "initiate" the El Capitan, nothing more, nothing less.

Brian actually jumped about two or three seconds before me. I had the advantage of being able to watch him through the entire descent. Needless to say it was an awesome experience.

It of course never occurred to us that there would be such a thing as El Cap 1 and El Cap 2 vearly 40 years later. Carl had me as first and Brian as second in the certificates he prepared for us before he died. We never met so we obviously never discussed the jump with him. We straightened it out with Jean when we met her so Brian would get the top honor for the record.

Mike Pelkey
In theory, there is no difference bretween theory and practice. In practice, however, there is. -

"RIP Forever Brian Schubert. Always remembered, Never forgotten" - Leroy DB
http://www.johnny

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____________________________________

<<>>
____________________________________

This is NOT what took place at all. Brian was first out. His canopy collapsed and forsook him for the last 50-100 feet or so before he landed in the rocks below and injured his feet. He left his equipment behind and headed for the road right away. I landed like a feather but had already sustained a minor ankle fracture due to a poor choice in dealing with the side winds trying to kick myself away from the face. Brian definitely did NOT notify the NPS rangers that I was lying seriously injured at the base of the mountain. He just told them I was on my way out. I started walking to the road after I field packed both of our chutes. The ambulance was waiting for me when I got to the road.

Most of the newspaper accounts of our jump were very obviously heavily biased in favor of the park.

Mike Pelkey
In theory, there is no difference bretween theory and practice. In practice, however, there is. -

"RIP Forever Brian Schubert. Always remembered, Never forgotten" - Leroy DB
http://www.johnny

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<<< I'm not sure (what year) when the first baton pass was in skydive using tracking.
I don't think it was in the 60's ? (nick would know)>>>

Correction

I had the facts totally wrong in my last post on this subject. The first baton pass took place in 1958 at Fort Bragg between Charlie Hilliard and Steve Snyder.

I should have researched it before I made the last post on the subject. I was obviously mislead by the guys who ran our club back in '65. They possibly thought they were doing something cool to encourage everyone to hone their skills in relative work. Whatever the reason was, I stand corrected.

Mike Pelkey
In theory, there is no difference bretween theory and practice. In practice, however, there is. -

"RIP Forever Brian Schubert. Always remembered, Never forgotten" - Leroy DB
http://www.johnny

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(from Tina, Brian Schubert's daughter)
All I can say is WOW!!!! I want to SINCERELY thank those of you who responded to my initial e-mail back in December. I hadn't checked the thread since December, and then - Mike e-mailed me and told me what was happening and about the invitation to Bridge Day.
From your e-mail responses back in December, I found and spoke to Jean Boenish, along with some other wonderful people - INCLUDING Mr. Michael Pelkey, who my family hadn't seen in 38 years (I was a mere 4 years old at the time). All of your information, along with Carl's legacy led me on a quest and down a path that has truly filled my heart. The reunion that my dad had with Mike and his family over Memorial Day weekend was emotional and like finding lost family. Both families will be traveling to The Cap (my dad's first time back since the jump and some of our families' first time ever) at the end of September. And then, we will most humbly travel to West Virginia to share in the festivities (and Michael, you KNOW I'm gonna do everything in my power to keep my dad on the ground and ALIVE!!!) I wish I could convey what this all means to Dad (and I'm sure Mike). I can't wait until the two of them share their story with all of you. They tell the story with humor and modesty - they were a little more injured than what Mike conveyed - Mike did end up with a broken foot (or ankle(?)) and my dad broke all the metatarsals in both feet - he walked with a limp and was told he would be a "cripple" for the rest of his life, however, a later jump broke the calcium free, doing (as doctors told him) what they could have never done, allowing him a career in law enforcement.
BLAH, BLAH, BLAH - my intention was to thank all of you for for your GENEROUS invitations and hospitality and to tell you that WE WILL BE THERE and I can't wait!!!!!!

With much gratitude - Tina Schubert Lindebaum

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