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NickDG

Greenie . . .

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A few hundred of us need to show up at the "General Plan Meeting" and man, where do I sign up for the National Paratrooper Association . . .

Another bit is while they've cited, chased, and otherwise harassed us for years, they don't mind pimping the bridge for Hollywood money. In the end, at sites like this it won’t be our adding another chapter to the book of grand human accomplishments, or doing what so many said shouldn't and couldn’t be done that will win the day. It'll be the fact that opening this place for everyday use will line their pockets. It's sad that's how it works, but when the time comes and we make "the deal" let's make sure we don’t give away the store. We've a real chance to have access here more on our terms than theirs . . .

NickD :)BASE 194

http://www.auburnjournal.com/articles/2005/06/06/news/top_stories/01bridge06.txt

A tale of two bridges - Off-limits on Foresthill Bridge, parachutists can leap from Idaho span

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
Sunday, June 5, 2005 11:39 PM PDT

An unidentified BASE jumper prepares to jump off the steel trusses of the Foresthill bridge. The jump was taken under a county-issued permit. Auburn Journal file photo
In a tale of two bridges, Twin Falls, Idaho offers unlimited opportunities for BASE jumpers while the Foresthill bridge, near Auburn, remains off-limits to daredevil parachutists.

Indications are that - other than special permits revolving around a commercial or film shoot - the Foresthill span will continue to be off-limits to BASE jumping.

Twin Falls allows jumps 24/7 without a permit. Law enforcement acts on Placer County ordinances banning any sport jumping from the Foresthill bridge.

Supervisor Bruce Kranz, whose district takes in the bridge, said he's satisfied with the measures in place and turning portions of it into a drop zone wouldn't be appropriate. Placer County owns the bridge and issues permits related to filming for jumping activities.

"I'd just as soon not turn it into a recreational activity," Kranz said. "It's there for transportation purposes - not for a spectacle."

On the ground, the state Parks Department promises a citation and confiscation of parachute gear.

Ranger Jill Dampier, supervisor for the Auburn State Recreation Area, said jumping or diving earns a citation in the park so BASE jumpers fall under that section of Recreation Area regulations. On a second front, parachute gear can be confiscated under anti-littering regulations because anything dropped from the bridge is considered litter.

"It's illegal to do anything but look over the bridge," Dampier said.

It hasn't always been that way.

At 730 feet above the north fork of the American River, the bridge is the equivalent of nearly 2½ football fields high. By comparison, the Washington Monument is 555 feet above the ground at its highest.

For the first decade of its existence, the bridge was wide open for jumps and was quickly gaining a reputation as a destination before law enforcement stepped in.

The steel deck, truss bridge was completed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in 1973. Eleven years after the bridge was dedicated, Placer County law enforcement officials successfully lobbied for adoption of an emergency ordinance to discourage BASE jumping.

Among the arguments for the ordinance was that the National Paratroopers Association had listed is as one of the choice jump locations in the United States. The bridge is the third highest in the United States.

In 1984, the county Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance that banned the use of county bridges for recreational flight. Recreational flight includes parachuting, para-sailing, hang-gliding, bungee jumping, ballooning and launching ultralight aircraft. An infraction is punishable as a misdemeanor.

Over the years, the bridge has been used several times for spectacular stunts. Beverly Lewis, director of the Placer County-Lake Tahoe Film Office, said memorable jumps with county permits have included sailing a car and driver off the span for the movie "XXX" and premier BASE jumper Dave Barlia's giant sling-shot ride off the bridge at 100 mph for the NBC program "Master of Gravity."

The attraction for film-makers goes beyond the incredible scenery and the length of the jump, Lewis said.

"It's convenient to LA productions and it's doable," she said. "We have a workable system for commercial filming."

Bruce Cosgrove, Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce executive director, has heard discussions about the possibilities of the bridge during the more than 20 years he has held the post. He agrees that the span holds promise as a destination for the global community of BASE jumpers but not necessarily to the same degree as Twin Falls. Cosgrove said an event could tap into the expertise of Martin Tilley, who is based in Auburn and is one of the leading BASE jumpers.

"It probably doesn't lend itself to unlimited access but I honestly believe we should take a hard look at special events," Cosgrove said. "The bridge is a worldwide attraction and it can be done safely."

Cosgrove said one possibility is a yearly exhibition tied in to Auburn's position as Endurance Capital of the World.

Dampier said that the question of allowing more extensive BASE jumping activity still has a number of questions on safety, the environment and time frame to address.

"It doesn't seem doable because of terrain and access," Dampier said. "We don't have trails out of many areas and the canyon is steep. It's not an easy climb and we have to look at degradation of the resource."

Questions of when to allow jumping would also have to revolve around how fast the north fork is flowing, she added. During film shoots, kayakers are positioned in the water to pull out BASE jumpers who might stray into the water. To move forward on an event, organizers would initially need Placer County approvals. BASE jumping would also need to be incorporated into a new plan for recreational uses in the park now being prepared.

"Right now, the facility isn't designed for it but if people want to have it, they can bring it up in our general plan process," Dampier said.

The Journal's Gus Thomson can be reached at [email protected]

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This brings up an interesting topic -- when were the first jumps made at Auburn? This is around the era when Owen Quinn jumped the WTC or that construction worker parachuted from a crane during construction of the CN Tower. It even predates the New River Gorge Bridge.

Anyone know who made the first leap(s) and when? There must be some good stories involved -- might even have been round parachutes...

Skypuppy
If some old guy can do it then obviously it can't be very extreme. Otherwise he'd already be dead.
Bruce McConkey 'I thought we were gonna die, and I couldn't think of anyone

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>>You know I've often wondered why that object doesn't get legalized along the same lines as TF, it's a fun safe-ish place to jump. I think Dennis organized some legal events there in the mid 90's, with judges even, in black and white striped shirts. It'd be nice to lobby the parks for access, citing the increased tourist income Auburn would recieve, as TF has. Someday maybe.

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I've always thought it went Royal Gorge in 1970, New River Gorge in 1979, and then Greenie sometime in the mid-1980s. I didn't know about Greenie until 1986 or 87 when Mike Allen and some visiting Brits did a widely circulated video. But, I'd bet the locals are jumping prior to this and keeping it secret . . . but I don’t know how early or who made the first jump. Adam or Dennis might know . . .

The IPBC (I think that's The International Pro BASE Circuit) held a "legal" event/competition at Greenie in the summer of 1998 and we all thought for sure it was the beginning of "Bridge Day West."

Anyway, this morning I received an e-mail from someone I know and trust saying regardless of what happens, and whatever agreement is reached, jumping in the "usual manner" will continue. The lesson here is a model, I hope, for future access agreements. Make your deal, but don't allow yourself to be pressured into becoming the BASE police . . .

NickD :)BASE 194

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I didn't know about Greenie until 1986 or 87 when Mike Allen and some visiting Brits did a widely circulated video. But, I'd bet the locals are jumping prior to this and keeping it secret . . . but I don’t know how early or who made the first jump. Adam or Dennis might know . . .


i made my 1st jump there in oct 82 with bK BASE #17.
by that time it was being jumped ocasionally by so. cal. locals such as Peter H and Mark S.

Clem might be a good source for nor. cal. info.
i don't think there was a lot of activity there until late 1980 ish

National Paratroopers Association ??????????????????
kleggo

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Thanks for the memory jog, Mark S. told me about those jumps. BTW I see Peter from time to time around San Diego.

Someone else also wrote to say someone did an early jump when the Bridge was under construction. This would have been with gut gear and from one of the pillers. circa 1971 . . .

BTW, if BASE jumping was put on scale you'd have Kleggo on one end, a man who's quietly doing the deed longer than almost anyone I know and doing it undercover, the old school way. On the other end of the scale would be Miles D.

Hero to Zero all in one neat package . . .

NickD :)BASE 194

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Someone else also wrote to say someone did an early jump when the Bridge was under construction. This would have been with gut gear and from one of the pillers. circa 1971 . . .



Wow. The pillars are just under/over 400 ft.

I have no idea how he got up there with testicles that large.
-- Tom Aiello

[email protected]
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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Someone else also wrote to say someone did an early jump when the Bridge was under construction. This would have been with gut gear and from one of the pillers. circa 1971 . . .



>>Wow that's quite a feat, wouldn't that be one of the earliest BASE-jumps? I didn't think CB made the first El-Cap jump until 1978 or so.

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Pillar = 403 ft. as per the prints.



www.asylumbase.com

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The very first fixed object parachute jumps were done centuries ago. The first ones where clear photographic evidence exists are from 1912. There is a reported earlier jump in France from a building and there's supposed to be a photo I've never seen, but others have. Another fellow did the first indoor fixed object jump (from the rafters of a blimp hangar) in 1949. The first semi-modern jumps are from the Italian Dolomites in the late 1950s and at El Cap in 1966. The first modern jumps, or at least the jumps most like the ones we do today, are Carl Boenish's El Cap loads from 1978. Fixed object parachute jumping has a long and storied history that's all but ignored in modern history texts. And also by some modern jumpers who kind of act like they invented it all . . .

NickD :)BASE 194

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Fixed object parachute jumping has a long and storied history that's all but ignored in modern history texts.



>>Well I'm hoping you can change that with your book! ;) I'd definetly like to hear about Dennis hiding out in the bush pounding out a 100 jumps a season all the while evading the NPS. I also find it interesting that the greenie has been jumped for over 30 years, even before it was completed. If that bridge could talk...

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With permission, the first person to claim a jump from Greenie,or FHB in my logbook is an Army Sp. Forces Ret. fellow named Ken Edsburg. He says that on Oct 14, 1973, he static-lined a 28' "LL" and landed in the water on purpose as that was the softest area....He said he had to "wait until they took the safety nets down, then I'll go". This I have heard first hand, so there you have it.

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Cool . . .

Thanks for that, and man, Go Army . . .

NickD :)BASE 194

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>>Pete! See I just knew you were lurking out there somewhere! :D
Man that's one logbook I wouldn't mind having a read-through oneday, much respect to Mr. Edsburg. Hope your shoulder is treating you right and thanks for the bit of history.

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From the fall of 1981 untill the summer of 1984 myself and many other's we're making BASE Jumps off this 710' northern California Bridge, it was just so Cool !
Bill Dause my Skydiving Mentor operates a Parachute Center an hour or so away and he was so nice to us when we got back from jumping the Greenie.
One time when David B Grant and Myself we're discreetly BASE Packing on the side of the Parachute Center's Building, Bill came strolling around the corner, David and I looked at each other thinking something like, oops we're in trouble now ! Bill walked up and checked out my unheard of at the Time, a 52" Yellow Pilot Chute made by Hank Acustio, (I think that's how you spell Hank's last name) a Company called Para Inovator's, from Southern California.
Bill looked at both us then and never questioned us. He's so cool !
David and Myself proceeded to make many Jumps off the Greenie and the 2 Very Tall Antenna Towers very close to Bill's Parachute Center.
Bill Dause treated both David and I with Respect !
I Highly recommend Bill's Parachute Center to any would be Skydiver or BASE Jumper.
Gerald Harendza BASE # 75

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Bill is an odd fish. He has a reputation for being pretty anti-BASE, and has apparently thrown BASE jumpers off his DZ for packing BASE rigs there. But when I was making my 2nd BASE jump, I was packing in his bunk room (where I did not live), and he wandered in and helped me straighten out my lines, then told me not to pack my BASE rig on his DZ anymore. I believe his exact words were "take that to the bridge, or wherever you people go."
-- Tom Aiello

[email protected]
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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Hello,
That was a long time ago.
Bill is super BASE friendly now.
He is also digging on the wingsuits.
Bill is the schnitzel!
Avery
==================================

I've got all I need, Jesus and gravity. Dolly Parton

http://www.AveryBadenhop.com

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