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jimmyh

Value (or not) of The List (World BASE Fatality List)

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however going over emergency prcedures is asking a student to visualize certain types of scenarios during which he or she will need to make proactive decisions in order to stay alive.

Some of this other death stuff seems like it's asking a cloud of death to constantly hang over your head, and visualising your death to the point where you are writing about yourself as if you are already gone. ick.

Do you have them write a letter for each scenario so that their loved ones will more clearly understand why they died? Like a line over letter, a no/low pull letter, an object strike letter. Or a "hey I was just being a complete jackass and I did a really, really stupid thing, so now I'm dead."

Or do you have them write to their family that now that they are dead, they should look up the BASE fatality list to get the details?


Oh and about that main lift web thing. It just dawned on me that you might think I was unaware that Clair's main lift web was twisted? That it is an indication of a lack of attention to detail?

No. We couldn't find a rig small enough for her, and that was when no one was willing yet to make her one (understandably so), and the one we were using was just a little too big so that the chest strap kept smacking her in the face on opening. So we put a twist in each side of the main lift web to take out about an inch. It was intentional. Good idea? Well it worked while we needed it to.

Oh and the Mac thing and whether the jumper in question has enough experience to begin his BASE career. I meant that by MAC's standards he surely has enough experience to begin. Not by mine. And by begin his BASE career, I mean asking around to see who might be able to help him and guide him a little bit because as far as I know, that is all that he was doing when Mac got pissed at me.

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I thought the letter was:

A. To help your family come to grasp with why exactly you were BASE jumping in the first place.

B. In doing so, to hopefully persuade a grieving family member not to go on a tangent sueing gear manufacturers and bombarding every elected and/or public official with correspondence attempting to outlaw BASE more than it already is.
Get in - Get off - Get away....repeat as neccessary

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...write a letter for...



Here's a rough summary of the instructions I give them:

Write a letter to your family explaining that you have died BASE jumping.

At a minimum, include:
a) the fact that you have died
b) a statement that you understood the risks you were taking
c) a request that they not try to hold anyone else responsible for your actions
d) some explanation of why you wanted to BASE jump, and what you hoped to get out of it

I also recommend you include:
a) some personal things
b) a statement that you love them
c) a statement that they shouldn't hold themselves responsible for what you have chosen to do


Here's my reasoning for doing this exercise:

1) It acts as my waiver. A handwritten letter explaining that you know the risks (including death) is going to be much stronger in court than a "check off, initial and sign" type waiver.

2) The families of deceased jumpers have tried to sue other jumpers, close objects, and lobby against jumping generally. Hopefully, this will help your family understand, and reduce those types of problems.

3) I want my students to honestly evaluate the risks and rewards of BASE jumping, and weigh them against other things in their lives. BASE jumping is not your entire life, and especially if you have responsibilities (to children, primarily), it is important that you honestly assess the risks and decide that they are really worth the rewards, for you. Those risks include the impact on your family if you are hurt or killed.

4) If someone dies BASE jumping, I want the family to have some kind of communication from them, which can help in the grieving process.



I tell them all of this before they write the letter. I've had students who wrote short notes just hitting the points I asked for, but most of them take longer, and write things that are more deeply personal and meaningful. I've also had more than one student openly crying by the time they finished writing. I've never had a student tell me they thought writing this was a waste of their time, though, or that they didn't want to, or that they regretted writing it.
-- Tom Aiello

[email protected]
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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This is Shakespeare.

It's things like this that make me think there should be a private forum for BASE instructors.

God job Tom.

I hadn't thought about it like that.
Looks like a death sandwich without the bread - Steve Deadman Morrell, BASE 174

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This is Shakespeare.

It's things like this that make me think there should be a private forum for BASE instructors.

God job Tom.

I hadn't thought about it like that.



If this were a private forum, there might well be several BASE instructors worldwide who perhaps have never contemplated these issues that maybe never would.

You might argue that that subset would be least receptive to this concept anyway, but I'd suggest that even discussing the letter with a new student is beneficial to both, even if they decide not to write the letter.

Taken to extreme (although this example is not hypothetical) a BASE instructor or mentor that is young and immature would read that explanation for the letter and at least briefly glimpse something of the magnitude of responsibilty that they're taking on.

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Tom's letter requirement was a factor in which FJC I signed up for, as well as references from friends about BASE instructors. I also thought it was just a letter to your family, I never realized that is was a "now that I'm dead" letter.

When I was looking for a FJC, I had not yet told my parents I was skydiving, or planning on BASE jumping. I did tell them right after my first skydive, which was 6 years before my second, and I knew they didn't approve of me doing it again.

I told my parents about everything the week before Bridge Day. After finding out that I had been skydiving almost every weekend for a couple years, my mom asked "why don't you just go jump off a bridge", and I responded, "that's what I'm doing next weekend". At least this made skydiving and flying small airplanes seem safe in comparison to BASE.

They're not happy about me BASE jumping, being a pilot, or skydiving, but at least they now know that I do it because I enjoy it. I can guess that they would throw a fit and possibly sue someone if I went in. They did try to sue some people after a major skiing accident I had when I was 13, but eventually gave up on the case.

This post doesn't really have a point, I guess I should probably write a will, talk more to my parents about what to do if I go in, and leave instructions for what to do after I die. I'll try my best not to, but I would want the real story on Nick's BFL.

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They're not happy about me BASE jumping, being a pilot, or skydiving, but at least they now know that I do it because I enjoy it. I can guess that they would throw a fit and possibly sue someone if I went in. They did try to sue some people after a major skiing accident I had when I was 13, but eventually gave up on the case..


A lot of people will. The way these families cope with a thing like a child dieing is so insanely wrong.

they will try to find anything. anything at all to get back.

it is never for money, never. it is for revenge.
some even say that it is 'teaching a lesson, so this kind of thing wont happen again' but thats not it

IT IS REVENGE.

please, for the love of god, write a letter. EVERYONE should write a letter, not even BASE jumpers.

a letter stateing that you do not want any legal or civil action to be taken in any way should the event of a death or living will thing happen.

would YOU sue someone? if not, write a letter saying you dont want it to happen.

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didn't mean it that way. just a separate forum for base instructors to exchange ideas and concepts without the fluff and extreme opinions of a bunch of nonjumpers and newer jumpers.
Looks like a death sandwich without the bread - Steve Deadman Morrell, BASE 174

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QuoteTom:

"Some things can be indicative of a lack of attention to detail without being life threatening. It's important to pay attention to those "gentle" reminders, because in BASE, eventually the reminders will stop being gentle."

Tom, another reason why I like your input!

Joy

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Nick and Space, I couldn't agree more. The Fatality List is a part of the history of this wonderfully crazy sport just like the BASE Number list. We of course keep the BASE list names confidential for old traditional values when a lot of cops and bosses didn't think too highly of us outlaw jumpers. As far as the BFL, I really feel the names need to stay on a published list. Many were my friends as well. Nick, take heart, I don't believe that most jumpers favor not having the list. Hell, if you couldn't die, this would be such a boring sport, most of us would be doing something else. If some of the newest jumpers don't understand what we're saying, then maybe the real spirit of what we all knew BASE to be in the first 10 years or so could be getting a bit lost. I hope not, Joy and I still get some great enthusiastic stories. The list needs to stay so some people with common sense enough to know the sport maybe too scary for them will go skydive instead.
Rick
Rick Harrison

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FYI,
I've been eligable for a BASE # for way over a year now, and you know what? I haven't even thought of sending my info into whoever does that list.

It's a Fucking Sport. All of you that are stuck in the 80's are like anchors keeping this sport from launching itself into the future.

I uderstand the desire to keep it a "brotherhood." But guess what? It isn't that anymore. Not only can you guys from the 80's not keep it a "Brotherhood," but those getting into it now can't tap into that "brotherhood" either.

Unlike other sports, I think the smallish apsect of BASE holds a certain appeal. Right on. Every body in the sport will know you by name if not by face, but you better get your name out there quick cuz those days are fading.

Out here in Norcal, new BASE jumpers are multiplying like little gizmos that have had gallons of water poured on them, and some are eating after midnight.

Soon, there will be BASE parks all over the world and more and more sites in the US will open up. Just like wind tunnels which cost a couple of million dollars to make but turn a nice profit. The sport of BASE jumping will be able to come out of the cloak and dagger shadows and hold it's head up at action sports expos all over the world.

There will be competitions and televised events, and athletes from all over the world will be recognised for the time and energy they spent getting good.

I know it sounds disgusting to those of you who love knowing every other person on the BFL, but guess what? It is the future, and no matter what, the future always arrives.

Growing pains always hurt. But it's a hurt that passes and this too shall pass.

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Soon, there will be BASE parks all over the world and more and more sites in the US will open up. Just like wind tunnels which cost a couple of million dollars to make but turn a nice profit. The sport of BASE jumping will be able to come out of the cloak and dagger shadows and hold it's head up at action sports expos all over the world.

There will be competitions and televised events, and athletes from all over the world will be recognised for the time and energy they spent getting good.

I know it sounds disgusting to those of you who love knowing every other person on the BFL, but guess what? It is the future, and no matter what, the future always arrives.


you are welcome to your viewpoint, but I view the state of BASE differently.

many of the most well-known BASE sites throughout the world have had a rash of incidents and accidents. local residents have started grumbling about the wisdom of continuing to let BASE jumpers jump.

even a politician in NYC sought votes recently by endorsing an anti-BASE jumping law.

hopefully, the BFL adds sobriety and thus prevents the incidents and accidents that endanger the sport. the BFL helps keep sites open.

you may see a rash of new jumpers, but do you see a rash of new BASE sites? I don't. I have read about sites put at risk. the successfull high-profile jumping occurs at controlled events (such as KL & BD). carnage is more likely at uncontrolled events (remember last year during the "big" weekends at TF?)

maybe commercial BASE parks will generate enough funds to properly lobby politicians. to bad I know of none. as such, it is incredibly easy for politicians to demagogue the issue. sex may sell, but fear leads to votes. since much of the public fears BASE, some politician will stoke that fear to advance themselves. the best way to get the politicians on our side is via hefty political contributions.

hopefully, people like Jason CAN achieve some success. there are others trying.

several different organizations have been created to change NPS policy. none have succeeded to date. I'm unaware of any activity to open a privately owned object. (maybe the RGB?) in the US, the liability issues will dampen the owner's enthusiasm.

as for competitions, they have been tried. maybe their time will come, but history is against it.

how am I misreading history? you've lived through more of it than I. I'd be happy for you to educate me on how I'm wrong...

until then, I prefer being a realist. I may die on any given jump. I need to structure my life accordingly (respect to those who jump less after gaining children). I need to pick and choose my jumps based on the risk and my skill level. I will reference the BFL to enhance my situational awareness.
DON'T PANIC
The lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.
sloppy habits -> sloppy jumps -> injury or worse

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Mr Halliday ...
you probably are going to be proved right.
(BASE Expos's, Parks, legal events/comps etc)

But to be fair....the attraction to me would always still be meeting up ...maybe somewhere you shouldnt ,making our own assessments on the :
access,jump, landing area, weather conditions....
doing the jump and getting away unhurt and undetected.....with all the emotions you experience with that...
bit of fear, bit of uncertainty...the dry mouth and no spit you have after a long climb....the way your heart races looking over the edge of something new the first time.

For that , anyone I share the work & experience with is my 'brother'
As much as the 'sport' ( I prefer the word discipline myself) might evolve into a big showy, easy access event....I think the hardcore of jumpers will still subscribe to the above....
I could be wrong, please call me on it if I am.
As much as we all might say having something completely legit that we can get an elevator to the top would be great....I think deep down we all know we are missing something else,something special, on those kind of jumps ;)

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I love the idea of a BASEpark, and i would go to one if they existed. but they dont. yet.
My family and other jumpers together have looked at BASE 'parks in the US. and come to two seperate investors for the idea and investment. we were not quite laughed out, but we were laughed at.

would you invest in a park?
we assume a US park, as thats what we looked into.

As are cheap considering the monuments they are. Bs are nearly out of the question, Es are event only, and Ss are as well.

so a BASE park would have to be a modified A. 1,000,000 for a 1700' A.

thats easy.

but i dont want to go skydiving anymore. its to expensive.

but imagine the noobs that would get into it if it cost as much as the big swing at six flags?

no go man.

BASE to me is

"A sport of Kings"... 'lost kings'. -me and a deceased jumper.

and i think it always will be. we are not elitist's, we are the the few, stupid and motivated enough to find that one little place in our psyche, to be absolytly at peace for a few seconds. and have that lightweight feeling in our whole bodies for the next few infinities.

cat and mouse... I dont like to think of it that way, but it kinda fits.

We are a band of brothers. the kind that finds pleasure in defeating gravity and defying the law. not out of a detest for law, but a small pleasurful arguement of validity.

What you said about the "80s jumpers/brothers" and us new ones, you were right. they will never let us in and it will never be as good as it was back then. but they will never have that feeling of light after their first E again. they have something we do not, and weneed to respect them for that. but we deserve rspect for being here now.

the '80s jumpers' want us to treat it like it was the80s, but we cant be in their club. there is a lot of truth to that. but its not totaly there. we all learned from them. if not directly, they paved the way. we are in their club, but no their click.

the way you think of it jimmy, it seems to me at least, the list if continued will just perpetuate what was already learned. and will do little good for education. there could be validity to that. but to a point.

skydiving gear has changed little in the last 20 years. so has the procedures. as much as BASE has in the last 10.

but everyone dies now from being morons and doing the one thing that was screwed into their heads on the first jump, dont turn to low. everyone knows that. everyone thinks about it. but people just keep going in.

hopeless...

BASE is the same way. people justify learning with jump numbers and canopy progression and experience in both feilds, but people go in who are good and educated and current in BASE and Swoop.

hopeless...

new canopy flight classes and FJCs do a lot of good, but they also make it OK to be accelerated into the sports.


...and one day, jimmy, us as well, will grow old. jumper population will rise, gear will keep getting better, people will keep going in. and we, now the '2000s' jumpers will bitch about the next generation of jumpers. and how they are throwing away the brotherhood we had.

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didn't mean it that way. just a separate forum for base instructors to exchange ideas and concepts without the fluff and extreme opinions of a bunch of nonjumpers and newer jumpers.



I'm sorry if I misunderstood you, but my point was that a private forum would be a step backwards. There is no shortage of people that feel in some way ostracised from other jumpers, especially where internet forums are concerned. Maybe they've done some less than ideal jumps and been on the end of some good old fashioned bitching. Maybe they just don't write english well enough to be confidant putting themselves forward to join a private forum. Maybe they just don't feel that they should have to stand any scrutiny before joining a private forum.

For these reasons and others, they would miss out on such useful and thought provoking information and ideas. Some of these exact same people are teaching and mentoring, right now. Many of them read this forum, for entertainment, or to see who's bitching about them at the moment. Take any useful discussion to a private forum and these people will be excluded. The very people perhaps in greatest need of listening to such a discussion.

As far as newer jumpers (and even non jumpers), they all have valid opinions and can sometimes contribute significantly.

I hear what you're saying about the noise ratio: log in here after only a few days and you're not short of posts to read. Not all of it is useful, or even entertaining. It's worth skim reading a few posts in exchange for not missing all the good stuff people put up here.

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jimmyh, getting my BASE # was one of the coolest accomplishments ever for me. Funny thing though, you make it sound like BASE #'s, Duran Duran and Ronald Reagan are all part of the same tired old scene. Sorry you feel that way even if you aren't. And sorry you're breeding endless new jumpers in SoCal, most of the rest of the States have growth more in control I think.

Are you coming to the GoFast Games so I can see this hotshit new futuristic sport you're apart of. I'll be be there with my Wonderhog and a Pursuit 215 kickin it all old school, but I'd love to see how the kings of this futuristic new wave get it done. I'll bring my Cyndi Lauper records.

Peace and love jimmyh, just funnin ya!

edit to add: BASE#637 BABY!!!!!!!!!
"It takes a big man to cry, it takes an even bigger man to make that big man cry"

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*** I've been eligable for a BASE # for way over a year now, and you know what? I haven't even thought of sending my info into whoever does that list.

I guess you don't know who keeps the # list just like you didn't know who kept the BFL.

You've been talking about base for a year or 2 now about how its the next big thing. May it was for you, but its been around in the same form for a long time. If you have jumpers multiplying all over Norcal, its because you are pushing the sport on people so they can see how rad you are.

BASE parks? There isn't even one in the planning stages. They economics are not even close to being workable. Economic and business reality eludes you if you really believe that these things are coming "all over the world"

Fortunately there are level headed jumpers out there getting events organized at really nice objects. They are the true stuwarts of the sports and are the ones making things happen for others.

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things are about the get interesting. especially regarding the base park.

old jumpers being anchors? hey, who else jumps from the top of moving trains, climbs the exterior of buildings and jumps from a wooden plank with cops at the top with signs saying "you are guilty of trespassing, does twop jumps (two on one parachute), climbs technical routes with a rig to jump, defines brand new highly technical sites... who eludes the guards and jumps buildings night after night. not many new jumpers. most just drive to the same old site day after day, especially if it's legal. who walks off a cliff on stilts (phil smith, base 1), who does it with a pogo stick, or phil mayfield (base 2) who walked off of the edge of the big cliff in Yosemite on his hands while wearing a huge movie camera on his head, jumped off the holding unit at Kennedy Space Center with the shuttle attached, who jumps into volcanos? there are true adventurers among the newer ones but it seems like fewer. arials were not a real possibility in the past but linked arials are the way of the future. and birdman jumps. the norgies are really impressing me with their jumping. i get chills of excitement when i see their hot shit wingsuiting. the aussies are pretty hot stuff too. god i love this sport.

keep the list.

if you don't like, don't read it and don't let your students read it. PERIOD.
Looks like a death sandwich without the bread - Steve Deadman Morrell, BASE 174

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