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swovelin

Anyone Remember El Cap Numbers?

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"We had to wait all day for our Court appearance before the soon-to-be-infamous Judge Pitts. We were last on the Court Docket,..."

I got a chuckle out of this, especially the part of waiting all day.

Prior to the days of jump permits, four of us from CT were apprehended on top of El Cap. It was a Thursday afternoon; we were planning to spend the night and jump first thing in the morning.

We were arrested and flown off the mountain via helicopter and taken to jail. We spent the next four days in "the slammer" and didn't see the judge until Monday afternoon!! When the charges were read and we were asked how we would plead, we requested and received a change of venue. This was on advice from Carl Boenish and his attorney.

We were released but the rangers kept our gear. We had to fly back to California from the east coast a few weeks later for our court appearance in federal court. I think that was in Fresno.

Two trips to California from CT with the various expenses, 4-5 days in jail, attorney's fees, a fine, and I never did get to make the jump. We did get our gear back eventually.
"A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition"...Rudyard Kipling

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A few years ago Gary Dourise showed up at Elsinore and gave me an official card, signed by Carl Boenish with my #84 on it. The card had been given to him by Jeanie Boenish because Gary knew me.
The jump was made in the summer of '80 just before it became legal, by three ghouls. Connie Tibbits, Vern Weincauf (sp) and I did it on a whim, between Grand Canyon River trips. We did it at sunrise and got away clean. Call Gary, he may have yours.

Here is one that will probably stir some controversy. In 1981, June, Coolidge Az. regulars Tom Bollinger. J.D. Painter and I jumped Angel Falls and claimed numbers 1,2,and 3. Few have heard the story, but it is a hoot. Basically we didn't ask for permission and since no one saw the jumps, were told to leave and not come back. Tom Sanders saw the video many years later and issued us Official Certificates with those numbers. I've always wondered who else has 1,2 and 3.
I loved it for many years. i quit but still am interested in it and my old friends.

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In 1981, June, Coolidge Az. regulars Tom Bollinger. J.D. Painter and I jumped Angel Falls and claimed numbers 1,2,and 3.
_______________________________________________

I though it was Jerry Bird who jumped first from Angel falls back in 1980 ? I remember he mentionned to me in september 1980 in Z Hills ..

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I would not dispute Jerry Bird, if he laid claim to it, I've never discussed it with him. We did it June 12, 1981.

I always thought that some of Tom Sanders people had laid claim to it, but he (after viewing our footage) made up some "official" looking plaques with calligraphy and a photo of the falls and numbers 1,2, and 3 on them. I figured Tom Sanders had to have the straight scoop on it.
Maybe the numbers should be annotated with something like T.S.
I loved it for many years. i quit but still am interested in it and my old friends.

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I met Carl Boenish at the Easter Boogie at Z-Hills the day he showed his "New" film of the El Cap jumps. He saw me doing some tumbling passes on the grass in the packing area. After seeing the movie, he and another person (Can't remember his name) tried convincing me that I should go with them to make some base jumps... They had some "great ideas" for my tumbling skills. I've always wondered if I should've gone?

Anyway, since that film, I've always wanted to jump El Cap. So I would agree that Carl inspired many of the jumpers that traveled to Yosemite.

What are chances of making El Cap leagle again??
Birdshit & Fools Productions

"Son, only two things fall from the sky."

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I am not quite positive on this one, since I remember I was in Z Hills in september 1980 and then december 1982, both times Jerry Bird was there, I could be confused in between dates, but for sure I remember the film Jerry Bird made where I can still see him throwing rock from the top of Angel falls before jumping, so I would say, the film will tell the dates better, in february 90 I jumped Angel Falls and Jimmy Marll our guide at this time also mentionned Jerry as the first one to jumped off, but this is not for sure either .

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Huh? Well anything is possible. Information traveled at a different pace in those days. Our footage was pretty disappointing and we had no interest in "claiming." So.... I felt like we must have been the first when Tom Sanders made us these nice "suitable for framing" Certs. in the '90's.

I hope you come up with the name of the film with Bird hucking rocks off the falls. I'd like to see it. In any event, to be remembered in the skydiving world as 'a guy who mistakenly claimed' isn't all that bad.

Now I'm gonna sound like a real geek. Bird is still alive, right?

Cheers
Al

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I loved it for many years. i quit but still am interested in it and my old friends.

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Bird is still alive, right?
_________________________________________________

I guess so, last time I heard about him (in 2003!), he was a taxi cab somewhere in Florida !
I have no idea about the name of the movie, the weird thing is : back at this time the movie was made with real film cameras (35 millimeters) to be divulgued worlwide and it looks like I am the only one who has seen it... I am getting confused, probably someone else who was hanging around Z Hills beginning of the eighties has seen it, there was used to show it at the drop zone...

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Well all right. I'm sure there is a lesson in this somewhere.
1. If you're the first, and no one knows, you're irrelevant.
2. If you are first and someone knows ii, you end up driving a cab.
Hell if I know.
I guess in the final analysis, this should have had a forum of it's own. I apologize to Jerry Swovlen for squandering the space, on this subject.
I'll just slip into BASE jumping obscurity, happy to have muddied the water, just a bit.

Blue Sky
Al
D-6257, AF #3 or 5 or 6 or something like that.
I loved it for many years. i quit but still am interested in it and my old friends.

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Bird is still alive, right?
_________________________________________________

I guess so, last time I heard about him (in 2003!), he was a taxi cab somewhere in Florida !
I have no idea about the name of the movie, the weird thing is : back at this time the movie was made with real film cameras (35 millimeters) to be divulgued worlwide and it looks like I am the only one who has seen it... I am getting confused, probably someone else who was hanging around Z Hills beginning of the eighties has seen it, there was used to show it at the drop zone...



Hey Eric, don't be confused anymore! I remember seeing that movie at Z-hills as well. I teased Bird because he almost did an unintentional front loop right after exit.

But what I don’t remember is Bird or the group he was with being the very first people to jump Angle Falls. They might have been on Tom Sanders first trip down there, but I’m pretty sure it had been jumped previously.

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Hi Jack ( I always like doing that B| ),

I 'seem to remember' something about Sylvia Winiger, the Swiss girl, who used to work for National Parachute Supply as being one of the firsters to jump Angel Falls.

Any idea about that?

JerryBaumchen




No Jerry, I have no memory about who was first. Maybe a search or post in BASE Jumper.com can clear that up.

And don't say HiJack to a pilot!!!:o

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Yo Al!

No apology necessary at all!

I've enjoyed the stories about Angel Falls BASE pioneers; I had no idea that YOU were one of the first to jump AF! (I didn't get to jump AF until 2005; what an amazing jump!)

I'll ask around and see what I can learn about who might possibly have claimed Angel Falls #1

Blue Skies,

Jerry

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Yea, well I stick to my story, June 1981, we slipped in and were told to leave after the jumps. It was the adventure of my life. and I can piss farther than that Rodofko Gerst guy.
Seriously, at this point, even though he's mistaken, I wish him well. He's living his dream in a third world country, where a man has to be pretty agro to get anywhere. It's great that it's worked out to be legal and everyone can jump it if they have the time and money. He can probably work it into an exclusive trade agreement with that "President For Life" J.C. Chaves fella and make a good living. So Blu Sky, Senior Gersti, but Tom Bollinger is the first.
Al
A.F.#3



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I loved it for many years. i quit but still am interested in it and my old friends.

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Hello all !!!! Im Ana Dao from Venezuela!
You are right about the Angel Falls first jumps !!!

From what I´ve heard what happenned is that when the Tom Sanders group went there in 1983 (including in this group Jerry Bird, Carl Boenish, Rodolfo Gerstl, Anibal Dao my father, Miguel Dao my oncle, Max Botto and Pedro Luis Gonzalez among others) they didnt know that there was already a group that jumped before them so by that time they thought they were the firsts!!!!

But after the years passed and they found out they totally recognized the big adventurers !!! and so Tom gave them this certificates with numbers 1, 2 and 3!!!!

That must have been so cool so I take the opportunity to Congratulate you guys !!!!

About Rodolfo´s site I beleive he uses that as a marketing issue but Im sure he knows the story very well and also that he doesnt do it to show off !!! knowing him all my life I can tell you he is a great and cool guy!!

For my self Im so happy that in 2006 I had the big opportunity and a dream come true of doing a 2-way with my father from the falls!!!! Really one of the most beautiful experiences in my whole life!!!!

I share with you the video I made about our jump, it is online at:

http://www.lidarus.com/generations.html

I also came back this january and did the hike with some good friends, that was really waooooooooooooo!!!!!!
We will be soon editing a nice video from this experience I hope to share with you too!!!!

I hope I contributed a little bit to clarify some doubts hahahaha by the way the movie the did by that time is very nice !!!! I use some parts in the video I made in 2006 !!! You will see!!!!

So enjoyyyyy and keep on flying!!!!
Cheers and Blue Skies!!!!!
Ana

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Bird is still alive, right?
_________________________________________________

I guess so, last time I heard about him (in 2003!), he was a taxi cab somewhere in Florida !
I have no idea about the name of the movie, the weird thing is : back at this time the movie was made with real film cameras (35 millimeters) to be divulgued worlwide and it looks like I am the only one who has seen it... I am getting confused, probably someone else who was hanging around Z Hills beginning of the eighties has seen it, there was used to show it at the drop zone...



as of last easter he was. he showed up at z-hills and held court, telling stories for quite awhile. unfortunately, i missed it because my brother decided to take a trip to the hospital. by the time we got back, he was gone.
"Hang on a sec, the young'uns are throwin' beer cans at a golf cart."
MB4252 TDS699
killing threads since 2001

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Bird is still alive, right?
_________________________________________________

I guess so, last time I heard about him (in 2003!), he was a taxi cab somewhere in Florida !
I have no idea about the name of the movie, the weird thing is : back at this time the movie was made with real film cameras (35 millimeters) to be divulgued worlwide and it looks like I am the only one who has seen it... I am getting confused, probably someone else who was hanging around Z Hills beginning of the eighties has seen it, there was used to show it at the drop zone...



as of last easter he was. he showed up at z-hills and held court, telling stories for quite awhile. unfortunately, i missed it because my brother decided to take a trip to the hospital. by the time we got back, he was gone.



Wow Jerry was telling us the story of his Angel Falls trip last Saturday in the Muff trailer at Z-Hills. I don't think he claimed to be the first. He says they started out with a small group of jumpers going to the Falls and ended up with 24 or so people counting the wives and girlfiends and how it became a big production. He promised to look for the video to show us.
You can't be drunk all day if you don't start early!

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Does anyone here remember the old system of "El Capitan BASE Numbers?" As we know, BASE was 'legal' off El Cap only for a brief, glorious moment in the summer of 1980; Alas.

But, IIRC, over a period of years, several hundred jumpers (skydivers) earned their El Cap #s by making that one BASE jump.

I'm one of the very lucky ones; I jumped El Cap in broad daylight on August 25, 1980. (But, I have absolutely no idea what my El Cap # is. Dang.)

Here's the challenge: Is there anyone here who can actually claim to remember his/her own El Cap #? If so, please share the story. (Anonymously, if you like.)

Blue skies,

J



IIRC, I'm EC #45... September 1979. This was one month after I made my first BASE jump with Carl, Dave Blattel and John Noak at the Royal Gorge Bridge. Carl organized the El Cap trip, with Mike Burt, me, Jeff Fisher, Jim Wallace, John Noak and a junior high music teacher whuffo to "ground crew." Then Carl couldn't go, but the rest of us went anyway.

Someone tipped off the rangers, and they swooped in just before we were going to jump, pinning us up against the edge with nowhere to go (LOL).

I was the only one geared up, so I bid the "gentlemen" to "have a nice day" and off I went. Got caught later on at the bottom and spent a night in the John Muir Hotel, then hitchhiked home with Jim after Mike Burt was re-arrested for (allegedly) stealing his own gear from the evidence room... or something like that.

B|
SCR-6933 / SCS-3463 / D-5533 / BASE 44 / CCS-37 / 82d Airborne (Ret.)

"The beginning of wisdom is to first call things by their right names."

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