The Cave has been a personal obsession of mine since1994 when I started base-jumping. A friend of mine, Alistair B, had the original idea to jump the cave after he static line jumped a tall building with a Para Commander in 1986. He thought the cave could be jumped with a round parachute. A Texas Caving Team successfully repelled and jugged out of the cave. Shortly after that they gave Alistair the information and schematic of the cave. After several years of looking for sponsors and pitching the idea for the project, he gave me the file and schematic of the cave. Mark L a friend of mine and I were planning an expedition to the cave when BJ in a televised stunt, jumped the cave from a helicopter. Shortly after that Patrick D and Mark H were the first to base-jump the cave in a sponsored expedition by Sector Watch Co. This didn’t discourage us on our quest to jump that formidable beast. From the first time I visited the cave I knew it was a magic and fragile place. The black & white “Swift” swallows and the florescent green parrots that live in and around the top edge of the cave were a special sight to see. I felt that making a base jump there was a special thing and a site not to be abused. I knew even if we took all the precautions to respect the environment and the birds we were still disturbing the natural habitat of the cave. The formula of environment, economy, and the fun factor comes into play. I had, and still do have mixed feelings about jumping the cave. I’m not the type of person that would shoot and kill a wild animal, but I do fly fish and abalone dive, so that makes me a hypocrite. I feel lucky to have made over 25 jumps into that magical place. With over 300 base jumps I still rank the cave at number 1.
I’m posting this to give a little history of jumping the cave and because I hope the Mexican government will grant limited access to the cave with hard guidelines to respect the environment, the local people and customs. That might be like herding cats, I still remember the spray painted rocks “Why fall Rock Calls That’s All” on the top of a famous cliff and the jumpers that cut the chain on a gate to a fire road to drive a flat bed truck with a load of jumpers to save the three mile hike to the trial head. That type of behavior has already started at the cave. On a base trip to the cave in 99 on my rappel to the cave floor to mark out the landing area with temporary caution tape, there was a 50 ft. area that was cleared out with rocks forming the words “Spiders From Mars” in big letters. I heard a story from a local in the town of Aquismon that a drunk base jumper was riding round the town square on the hood of a car naked. It gave me that sinking feeling that our time there would be short lived. Cavers have a saying, “Take only pictures Leave only foot prints”
I hope we will regain permission to jump the cave again, but I think it’s going to be like getting permission to jump in National Parks in the US.