On Friday, September 16th at 9:30 am, the clock started for what would become, 24 hours later, a new world record. Danny Weiland, 31, a good friend and BASE jumper from Denver, Colorado, completed 61 jumps from the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls, Idaho and hiked out of the canyon under his own power after each jump. While he did climb a total of 29,646 vertical feet (higher than the summit of Mt. Everest from sea level), he didn’t do it alone.
With more than a dozen people at his side, packing parachutes, transporting gear, feeding him snacks and electrolyte drinks, and checking his gear over before each jump, Danny had plenty of support. Getting everyone together to achieve this goal was kind of the whole point of the endeavor. It has been such a rough summer for BASE jumping with many fatalities hitting really close to home. Losing friends, especially really really really good people, is so hard, but one of the best ways to get through the negative emotions is to inundate yourself with positive ones. Getting together with friends to achieve a common goal is one of the best ways to do that. I truly commend Danny for not only his physical accomplishment, but also for bringing together all these amazing people to celebrate community and friendship.
One of the most difficult things about being immersed in the BASE jumping community can often times be one of the most amazing things as well. BASE jumpers maintain a very mature and calculated perspective on their actions. We’re all responsible for our own choices, but it’s difficult to accept and fully support the choices that other people make, especially people we love. This is the BASE jumper’s paradox: loving someone so unequivocally, with that love buttressed by these incredible shared experiences and then facing the very real danger of losing that person while he or she pursues BASE. In the end, it becomes very apparent that the BASE community itself is built on love, it exudes love, so much so that people who find themselves in the community are stricken with amazement. Danny’s record was a celebration of that love, and a testament of the power of this community.
A huge thanks to Danny for inviting me out there to shoot the record! I still can’t comprehend the amount of effort required to complete this feat, the most jumps I ever did off the bridge in a day was 10, and I was exhausted! It was an honor to be involved, and I can’t wait to see what Danny comes up with next.