Not For Weddings: The Wing Suit

As you might know I am a paraglider pilot. Since I am a child I was always fascinated by flying. When I was 16 years old I took several lessons with an instructor in a little airplane. Well, actually I was able to fly before I was able to drive a car :-)

I live in Switzerland and was always fascinated by the mountains. And paragliding seemed to be the best way to fly, the ultimate combination. You’re in the mountains, sitting in a flowery meadow, breathing fresh air. The sky is blue, the sun is shining and you hear the bells of the cows (yes, the cows have bells in Switzerland). And when you enjoyed it enough, you take your little airplane from your rucksack and fly down, silently, just the birds and the wind accompanies you. Wow.

With the paraglider you don’t jump from the mountains. You take off. Like a plane. Base jumpers, they jump. And they are very common near the place where I live. The Lauterbrunnen Wall in the Bernese Oberland is world-famous. Not only because it inspired Tolkien when he wrote “The Lord of the Rings”. Because the mountains are so steep in this U-shaped valley it is the perfect place for base jumping. Every year several base jumpers from other countries die in an accident. The authorities are discussing if they should forbid base jumping in the valley, but as they know they would do it anyway they decided not to do it.

I have seen many base jumps but nothing like this. This is really sick!

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