On a mission for death

Yesterday we brought to you part 1 of the life of Jeb Corliss – below is part 2. Corliss is arguably the world’s most renowned base jumper and in this section he talks about his sport.

From a very early age Corliss was, in his own words ‘on a mission for death, a walking dead person’ but in his late teens he saw a documentary about base jumping. BASE, an acronym for Building, Antenna,Span, Earth is an extreme sport where you jump off a fixed object like a mountain, bridge or skyscraper, you freefall, reach 80mph in 5 seconds and terminal velocity 3 seconds later and then if you have time you deploy your parachute. The rush is still not over as you have to have a successful parachute pull, land safely and be on your guard against sudden and unexpected wind gusts.

This video shows, amongst others, Corliss’ base jumps from the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Golden Gate Bridge in California and the Howick Falls in South Africa. It was this last jump which ended in near fatality – a broken foot, knee cap and back (in three places) and whilst Corliss waited, helpless in the water for over an hour, for his buddies to come to his rescue, the indigenous crabs from the river had their gourmet meal on Corliss’ torn flesh.

As you might expect it hasn’t stopped Corliss and he continues with his extreme mission: ‘through my search for death I found my life – base jumping helped me do that’.

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