Wednesday, November 11, 2009

CLIFF JUMPING




I've always enjoyed jumping off tall cliffs. Ever since I was a little kid I would practice swan dives every summer for days on end. One of the reasons I thought kayaking looked so cool was the free fall element. All my summers jumping into pools on the river were perfect training for one day learning to run waterfalls...

I have been raising my height bar a little bit each year, and yesterday, I clearly hit my limit. My highest gainer is 80 feet, and before this jump my tallest straight air at just over 100 feet. I'm an amateur cliff diver, but I really enjoy it and i've never sustained any injuries. I learned a cheap lesson yesterday when I took it just a little bit too high...


While wearing one of the sik new HD GO PRO head cams (which was sadly set up wrong by me) Anton Immler and I decided it would be cool if we jumped right next to each other for the shot. We estimated the cliff to be around 100 feet, but after jumping it became clear that it was bigger. The decision was made that Anton would jump first and I would follow right behind. However, we didn't really consider that because he would be jumping upstream, after impact the current would sweep him down stream towards my landing zone. This was pretty stupid. Anton took the leap of faith and I followed a split second behind, a bit close. The free fall was amazing. Watching the replay we fell for almost 3 seconds! When I was about to land I thought for sure I was going to hit Anton. Fearing an impact I made my feet flat. You can see my splash is huge by comparison to Anton's. I've used this technique to jump into shallow pools, but it's no bueno from this height. My last minute reaction was to try and not go deep into the pool. I think if I would have kept my toes pointed the outcome would have been different. I felt my knees both explode in opposite directions and pain shoot through my legs. I thought for certain I had broken them initially. I struggled to swim to shore where the boys pulled me out and laid me on my back. It took us about 45 minutes to get me out of the canyon. As the hike went on the legs started to feel better, but it was still a struggle to bend them.


Although the doctor at the local hospital seemed a bit marginal to me, he was very convinced that there is nothing wrong. He prescribed me some anti inflammatories and sent me on my way. Now I find myself at an internet cafe while the boys run the fire... I'm really hoping a few more days will do it... It feels a lot better today, and i'm so fortunate it's not worse. So far this trip has had a rough start with a hurt shoulder (while partying, then made worse after running a 60 ftr twice) and now this incident. I'm learning valuable lessons and thankfully haven't sustained anything too serious. We have an all star crew down here right now and I have no doubt some serious progression is about to go down... Keeping my fingers crossed for a quick recovery... For now i'm a sad site to watch walk....

1 comment:

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