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Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping accident

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Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping accident

Postby rlown » Sun May 17, 2015 7:14 pm

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/extreme-athlete-d ... --spt.html

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — A Yosemite National Park spokesman says extreme athlete Dean Potter and another man have died in a BASE jumping accident.

The spokesman says Potter and Graham Hunt died late Saturday after attempting a wingsuit flight from a 7,500-foot promontory called Taft Point.

A search-and-rescue mission began overnight when the jumpers' spotter lost contact with them. Crews found their bodies Sunday in the Yosemite Valley. No parachutes had been deployed.

Potter is renowned for his bold and sometimes rogue climbs and BASE jumps, in which he would parachute from a fixed structure or cliff. BASE jumping is illegal in Yosemite.

Potter was 43. He completed solo ascents and tightrope walks across some of the world's most famous rocks, and recently appeared in a film BASE jumping with his dog.


Taft Point.JPG
Let's jump off this....


One more activity I won't do...



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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby gary c. » Sun May 17, 2015 11:13 pm

Awful way to go.

I don't remember anyone posting about the show on the Discovery channel a few weeks ago, Valley Uprising. It was about the history of climbers in Yosemite. I really enjoyed it. It's probably available On Demand.
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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby Tom_H » Mon May 18, 2015 9:28 am

According to this article it sounds like they kept pushing the envelope, pulling the ripcord at the last possible moment. He had a recurring dream in which he died this way, and rather than run away from it, he pushed to see how close he could get to it. Neither of their chutes opened. Sounds like a death wish from the way this writer describes Potter's personality.
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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby copeg » Mon May 18, 2015 9:50 am

Hate hearing news like this. The Valley Uprising documentary has a section on base jumping in the Valley near its end...pretty nuts.
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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby SSSdave » Mon May 18, 2015 12:41 pm

RIP

The really odd thing I haven't seen any comments on in the news or at boards yet is why did 2 of them die independently? There ought to be more information forthcoming after examining their chutes and where they fell. Some early total speculation.

I think we can rule out a dual Death Wish because men like that enjoy life strongly getting great excitement from their exploits.

Mechanical problem with chutes. Unlikely both chutes independently failed coincidently when such is rare that any single chute fails.

One of two packed both chutes and made same mistake on both. Possibly because was not paying attention doing something he had done hundreds of times before.

The location they base jumped at was not plumb vertical and too soon they hit the cliff before their suits allowed them to glide.

Winds pushed them into the cliff or out of control.

They were playing chicken against each other and like James Dean racing another vehicle towards the cliff, this time neither jumped out in time.
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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby 87TT » Mon May 18, 2015 8:06 pm

What did they expect? It is illegal for a reason not just to inconvenience them. I say if you get caught the first time, lifetime ban from the park. Second time, min one year in jail. :soapbox:
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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby rlown » Mon May 18, 2015 9:30 pm

They died loving what they were doing (even if illegal.). At least the dog wasn't along for the ride.
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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby gary c. » Mon May 18, 2015 9:54 pm

This report is pretty much the same one as above except that it kind of hints to the possibility that that may not have cleared a notch that was "tricky" to get through.
http://www.outsideonline.com/1981591/de ... g-accident
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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby limpingcrab » Mon May 18, 2015 10:55 pm

They were trying to fly through a notch in one of the ridges and didn't make it, hence the tragic death of both of them.

Sad day, they were loved by many and loved the Sierra more than most...
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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby oldranger » Tue May 19, 2015 8:33 am

Not quite sure what makes this a tragedy. Breaking the law, high risk, over developed ego (see comments of just a few weeks previous), May have been a nice guy and missed by his friends but these "accidents" occur fairly frequently and seems to me should be expected. Seems more like a candidate for a Darwin Award.

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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue May 19, 2015 10:25 am

People who engage in high risk extreme sports do so of their own free will. Not a tragedy, but sad. More sad for family members who do not necessarily agree with such risk taking. The glory, fame and adrenaline outweighed the risk, in the athlete's estimation. Each of us has a different thresholds. It was bound to eventually happen. To them, perhaps not even a bad way to go. In the old days, these kind of men would be put out front to be mowed down in the glory of battle. The illegality should however, bring up some questions regarding who pays for the body recovery. I hope they had rescue insurance.
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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby SSSdave » Tue May 19, 2015 2:05 pm

Looking at the below topo shows they were trying to do something extremely difficult in a flying suit. The notch noted in the news is at 5600 feet or 1800 feet above where they jumped. It is also about 1200 feet horizontally out from the ledge. The first 700 feet off the cliff is about plumb vertical and then the face steeply slopes out dropping about 650 feet over 400 feet before another 400 foot near vertical cliff then slopes out for another 500 feet of horizontal over 400 feet of vertical.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.71551,-119.60613&z=15&t=T

They apparently calculated from familiarity with what their flying suits allowed them to do that they would be able to clear the first slope after dropping the 700 feet and then glide out through the notch by increasing their horizontal angle. Obviously this was a dangerous idea.

It is in the same category as extreme skiers that revel in dropping huge cliffs over 100 feet in height into fresh snow because it impresses others who are into such extreme acts providing public fame. In other words this is not about bragging rights in the traditional sense because in this era extreme athletes don't need to go around vocally bragging about their feats but rather the Internet accomplishes that unspoken. That is why many also have others doing videos so it has more impact on their audience. Thus what is important in their lives become a sequence of Evil Knievel and Shane McConkey type events to impress their audience that keep pushing further until chance fate or mistakes intervene. After each act they likely become totally focused like an addiction on cracking how to do the next amazing feat. Of course Yosemite Valley is a world mecca for such enthusiasts.

Predictably there will be a call from some whiny emotional urban types to prevent such illegal acts in the future. Yes we need vehicle speed limits even on open remote highways in Nevada lest numbers of the unwise after drinking a few beers might accidentally kill themselves. Such is however not black and white and otherwise misplaced as the human spirit ought not be so constrained. Thus we allow vehicles to be ridden at ultimate speeds on race tracks by professionals, and all manner of serious professional level enthusiasts of dangerous sports to pursue their passions in proper arenas freely.
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