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.