Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping accident | High Sierra Topix  

Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping accident

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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby markskor » Wed May 20, 2015 4:08 pm

LMBSGV wrote:... on the circus/amusement park atmosphere of Yosemite Valley. That’s why I haven’t been there in the summer since 1981.

And I for one thank you, for not being there. :nod:
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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby MountainMinstrel » Wed May 20, 2015 4:31 pm

LMBSGV wrote: I agree with Freestone on the circus/amusement park atmosphere of Yosemite Valley. That’s why I haven’t been there in the summer since 1981.


Yet that is exactly why I like the valley. It is an extremely interesting place to people watch, and a great reminder of just how wonderful it is to get away from them all.
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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby 87TT » Thu May 21, 2015 7:19 am

Instead of making things more difficult for these wing suit dare-devils, (forcing them to fly in failing light conditions - stealth - twilight) - instead, sanction the events - test/rank them as expert-capable, proven, make those who intend such feats pre-qualify before attempting to fly anything, and additionally all these wild individuals also should be forced to buy some sort of yearly insurance policy (high risk policy?) covering possible body recovery. Much like the hang glider Yosemite ranger who oversees all flights off Glacier Point - a thorough inspection process/ logs checked/ proficiency measured - make things hard but possible - legalize (and maybe even promote) these attempts. Much like today's climbers free soloing 5.14 routes and then becoming famous, appearing on TV afterwards...Yosemite has always been the mecca for big wall adventure...well-advertised as such, movies shown daily, gear sold, classes taught. Suggest being pragmatic not hypocritical on what is allowed.




I agree. Not against it but organize it more and make the participants pay for the costs and not the tax payers and other visitors. It is pure arrogance for these people to do what they want and not be responsible. Let nature and the elements clean up the mess.
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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby markskor » Thu May 21, 2015 11:35 am

Just to add, the Burj Khalifa, which rises 2,717 ft in Dubai, recently had a well-publicized base jump soiree where "Skydive Dubai sponsored the first leap off The Burj Khalifa, 828 meters tall, on Saturday 21th April 2014, claiming the new Guinness World Record Title of the Highest BASE Jump from the Tallest Building, exhibiting their astonishing base jumping skills...
...Skydive Dubai, with the support of Emirates Aerosports Federation, is one of the world’s premier skydiving locations right in the heart of Dubai City, with a desire for breaking world records. Since Skydive Dubai’s launch in 2010, they have provided a platform for extreme athletes to express their passion, train hard, and achieve their dreams."
http://www.skydivedubai.ae/skydive-duba ... -building/

Obviously a different mind-set over there than currently exhibited here in Yosemite... someone over there realized (correctly) that if you build it, and if it's tall and accessible, someone will surely jump/fly it. "Throughout the whole period, the highest safety measures were put in place..." This sanctioned event (no doubt insured up the butt) brought much acclaim and publicity to the structure, the sport, as well as to the individuals. How is our "platform" any different?

Here in Yosemite we have world renown high granite walls - easily accessed, and a culture that esteems those who dare try to ascend them. When on the wall, free climber's exploits are well-publicized/ recognized as home-town heroes/ spotting scopes prominently set up below to observe same; one slip though, (even though prepared for this contingency and wearing a chute) - instantly vilified?

RE - flying the walls - Accept it, license it, embrace it, promote it, restrict it to those qualified, strictly regulate it, insure it...even charge just to do it legally if/when determined/ proven up to the task. Just don't contribute/add to the obvious inherent dangers by making those who are (probably slightly disturbed but somewhat) qualified?... having them then attempt flight in less-than-ideal conditions. Yes, while still an extremely dangerous sport, (no more so than free-climbing?), realize/accept that this type of activity is growing, both here and elsewhere.
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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu May 21, 2015 12:23 pm

Slightly different here in that much of the rim of the Valley, where the jump starts, is wilderness, not in a city. My understanding is that no permits are required for "camping" on a wall that you are climbing. (I may be wrong on that). Other than that, I agree- accept and make it as safe and cost-neutral to the park, as possible. However, the park is hands-off on climbing (probably due to liability issues), so I suspect it would also be hands-off on jumping, but simply make it "legal" in the same way climbing is legal. Currently they do not require insurance or "qualifications" of climbers - would hate to see that happen. The rescue team is for all uses - but I do think at some time in the future, rescues may have to be charged to the individual.

This brings up an entirely different question - is a designated wilderness the place for extreme sports venues? What about commercial sponsorship? Is that not in the same category as commercial packers? Is there a line that is crossed? "Adventure running" is a big thing now too - competitively timed runs up to the top of peaks in your skivvies with only a couple of water bottles on your belt. :eek: Sort of a non-sponsored sport such as the 100-mile runs (Western States Race).
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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby k9mark » Thu May 21, 2015 3:53 pm

When I heard about this it just made me shake my head. Rules and regulations are put in place to prevent serious bodily harm or death as well as prevent expenses to the taxpayer for rescues, etc. Its a shame but I cant feel sorry for them. I know thats harsh but theyd be alive today had they just listened. More and more our society just has this, "You cant tell me what to do" or "I can do whatever I want" attitude And it cost them their lives. Pointless.
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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby MountainMinstrel » Thu May 21, 2015 4:19 pm

k9mark wrote:When I heard about this it just made me shake my head. Rules and regulations are put in place to prevent serious bodily harm or death as well as prevent expenses to the taxpayer for rescues, etc. Its a shame but I cant feel sorry for them. I know thats harsh but theyd be alive today had they just listened. More and more our society just has this, "You cant tell me what to do" or "I can do whatever I want" attitude And it cost them their lives. Pointless.


Actually, our society was built on the "you can't tell me what to do" mentality. More and more society is telling us all the things we cannot do. There is a portion of the population (unfortunately not enough) who reject the regulations of the nanny state. The two fliers were in that latter group. They were people who only felt truly alive when pushed themselves right to the edge and looked death in the face. Inevitable they got too close. I do not feel sorry for them as they died doing what made them happiest.
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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby SSSdave » Thu May 21, 2015 4:43 pm

Well MM, you, markskor, I, others here, probably all climbing enthusiasts on the supertopo.com board, and enthusiasts in many other risky outdoor sports, are generally in the No on nanny state policies and laws camp while numbers of others including some on this board as I suspected, respectfully choose to differ.

Of course these attitudes continue to get worse and recently was major national news when authorities took away kids 6 and 10 of a Maryland couple who let them walk to a local park alone. Of course for those that grew up in my era, regardless of how utterly ridiculous that sounded to us, it resonated with many of the current apparently coddled products of younger generations.
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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby Troutdog 59 » Thu May 21, 2015 7:45 pm

Nice! A civil discussion with views from both sides being input! Kudos to all. I fall into the live and let live group and think Mountain Minstrel summed it up nicely. We are where we are because people in the past pushed the limits. These guys didn't have a death wish. Far from it. They were adventurers that loved what they did. RIP
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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby LMBSGV » Thu May 21, 2015 9:17 pm

I find the simplistic black-and-white dichotomy this discussion has evolved into to be disturbing. (And I own up to my own contribution in my previous posts.) The “nanny state” versus regulation of human activity with no gray area in between for all the subtleties and nuances inherent in complex moral issues, has increasingly become the simplistic way people in the world approach complicated, often contradictory, contentious subjects.

As someone who has always existed outside of the societal mainstream, I don’t classify this tragic incident as something that should be placed in such an extreme, polarizing perspective. We are not here simply because someone pushed the limits. We are here because while certain individuals pushed the limits, other individuals realized they pushed the limits a bit too far, other pushed back hard, and most others fell somewhere in the spectrum between those three responses. The taking into account of all those perspectives and synthesizing them into public policy is how the world best operates in a democratic society. Sadly, if it ever was, I don't think our world is capable of dealing with even the smaller issues (such as this one) let alone the larger issues.

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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby limpingcrab » Thu May 21, 2015 10:43 pm

Just FYI on the rescue thing, I've heard from several people on YOSAR that the VAST majority (like 99% or so) of calls are from unprepared hikers. Climbers, and especially BASE jumpers, are an insignificant portion of their budget.
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Re: Extreme athlete Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping acciden

Postby Vaca Russ » Fri May 22, 2015 6:50 am

SSSdave wrote:Well MM, you, markskor, I, others here, probably all climbing enthusiasts on the supertopo.com board, and enthusiasts in many other risky outdoor sports, are generally in the No on nanny state policies and laws camp while numbers of others including some on this board as I suspected, respectfully choose to differ.

Of course these attitudes continue to get worse and recently was major national news when authorities took away kids 6 and 10 of a Maryland couple who let them walk to a local park alone. Of course for those that grew up in my era, regardless of how utterly ridiculous that sounded to us, it resonated with many of the current apparently coddled products of younger generations.


I'm in the "No nanny state" camp! People can get injured or killed by backpacking in the wilderness, or (much more likely) driving down the highway in a car. Do we want to make these activities illegal?

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” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
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