Friday thought #11 Wingsuiting – a terrifying sport!

October has provided us with some amazing weather here recently, and one day last week it was a perfect day for a trail run in the mountains. The run ended up at the mid-station lift of the Aiguille de Midi cable car, the highest one in Europe and whilst this is a beautiful spot on its own, I had a free afternoon so decided I might as well head on up the lift to the very top, always breathtaking and worth a visit no matter how many times you’re been up there. Being almost 3000 metres higher than the town, I was pretty cold in my running kit! But I took my time wandering around the various viewing platforms taking photos and generally admiring Mont Blanc and its stunning neighbours! Looking up I was thrilled to learn that I had timed my visit well as teetering on the edge of one of the highest points I spotted a tiny figure in white wearing the distinctive outfit of a wingsuiter. He was geared up and ready to jump, from a height of 3842 metres.

I quickly flicked my camera on to burst mode and managed to capture the whole jump. After stitching the photos together I am pretty happy with the following astonishing sequence as he descended. You can see near the bottom that he’s just starting to move out away from the rock face, he then plateaued and I watched him fly across the valley at the most incredible speed until he became so small that he dropped out of sight.

As a sport this seems to be becoming more and more popular and I have absolutely no idea why! The thought of jumping in to nothing, a total void, especially that close to a rock face, chills me to my very bones. It’s something I can confidently say that I’ll never ever do, but I can understand that to the adrenaline junkies out there it’s as close to flying like a bird mankind will ever get.

A view that's pretty hard to beat!
A view that’s pretty hard to beat!

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