The new GoPro HD Hero 2 came out officially yesterday and I am very honored to be part of the new promotional video!
I have been a GoPro athlete for a little while now and I can honestly tell you that I couldn’t share my passion for skiing and BASE jumping with out those amazing cameras.
We recently had the opportunity to fly to Iceland and jump off some of the most beautiful waterfalls and also fly a wingsuit over the famous volcano of Eyjafjallajkull.
The scenic and action shots turned out so amazing and we couldn’t have shot all this without the help of Iceland Air Nordurflug – Iceland’s leading helicopter service and also the help of Icelandic news anchor Sigrur Elva Vilhjlmsdttir.
The opening BASE jump shot was in the southern part of Iceland near Hotel Ranga and the owner Frederick was a huge help as well in making out project come together.
We have jumped this object several times in the past. However, this one ended up being a little more exciting than usual! Somehow both Zach and me had lower openings than normal as well as much faster landings.
The only thing you can expect while BASE jumping is having to adapt in the heat of the moment!
You might have already seen it but here it is again!
Here is a summary of the best episodes of Bon Appetit from Fabien Maierhofer, Victor Galuchot and Nicolas Favre which includes the Aiguille Croche, Argentiere, Matterhorn and Eiger parachute assisted big mountain descents.
In this episode of the Super Frenchie™Diaries on WIDSIX TV, we are taking you deep into the backcountry of Washtington State, near Stevens Pass… for an EPIC jump off the top of Mount Baring.
The exit point is about 1000 feet to impact, 3000 feet total after wingsuit flight… Mount Baring provides an amazing landscape and a scenic backdrop that makes us nostalgic about jumping in the Swiss Alps.
This is truly one of the most amazing places I have been to. A special place that must be cherished and respected…
The Columbia Gorge marks the separation between the state of Washington and Oregon. It is a beautiful and charismatic place where water meets mountains with Mt Hood in the background.
After plotting a wingsuit jump from a paraglider in the Columbia Gorge with Flystyle, one of the best paragliding schools in the country based out of Portland, we realized a crossing from Washington to Oregon would be possible.
After a few flights and attempts in order to figure out the necessary altitude, we were successful. Flystyle pilots Daniel Randall and Justin Boer established a take off point for the motorglider on the banks of the Columbia River on the Hood River side. After 30 minutes of flying, we climbed to an altitude of 2900ft above White Salmon on the Washington side.
The exit with the wingsuit was quite tricky and required a double frontflip in order to build up enough speed to get the winsguit flying.
After an approximate 40 second flight and a mile in distance, we were able to land safely on the bank from which we took off and therefore establish a new first by crossing the Columbia Gorge with a wingsuit without using an airplane.
Here is the video of The Super Frenchie Diaries Ep5!
This descent could have easily been the last descent of my life… After ski BASE jumping the Eiger with a textbook frontflip into the north face, I decided to focus my energy towards the Matterhorn – the most intimidating peak in the Alps.
However, the Matterhorn is a much more technical mountain to approach for a ski descent than the Eiger due to its shape and topography.
Growing up, I always heard stories about how impressive the Matterhorn was but you don’t come to realize it until you see the mountain itself.
First, we had to find a face that would hold enough snow to be able to ski over all the rocks. Based on pictures taken by Simon Anthamatten and his expertise, the iconic east face seemed like the best option.
Second, based on the short window we had to reach our goal, we needed to book a helicopter. As we were hovering over the face, we could see that there was a straight line from the top of the triangle to a natural diving board into the north face. This particular exit point guarantied 450 feet of vertical wall followed by a few thousand feet of positive rock below.
The last challenge of the approach was the landing itself. The matterhorn is so steep and exposed that we could not land with the aircraft. The Air Zermatt pilot decided it was safer to lower me onto the mountain using a winch that I could clip into the harness of my parachute.
Hanging from a cable under a helicopter over this monstrous and terrifying mountain was one of the most intense experiences in my existence. You are all of the sudden going from the comfort of the cabin to pure vulnerability but it also helps you channel you thoughts and forces you to focus. Survival starts with focus.
Once, I was secure on the Matterhorn with Simon’s help, I clicked in my skis, turned on my GoPro cameras and it was time to get in the zone and focus on the line.
As I reached total relaxation, I remember telling myself to be ready for the worst. Aside from the technical details to approach the mount, it all seemed too easy. This is not a regular mountain… This is the Matterhorn… Many people have lost their lives climbing this mountain. It was not time to be complacent but on the contrary, it was time to pay extra attention. As I always say, plan for the worst and hope for the best.
I signaled the pilot I was ready and dropped into the face.
As I reached the edge of the cliff and prepare myself for launch, my ski snagged a rock that was hidden behind the jump. The snow density was much lighter on the edge of the cliff than on the east face that I had just skied which caused my ski to sink in. It came to a sudden stop and came off as I was going full throttle. All I could do was to throw a giangantic frontflip in the north face and slow down the inertia which created a window to pull my parachute without getting tangled in my lines…
This is the worst thing that can happen to a parachute assisted big mountain skier and was a true test of my survival instinct. The mountain gave me a warning and I was skilled enough but also lucky enough to survive. There are no heroes on the mountain… only survivors and the mountain let me go home safely.