Renegade BASE Jumper Leaps out of Gondola in British Columbia, Avoids Capture

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Even in “controlled” situations with a support team of experts, BASE jumping is an absurdly dangerous activity.

All the advisers and trained technicians in the world can’t stop a rogue gust of wind from blowing you into a building or tangling your parachute. At the end of the day, you’re just a person jumping from a ridiculously high place with little or no room for error.

This doesn’t bother some people, and it certainly didn’t stop a man in British Columbia from performing an illegal BASE jump out of a moving gondola nearly 1,500 feet in the air.

Authorities in Whistler, B.C. are searching for a man who performed an illicit BASE jump from the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola on February 6 and who has since uploaded footage of the event.

The video is titled “McConkey Reborn” and was spotted by Jenni Sheppard of CBC News (h/t Gabrielle Bluestone of Gawker). 

Footage shows the man preparing himself in the gondola and speaking to a woman, who was the only other passenger aboard. 

In the video, the man appears to enlist her help in pointing an additional camera in order to film his drop. The jump appeared to go without incident, with the man shouting, “This is for you, McConkey!” as he descends over Fitzsimmons Creek.

Authorities were quickly dispatched to arrest the jumper, although search efforts were unable to locate the man. 

The “McConkey” alluded to in the video is extreme skier Shane McConkey, who died in 2009 while BASE jumping off a cliff in Italy. McConkey had previously jumped out of a PEAK 2 PEAK gondola as part of a commissioned stunt. 

Brian Morton of The Vancouver Sun reports that authorities aren’t pleased with this most recent BASE jump, as the gondola’s auto-locking doors were forced open and damaged in the process.

“We’ve never had anyone base jump from PEAK 2 PEAK unless it was a sanctioned event,” said Whistler Blackcomb spokeswoman Michelle Leroux. “He opened the (gondola) door with brute force.”

Damage to the lift will cost around $10,000, according to Leroux. 

As for the jumper, at least he made it safely to the ground. Don’t be surprised if this video leads to his capture, however. He does record his face at the end of the footage.

As for his female companion, she claimed she didn’t know the man and was just “sightseeing.”

Sure she was. She's just taking the gondola to her "doctor's appointment," and this guy clearly has plenty of GoPro-style cameras lying around to hand out to strangers.

 

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