Sunday, August 16, 2009

Switzerland 2009

I sit here now in a van heading for France for more BASE jumping after almost a week in Switzerland BASE jumping with Team ILL VISION. Three days of wet weather and slippery exit points was followed by bright blue skies and two jumps via helicopter from the Eiger Mushroom as the trip’s highlight.

I was fortunate enough to meet many incredible people and made close to 15 jumps total for the trip.

Switzerland’s Lauderbrunnen Valley is a place of dreams, not only for its remarkable access to the biggest mountains of Europe or it’s simple quite and beautiful laid back farming style, the food or the people but the opportunity to pursue whatever outdoor sport you wish.

The area is lush with forest and incredibly huge granite walls on both sides. Trains and cable cars allow sportsmen and families alike to reach trials and vista’s unimaginable by American standards. The beauty of the area is nothing short of breath taking in all directions and one could spend months in just this one area and never scratch the surface of what is truly offered.

The area is reminiscent of R.J. Tolkin’s “The Hobbit” and brings to mind the place he called “Rivendale.” Some of the farming family’s history is over 500 years old still tending to cows and grass pastures. Nomes, hobbits and elves? I get it now. You have to see this to believe it.

Traveling, another sense permanently embeding an area to memory is sound. The area is rich with the sounds of church bells ringing every 15 mins, the clanging of cow bells, helicopters echoing through the valley everyday, all day and the constant flow of waterfalls 360 degrees.

Water is never a problem. The weeping walls of the valley produce some of the cleanest and freshest water I have ever tasted. Public free flowing fountains can be found on many street corners flowing fast enough to fill a 2 liter bottle of water in a matter of seconds.

The outdoors is shared by everyone from hard core extremists to families, the old and young alike. Even at the most remote destinations all the comforts of home can be found complete with toys and parks just for keeping the kids entertained.

I am incredibly grateful at the opportunity to experience my sport and life in such a setting. Below are a few pics. I will have more up on my Gallery later. For now I must go. We are reaching our destination in France and should be at another incredible huge exit point soon, more to come.

Check out some more pics here of our BASE jumping.