A BASE jumper was left dangling in mid-air earlier this week after he hit a cliff during his descent and his parachute became snagged on the rockface. The man had jumped off Tombstone Rock, a popular tourist spot in Moab, Utah, when the accident happened, leaving him hanging around 100ft off the ground.
The incident was recorded by 12-year-old Baron Edwards, who was visiting Kane Creek Canyon with his family. Baron's father Mitch was driving through the canyon for a day of hiking, and had stopped briefly to watch a group of BASE jumpers leaping off the cliff.
"it’s a spectacular canyon with huge, 600-700-foot cliffs on both sides," Mitch told KSL TV. Two people made the jump successfully, and the father and son decided to record the third jumper on their phones. You can watch the resulting video in the tweet embedded below,
Family captures #BASEjumper in #Moab hitting cliff, then dangling high above the ground after his chute catches on rocks. Grand County SAR had to climb up to rescue him, but they tell me he survived! #utah #ut (📸Baron Edwards) pic.twitter.com/3pDmbA6eeoNovember 30, 2022
"He just slammed into that thing hard, and then started to fall straight down,” said Mitch. “And he was probably 200-300 feet above the ground when he first hit the cliff."
Mitch estimates that the man fell around 100ft before his parachute snagged on a rocky outcrop, preventing him hitting the ground. According to Fox 11 Los Angeles, he was knocked unconscious and left dangling for around an hour before rescuers were able to reach him, but survived the accident.
“Somebody from Search and Rescue climbed up the cliff, but that was amazing because there was no crack, no obvious route to get there, and so they had to set pins to even get up there,” said Mitch. “Somebody miraculously got up there and then got the guy."
BASE jumping (an acronym that stands for buildings, antenna, spans, and earth) is similar to skydiving, but rather than a plane, people jump from fixed points such as bridges or cliffs. It's particularly popular at Moab, where solo jumpers take part in the sport, and commercial operations taking members of the public on guided hikes that end with a jump off Tombstone Rock.
The local Sheriff's office said they had responded to two other BASE jumping incidents in the area over the Thanksgiving weekend.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.