1. Travel

Extreme Sports - Base Jumping Birdmen in West Virginia,Switzerland & Norway

BASE Jumping: Would You Leap Off a Cliff to Soar Through the Air?

By

Base jumping on Bridge Day in New Creek, West Virginia

Base jumping on Bridge Day in New Creek, West Virginia

Photo by Jeff Swensen/Stringer, Getty Images
BASE jumping is an extreme sport, one which only very adventurous travelers enjoy. Some base jumpers leap off bridges, others off buildings and the most extreme off cliffs in Norway.

"Extreme sports" takes on new meaning when you watch the CBS 60 Minutes segment on "Taking Flight with Birdmen." These extreme adventurers don "birdmen" suits then jump off some of Norway's highest cliffs. During the first few seconds of free fall the suits fill with air, then the birdman soars at up to 140 miles per hour alongside cliffs and over valleys. The most dangerous part of this flight, a birdman says, is knowing the best time to pull the cord so the parachute opens and he can land safely. If you missed the 60 Minutes segment on television, here's a link to the article and pictures of flying Birdmen.

The National Geographic channel did a piece about Dean Potter. To quote part of the video's blurb: "He can climb the unclimbable, visualize the invisible and fly through the air with the greatest of speed. As perhaps one of the worlds best BASE jumpers, he set the record for the longest flight in a wing suit." Here's what flight looks like in the Fly or Die video.

Once a year, base jumpers here in the US get to leap off the New River Bridge in West Virgina. During the annual Bridge Day, hundreds of jumpers and rapellers can go off the bridge legally. Thousands of spectators show up to watch.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.