BASE jumping has long existed on the fringe of legality. More often than not, it’s in that area that ticks off the authorities to the point that ‘trespassing charges’ get thrown around (does the Trump Tower jump in Chicago ring any bells?). Yet there’s one place in the United States where, it’s not only legal to take the leap, instructors at this destination even offer BASE jumping courses for this most dangerous of sports.
The place? Perrine Bridge, at Twin Falls, Idaho, where roughly 500 folks BASE jump each year – and where many of whom do it for the first time because it’s the only known man-made structure where BASE jumpers can get their freak on without a permit.
Now before you jump up with giddy excitement, a little perspective. BASE jumping is exceptionally risky (um, like duh!). Last month, Canadian BASE jumper Bryan Turner from Vancouver lost his life when he jumped off Perrine Bridge and his chute malfunctioned. I wouldn’t call that tragic because he died doing what he loved, but this ain’t fishing.
A bad day here is not a pretty picture. For that reason, I do not recommend BASE jumping, period. Got it?
Perrine Bridge BASE Jumping Course
If you’re gonna learn BASE jumping, and accept the risk it might kill you, Perrine Bridge could be a good place to start. The bridge is 468 feet above Snake River below, which isn’t high, but might be a good starting point.
Many a BASE jumper has cut his teeth here and set records in the process. One jumper, Miles Daisher, liked the bridge so much he jumped 57 times within 24 hours back in 2005. It’s a good landing spot too, according to folks to make the trek to this Base Jumping Mecca.
In fact it’s so popular that some feel it’s important to share a little BASE jumping etiquette with noobs jumping for the first time. Among their tips, don’t obstruct traffic, don’t stand on the rail and call the Idaho Department of Transportation before jumping so they don’t take you for a jumper sans landing gear – if you get my drift.
A little BASE etiquette 101.
And yes you really can take BASE jumping courses here. At least three companies have set up shop and offer safety and intro courses to this dangerous sport that kills an estimated one in 65 folks who take it up. So if you’ve assessed BASE jumping, accepted the risks and decided to do it anyway, this is where many BASE jumpers learn their craft.