By Damien Dykman
Summer's too hot? What about those mountains up North of the West coast to get a little fresh air? Four of us and our close friend Arnel Sanchez decided to go for a quick weekend trip before the end of the season. Not the perfect place for a first wingsuit BASE, but decent enough given his experience wingsuiting and BASE jumping. With Tom and Bill, two friendly locals, we had a good crew going.
Saturday, the weather was great. Low winds, cloud patches. Perfect conditions for Arnel's attempt. But first, you have to earn it with a healthy hike. From 3 years ago, I had remembered it as a mellow 2 hr hike...
Well, at least it wasn't too hot. Perfect hiking conditions. At the exit point, Bill and Tom opened the game by a sweet 2-way to show the visitors how it's done. Brian, Jimmy and Dingo followed with a red & purple 3-way, so that they could shoot ground footage of Arnel's first.
I could feel a bit of tension, but mainly concentration. He was ready to do it. Last radio contact with the boys at the bottom to make sure the cameras were rolling. Arnel did a powerful push that got him flying almost immediately. He took a nice conservative line, carving right towards the dry part of the lake where we land. What a great smile he had on his face after landing, walking towards the rest of the group!
After a quick hike back to the car, we went for a great lunch in the local post office / grocery store / hardware store / restaurant. From the campers hanging out on the lake People to the local shop owners, everybody seemed so nice and friendly.
We took a digestive hike... back to the exit point. That one felt even longer... but again, it was worth it! Though, we had to wait for maybe an hour for the fog layer to clear before being able to jump.
The following day, conditions weren't as cooperative. Good thing there's a small cliff in the vicinity. And what a good excuse to relax instead of going for a long hike again!
To end-up the weekend, our buddy Doug and 2 of his friends took us for a night bungee jumping session from a 200+ ft local bridge. Super quick to set everything up. How do you get back up? Well, what do you think the pickup truck is for? We'll pull from right back on the bridge!