Appeal to BASE instincts
If you want a frightening experience, visit the website listed here — http://vimeo.com/80704110 — and watch a slow-motion video of a man recording his own death-defying experience while BASE jumping near Moab last month. It’s also on GJSentinel.com. He hit the rock repeatedly, but survived.
If you want learn how to BASE jump safely — that is, how to parachute off high cliffs, bridges and other stationary objects, you might check out a business such as Moab B.A.S.E. Adventures at http://moabbaseadventures.com. It gives lessons, takes people on guided jumps, has insurance and has permits with the Bureau of Land Management to do so.
For most people, of course, the idea of jumping off a towering cliff with a parachute seems about as safe and sane as snuggling up in a sleeping bag in the middle of I-70. But BASE jumping has changed greatly from a few decades ago, when all such jumps were performed illegally by jumpers who scrambled to avoid the law if they landed safely.
Nowadays, there are a handful of areas, including Moab, where one is legally allowed to BASE jump. The Moab Travel Council even claims, “Moab has become a world destination for B.A.S.E. jumping!” While the sport is inherently dangerous, it is not creating serious problems in Moab. Only a tiny minority of search-and-rescue calls in Grand County have been due to BASE jumping in the past decade.
In the libertarian, adrenalin-laced world of adventure in the West, BASE jumping is just one more extreme sport. But those who want to join the action should make it a point of learning with experienced guides, and make sure they have health insurance so others don’t have to pay if their jumps go awry.