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Part 3 of My Summer Vacation - Jill Kuzman

 
Part 3 of My Summer Vacation - Jill Kuzman
Part 3 of My Summer Vacation - Jill Kuzman
Part 3 of My Summer Vacation - Jill Kuzman
Part 3 of My Summer Vacation - Jill Kuzman
Part 3 of My Summer Vacation - Jill Kuzman
Part 3 of My Summer Vacation - Jill Kuzman
Part 3 of My Summer Vacation - Jill Kuzman
 
September 10, 2013 - 
 

The morning after we get back to Switzerland we head out to High Nose so I can make my first wingsuit jump in the valley. Back to the fear icing on the fear cake! It wasn't quite that bad this time around. On my favorite exit, feeling good on my suit. I push off and the anxiety immediately disappears. I fall for a few seconds and then began soaring out over the ledge and then the trees. I pass the trees, pass the road, then pull high. What?! I was scared! I was safe!

Later that day, I head back out and kill the flight off High Nose. Open lower, but still with plenty of time to land just where I want to. Over the next week, I take my wingsuit off of High Nose a few more times. Then I move onto bigger and harder things.

Low Ultimate. You are a sneaky one. 70ft rope rappel to a ledge big enough to hold maybe 6 people at most, single file. The cliff face is positive. I mean really positive. Now, as I was reassured several times, no one has ever hit it. But hell! It sure does look like you could as you stand at the top of it. I pull myself together step to the edge and I am more scared than I have been yet on this trip. I step back and hear my friends half chuckling at me and half encouraging me. I need both.

I watch a few friends exit. Then Round 2. There's no going back this time. Mostly cause there is literally not going up the rope. Only one way down. No exit count on this jump. Too scared to speak. I take one monster step and push off hard. I clear the ledge by a body length. Fear strength. It's a great thing. My flight is solid. That ledge makes me feel like I am flying head down. Then it's gone and I am soaring over the trees again. Yes! I love facing fears!

Next up, The Mushroom on the Eiger. The glorious Eiger! I've been seeing this thing on videos for years. I want it. We try for 2 mornings in a row, but you don't even start hiking those mountains if there is a cloud in the sky. Day 3 we wake up at 6am and it couldn't be a more perfect day. We all pile on the train and head up to the base of the Eiger. It's early and there is still snow on the face. The cold makes the steep hike a bit easier. We pass a few hiker's who had camped out the night before. I over hear them talking to some friends and they think we're nuts. If only they knew.

To get to the exit point on the Mushroom you have to gear up, clip yourself into the metal cable, wrap your legs around it and pull yourself over a 1,000ft gap. You come to stand on a rock no bigger than a car. It's an amazing exit point. Suspended on a rock on top of one of highest peaks in Switzerland, it has a 12 second rock drop with 5410ft of overall flight.

So I did it!!!! I said my goal for Europe was to not die. Not only did I come back alive, but also in the same number of pieces I went there in!!!! Score!!!! 44 BASE jumps. Feeling good with my progression on my tracking suit and wingsuit! Saw old friends and made new friends. Traveled to places I had never been before. And did it all on a dirtbag budget! Proud trip for me. Thanks to everyone who played with me, gave me advice and encouragement and bought me beers. Priceless memories that I can't wait to repeat next year!

 

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