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Daniel Daniel, Daniel Ristau, California discussed on Wild West

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Very excited today. For my guest base jumper Daniel Ristau. He's pioneering new legal base jumping spots around northern California in the Sierra Nevada. Mountains real quick. Just so we're we're all on the same page. Base Jumpers are people who jump off of buildings bridges electrical antennas cliffs and other man made and natural objects and then they parachute to the ground. That's basic base but then within that there is a class of jumper who puts on a wing suit and actually flies around before landing so those are the people you've probably seen in youtube clips looking like flying squirrels soaring over mountain terrain with go pros on their heads right. That's the kind of stuff that Daniel Daniel does earlier. This fall Daniel invited me to actually witness a wing suit base. Jump up close so I accompanied him in one of his friends on a jump on a remote mountain in the eastern Sierra Kana near mammoth lakes and before we go any further. I just have to say it's pretty unbelievable to watch a person. Dive live off of a cliff and then fly over mountain terrain at one hundred fifty miles per hour. It's just crazy. Both Daniel and his friend jumped from from alleged that was about five hundred to six hundred feet above a gully and then they flew down forty three hundred feet of altitude to a landing spot about a mile and a half away away so watching it was awesome and it was totally terrifying. I mean even. Though they weren't nervous I was afraid for them. I wanted to talk to Daniel. Because does northern California is arguably the best place in the world to base jump. Yosemite Valley is widely considered the Mecca among base jumpers. It's got those tall sheer cliffs and it just draws jumpers from all over the place but the sport as you probably know is essentially outlawed everywhere. So what I wanted to know was what this secret community looks like. Who are these people? What exactly are they jumping? And then of course. Why do they do it? Daniel is particularly interesting. I think because he's jumping spots in the Sierra that are super remote places the maybe only one person has jumped before and he says they're technically legal so so he's working on a documentary film about his exploits because he wants people to see what actually goes into pulling off a base jump from scouting and evaluating locations and to how how the gear in the equipment works to the actual flights themselves so daniels mission ties into this key. Struggle of the base community city in California and across the US and that's four legitimacy. It's about the difficulty of gaining mainstream understanding of the sport so I wrote wrote a big story about the California based scene and what Daniel is working on you can check it out. SF CHRONICLE DOT COM for this podcast. We got together and we talked about about what the culture in California is like how Daniel deals with deaths in the community which is a big part of being a base jumper. Why he does this? And then of course what is first base experience felt like it just felt amazing. I landed right next car. Parked the bottom right exploit Gar ground-air down there perfect accuracy and everything and I immediately knew I was hooked us. It was the best feeling in the world. It was the feeling I thought I would get from skydiving. Most people think you're going to get that free feeling in like a handful of people I know are Kinda let down because you don't really get that you just kind of floating bay shopping's the feeling you you think. Skydiving we'll give you. We recorded this podcast in the living room of Daniel's Parents House he's twenty two years old and he lives with his folks and yes I asked them about his base jumping. They're very understanding and supportive of him. Daniel when we talked a little under the weather but his passion for the sport and his ideas come through clearly is a great conversation and I hope you guys enjoy it all right. Here's base jumper. Daniel Hristo thanks for coming on the PODCAST. Daniel.

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