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Twin Falls – A BASE Jumping Paradise

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Great Hotel In Twin Falls

There are extreme sports, and then there’s BASE Jumping. It’s bungee jumping without the cord. Skydiving without the airplane. You just strap on a parachute and jump off something tall. And Twin Falls is the only place in the world you can legally do it year-round.

BAse Jumper

The Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls is famous around the world’s community of BASE jumpers as the perfect launch spot. The Snake River Canyon is deep enough for a long, scenic descent, and perhaps most importantly, you don’t need any kind of permit. Perhaps wanting to avoid liability, neither the state, the county nor the city claim the bridge as in their jurisdiction, so there’s no place to seek permission. Just strap a parachute on, stomp out to the middle of the bridge, and jump off into the void.

Of course, it’s only that easy for truly experienced BASE jumpers. Most people participate in this activity with organized groups, with experts on hand to provide training and assistance. We were lucky to see one such group in action. It was just crazy to watch these guys and gals stand on the bridge, look down 500 feet, gather their courage, and then actually jump off.

And it looked like crazy fun. Some of the more advanced jumpers did a back flip or a swan dive, falling for ten or twenty meters before releasing their parachutes. They’d then steer themselves back down to the landing strip, next to the river. Most accomplished this pretty well, though we did see one guy land himself in the trees.

Don’t tell Jürgen, but I’ve mentally added BASE jumping to the list of experiences we’re going to try out one day. It must be the ultimate thrill.

Location of Base Jump Spot

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January 1, 2013 at 9:50 am Comments (0)

Zipping Through the Air with Silver Streak

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Wildlife In North America

Not much is required for a good Zip Line course. A few high-altitude hills or trees. Some poles stuck into the ground. Wire. Harnesses and helmets. That’s about it. Nice views are a plus, but optional. After all, when you’re flying through the air at 45mph, looking around isn’t a priority. But the mountain vistas on display during our run through Silver Streak’s course were too beautiful to completely ignore. Most of my zips went like this: terror (“WAGHHHHHHH!”), admiring nature’s beauty (“AHHHHHHHH!”), and back to terror (“AAYYYYGGGHGHGHHG!”).

Zip-Line-Tour

2012 was Silver Streak’s first year of operation, and we were invited to check out their six-run “west course”. A second “east course” is slated to open in 2013. Our guides for the day were Megan and Nick, who proved capable of keeping us both alive and entertained.

The bigger you are, the faster you go on a zip line; I’m average-sized, but let’s just say I was going fast enough. After a couple light zips to ease us into it, the third line was ridiculous. Over a thousand feet long, with a steep vertical drop at the beginning, speeds of up to 45 mph and a terrifying landing. It was awesome, but I was glad not to be as big as 6’6″ Jürgen. I estimate my facial expression during the landing had a terror/fun ratio of 60/40. His was more like 95/5.

Zips four, five and six just kept upping the ante. I especially loved the last one, which allowed Jürgen and I to race against each other (he won). The tour lasted about two and a half hours, including the drive to and from the mountain, and refreshments were included. If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush during your trip to the Wallace area, Silver Streak Zip Lines will fit the bill.

Silver Streak Zipline Tours – Website

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October 18, 2012 at 1:10 am Comments (3)
Twin Falls - A BASE Jumping Paradise There are extreme sports, and then there's BASE Jumping. It's bungee jumping without the cord. Skydiving without the airplane. You just strap on a parachute and jump off something tall. And Twin Falls is the only place in the world you can legally do it year-round.
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