Object Type: Earth
Location: Mushroom Exit, Eiger Mountain, Kleine Scheide, Switzerland
COD: Gear Malfunction (Canopy)
Clothes / Suit: Tracking suit
Our friend Jeremy went up the Eiger to jump the Mushroom on a clear morning on the 12th of August. Both him and the other jumper accompanying had under 100 jumps, but were extremely heads up jumpers. They reached the mushroom quickly, Jeremy went last....more information to come. He did not over-delay.
Jeremy was a highly decorated combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps, skilled big mountain climber, and a great friend...the best always go first...RIP dude
Jeremy's canopy suffered from multiple line failure on opening.
Multiple factor seems to be involved : high lines made of 400lb dacron, heavy jumper, full-speed-track pull.
It brings the question of structural absolute needs for our sport. We have been pushing the limits, asking for lighter and lighter gear... BASE gear has been overbuilt from the beginning, and as users we are more and more neglecting gear maintenance and structural limitations.
There's been case of slider-down opening at terminal velocity with only minor material damage - this was the way to go until we wanted to increase the performance. Light gear is great. But it has drawbacks.
We have to learn a major aspect of modern gear through this tragic accident.
Each jumper have to figure out what the gear is designed for and what are the limitations.
Manufacturers should together define a minimal standard for structural strength that has to be respected, whatever the clients are asking for.
We rely on a single canopy system - which has now a very low failure rate. We can not afford having underbuilt material appearing on the market just because of the new trend of lightweight and low volume gear.
BASE Fatality List
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