Incredible mountain bike BASE jump off Snowdon!
Amazingly, Tim Howell sticks the landing and rides away
We’ve seen stunts with mountain bikes and parachutes before – from Dave Morris jumping out of a plane in the pages of MBUK way back in August 1990 to ‘Darren Berrecloth’ (clearly a stunt double) sending it off a cliff and jettisoning his bike in 2005’s New World Disorder VI. But Tim Howell’s BASE jump off Clogwyn Coch, near the summit of Snowdon, this September has to be the best yet. Not just because it happened right here in the UK, but because he stuck the landing and rode away!
Tim, a former Royal Marines Commando turned pro adventure athlete and one of the most experienced BASE jumpers on the planet, started his run-in on a grassy overhang just off the Ranger’s path. Once his Jamis Dakar full-sus was airborne, he had 80m of vertical drop in which to deploy his handheld pilot parachute. With his main ’chute then unfurling, he glided 250m to Llyn Du'r Arddu and touching down smoothly on the lake’s rocky shore.
“For a normal BASE jump, you’re stepping off and quickly descending,” Tim explains. “Whereas with this, you’re getting a lot of speed off the exit and pushing out, almost like a gap jump, so you get that cool feeling of hang-time before you start falling and deploy your parachute.”
The run-in was long, off-camber and required full commitment, as grabbing the brakes would likely have resulted in Tim crashing off the drop. Landing was also a challenge, as he needed both hands on the toggles to ‘flare’ the parachute and slow it down, yet also had to grab hold of the handlebar and get the bike lined up, having left it hanging from his harness while he opened the ’chute.
So, why use a bike? "Freeriding and dirt jumping were the first extreme sports I started, so it’s good after all these years to be able to combine these sports and get back on the bike!" says Tim. “Because this jump is relatively short, I had to hold the pilot chute in my hand and throw it as soon as I left the cliff. I don’t think anyone’s done that on an MTB BASE jump before. No one’s done an MTB BASE jump in Wales, either, or in the mountains in the UK, so it’s something special."
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Check out the new Jamis Dakar at www.gooutdoors.co.uk.