An escalating trend in urban BASE jumping – illegal in most cities – is worrying some who say such risky stunts are tarnishing the image of the extreme sport.
Just before midnight, a man climbs onto a ledge on the 21st floor of a building in southwest Paris and leaps off. Mere seconds later, he opens his parachute – all part of the thrill of BASE jumping.
Unlike sky divers who leap from an aircraft, BASE jumpers take off from a fixed point, usually a cliff or a bridge. A BASE jump is defined as a leap off a fixed high point – the name being an acronym for Building, Antenna, Span (such as bridges) and Earth (natural settings).