TWIN FALLS — A BASE jumper leaped off the Perrine Bridge at 9:30 a.m. Friday morning. By 9:40, he was jumping again. At 9:51, he soared off the bridge again. And again at 10:04. And again at 10:16.
Danny Weiland’s goal? BASE jump at least 60 times in 24 hours and break Miles Daisher’s unofficial world record for most jumps in one day.
At 7:10 p.m., fewer than 10 hours into “Twin Falls 60,” the 30-year-old Denver man had already completed 35 jumps and was well on his way to smashing Daisher’s record of 57 jumps in one day.
The difficult part of the feat, of course, is not the BASE jumping itself, but the climb from the landing zone back up to the bridge. Calculated by bridge height, 486 feet, if Weiland climbs up the canyon wall 60 times, he’ll be climbing at least 29,160 feet.
That’s the equivalent of climbing 131 feet higher than the peak of Mt. Everest.
“It’s a mental thing as much as it is a physical thing,” Weiland’s friend Bill Snyder said.
While Weiland is aiming to break Daisher’s record — Daisher made his 57 jumps exactly 11 years prior, on Sept. 16, 2005 — it’s not about beating the legendary BASE jumper who calls Twin Falls home.
In fact, Daisher and Weiland planned to do the 60 jumps together Friday, Snyder said, but on short notice Daisher, sponsored by Red Bull, had the opportunity to travel to China to BASE jump. It was an opportunity, apparently, that he couldn’t refuse.
Weiland has been training, Snyder said, by running up mountains in Colorado that reach above 14,000 feet — 14ers, as they’re known in the climbing community — helping to build his stamina.
And on his climbs up the canyon rim, it showed. On most climbs, it was taking Weiland less than 10 minutes from bottom to top.
While Weiland was the only jumper Friday attempting 60 jumps, he certainly wasn’t working alone. Snyder, a BASE jumper from Michigan, and about 20 other volunteers from the BASE jumping community were helping him to pack parachutes and stay hydrated, and make sure he was playing things safe.
And it was quite a process.
At the bottom of the canyon, in the landing zone south of the river, several people, led by Jessica Fry, were camped out ready to collect his used chute and pack it for a later jump. While they packed, Weiland climbed.
Under the bridge, Snyder and others were ready with snacks, water and prepared parachutes. In total, the group rotated at least 13 parachutes, or “rigs,” so that Weiland never had to wait.
Once he’d climbed the stairs, Weiland hopped on a bike and pedaled to the center of the bridge. Once there, other jumpers moved out of his way, Snyder gave his pack one last safety check, and Weiland jumped, starting the process all over again.
Though things looked to be running smoothly, there were some minor hiccups. On his 24th jump, Weiland landed in the river. A friend ran to buy him new shoes to ensure he wouldn’t get blisters from climbing in wet socks and shoes
“The canopy I was flying wasn’t mine,” Weiland explained of his river landing. “I wasn’t expecting it to have so much glide.”
T-shirts on sale under the bridge, with the proceeds earmarked to be donated to search-and-rescue crews, said “Twin Falls 60” was a celebration of the BASE community.
“Twin Falls 60 for the love of the sport, the love of the people in it, and the joy they bring to the life we live,” the shirt said.
It’s a community that lost one of its own during an accident June 29 in France when Weiland’s friend, John Van Horne, was killed while jumping.
But even death could not stop Van Horne from jumping again, as Weiland posted on Facebook that he’d be attempting to set the new world record with Van Horne’s ashes in his pocket.
Just after 9 a.m. on Saturday, Daisher, along with 15 other BASE jumpers, made his 61st leap from the bridge. Setting the new world record for number of BASE jumps in a 24 hour period.