TWIN FALLS — Miles Daisher was halfway up the steep canyon trail when his legs cramped up.
It was after 6 p.m. Monday, and he still had 38 BASE jumps to go to beat the unofficial world record held by Danny Weiland. With temperatures reaching the 90s, Daisher said this moment — right after his 24th jump — was the worst part.
But after climbing over the rock wall below the Perrine Bridge, complaining briefly, Daisher grinned at a crowd of spectators.
“We’re gonna make it,” he said.
It was this same positive energy that kept him going throughout the night.
Around 9:30 a.m. the next morning, the Perrine Bridge quaked under the weight of passing vehicles as Daisher, 48, stretched his legs, preparing to make his record-breaking jump. As he climbed atop the railing, all eyes, phones and drone cameras were on him.
One jump to go.
With a backward flip, Daisher plunged into the canyon. After a few seconds of free-fall, he released his parachute, drifting halfway between the cheers from the bridge and those from the landing spot below.
But the task wasn’t over yet — for it to count, Daisher still had to climb back up to the bridge before 11 a.m. He was met by a jubilant crowd gathered there on the Canyon Rim Trail.
“I’m gonna do one more, hiking out,” he announced after pleasing his audience with selfies, autographs and high-fives. “I think I’m gonna swim away after that.”
On the summer solstice, Daisher set an unofficial record for the most human-powered BASE jumps in one day, leaping from the I.B. Perrine Bridge 63 times in 24 hours. And — just as he’d said — he finished the day off with a final, 64th jump into the Snake River.
“He’s lightning in a bottle,” Nick Hauck of Ohio described.
Hauck was one of 30 members of Daisher’s crew helping pack parachutes and ensure safety throughout the event. Like many of those who watched the BASE jumper attempt the record, he was impressed with the man’s seemingly inexhaustible source of positivity.
Daisher, a resident of Twin Falls, is a member of the Red Bull Air Force. He’d held a 57-jump record he set in 2005 until Weiland beat it with 61 in September. Daisher has BASE jumped more than 4,500 times in his life.
The jumps were also a fundraiser for the Magic Valley Trails Enhancement Committee, which has plans to connect the Canyon Rim Trail from Federation Road to Shoshone Falls.
Initially concerned about Daisher’s fast pace, Red Bull sponsored athlete Luke Aikins knew Monday just how the record would be broken.
“For Miles, it’s going to be mind over matter,” he said.
The longest night
Daisher was originally scheduled to begin his record attempt the morning of the summer solstice — but a promising weather forecast moved the event up a day sooner. He continued the full 24 hours with no sleep — running off adrenaline, water, Red Bull and protein-powered snacks.
Carmel Steffan, a longtime friend, came to watch Daisher late into Monday evening.
“That bulls-eye was pitch black, and he still hit it on the center every time,” she said.
And despite jumping, hiking and biking since 11 a.m., he’d still looked happy. A while before his energy appeared to drop off a bit, Steffan overheard one exchange between Daisher and his wife, Nikki.
“Nikki asked him how he felt,” Steffan recalled. “He said, ‘How do I look?’ She said, ‘You look good.’ He said, ‘Then that’s how I feel.”
Steffan nearly missed Daisher’s final jumps the next morning, as he was ahead of schedule.
“It’s kind of a record within a record,” she said, noting Daisher beat Weiland’s 61 jumps in less than a full day.
After completing the 62 jumps, Daisher admitted he was feeling the pain.
“Somebody said last night it was the shortest night,” he said. “I beg to differ.”
With an early finish, he may yet have attempted more than 63 jumps before the clock stopped.
“I think if you do a record, you should do it safely,” he said.
It was far from a one-man show.
Spectators from near and far watched not only Daisher, but some of his friends and crew members BASE jump from the Perrine Bridge over the 24-hour period. On his 63rd jump, Daisher chose to leap off the bridge with two others, multicolored parachutes adding to the spectacle.
Daisher had hand-picked people to help pack and haul parachutes throughout the event — and several of them had even learned to BASE jump from Daisher himself.
When the start date was changed last-minute, Nikki Daisher said it was a hustle to get everything and everyone together. But thankfully, some of the preparations had already been made.
“They’ve done a lot of trail work leading up to this,” said Cheryl Wheeler, a friend of Daisher’s who came to offer support.
An EMT on the ground and boats in the river were on standby should a problem occur.
Nikki Daisher said her husband had been training since January.
“I’m just super proud of him,” she said.
Daisher’s celebratory 64th jump just before 11 a.m. Tuesday didn’t count toward the record because he didn’t climb back up to the bridge. But immense relief was apparent on his face as he swam in the cool water.
“Nobody likes a quitter,” he said after a boat ride to shore, where members of his crew showered him in champagne. “I’m quitting not drinking.”
His next plans? Go home, high-five his kids and take an ice bath followed by a nap.
“What an epic adventure just to have,” he said.
See more photos online: A gallery of photos taken throughout the 24-hour period can be found at magicvalley.com.