Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Angel Falls - Base jumper proves age is no obstacle
Jimmie Angel famously crashed his plane on top of Auyan-tepui not far from the waterfall which today bears his name. But what about jumping off the top with just a parachute to stop you smashing into the ground 979 metres below?
Welshman Eric Jones proved age is no obstacle to adventure in 1998 when he became the oldest person to base jump from the top of Auyan-tepui, launching himself off a cliff edge above the highest waterfall in the world. He was 61 years old.
Asked how he felt before he jumped, he said: "Quite cool, really. I was very focused on what I had to do: I had to start tracking - flying away from the rock face as soon as I'd fallen for three seconds. This is so that when the parachute opens, you're as far away from the rocks as possible."
When he's not scaling the North Face of the Eiger, base jumping in Mexican caves or leaping from balloons, the 70 year-old adrenaline junkie relaxes at his regular job: running a small climbers' cafe in Tremadog, North Wales, near the coastal town of Porth Madog.
He must have been some kind of nutter to jump from the top of Angel Falls, but I'm glad he did because the crew captured some awesome images of the falls and the Devil's Canyon on the way down.
Click here to make Angel Falls one of the 7 Wonders of Nature
Video clip of Angel Falls from David Attenborough's BBC series "Planet Earth"
The True Story of Jimmie Angel and the Discovery of Angel Falls