Baku, May 19, AZERTAC
Two prominent Base jumpers, Dean Potter and Graham Hunt, died in a wingsuit accident in Yosemite national park this weekend.
Potter, 43, was a climbing and wingsuit pioneer and the creator of “freebase,” a hybrid extreme sport that combined rock climbing without ropes and skydiving, according to the Guardin.
Potter and Hunt, 29, crashed late on Saturday after leaping from a promontory called Taft Point, 3,000ft above the valley floor, park ranger Scott Gediman said.
A friend called Yosemite search and rescue on Saturday night when the pair failed to return from their jump. Their bodies were not recovered until Sunday morning, with the assistance of park rangers and a California highway patrol helicopter. Neither of the men appeared to have deployed their parachutes.
Base jumping in Yosemite is illegal and those who attempt it risk being arrested and fined.
Potter was one of the most recognizable figures in extreme sports. His independent spirit and inclination to push the boundaries of what was possible in climbing and Base jumping made him a revered presence in the tight-knit community.
Earlier this month, Potter set the record for the fastest ascent of Half Dome, one of Yosemite’s iconic monoliths. He completed it through a combination of trail running and free-soloing, or climbing without a rope. Among other records and first ascents, Potter completed the longest wingsuit Base flight, covering nearly four miles (6.5km) of ground in two minutes, 50 seconds, after jumping from the Eiger in Switzerland.