‘Sky Jump’ – base jumping by wire!


Crikey this is high up!

So, it’s all over, for another year, then the hard work to qualify next year begins all over again. What a year I have had too. A bit of a roller coaster to say the least.

Looking forward to a holiday and a break from it all for a month, the knee op then the real stuff begins again.

The morning after the night before, and I still fee ok about it all. I couldn’t have prepared any better, I couldn’t have raced any harder, with the way things are at the moment.

The day started with a later than every other day breakfast, then a long walk through ponsonby to Richmond road laundromat. we are running out of clothes!

On the way back, I decided today was the day that I was going to jump off the sky tower (the tallest building in the southern hemisphere). Hubby thought I was absolutely stark raving bonkers, and kept repeatedly telling me how I couldn’t do it today because it was windy, it was raining it was this, it was that… I was not deterred.

You can see the tower from our hotel window, and when I discovered that people could jump off it, it was simply something I HAD to do. Classed as ‘base jumping by wire’ you have a guided descent, harnessed onto two wires controlled by a motorised winch at the top of the tower.

All the same, standing on the edge of that platform facing outwards and being told to step off is not easy no matter how brave you think you are!

The jump

I was suited and harnessed, then sent up to the 54th floor. As i passed the 52nd floor where someone got out of the lift, those on the floor said oh my gosh are you jumping?! you are so brave! A few other ladies said come on quick, we can go and watch her go past!

When I arrived at the top I met two safety people who checked and double checked my harness again, before clipping me into the platform and reaching for the cable and winch, harnessing me to it.

I was told to stand facing outwards, holding onto two poles, then on the count of 3 I had to let go and step off! I said i was scared! she said ‘good, i would be worried if you weren’t!’I fell 10m before being told to look up and smile for a photo! Have you ever tried that suspended 190m or so from the ground?! Then without warning I was gone! It took a few seconds for my insides to catch up with my outsides, I remember passing the observation deck where people were pointing and looking, before looking down to see the target platform growing bigger and bigger from the speck that it started out as!

I managed to land on my feet, and hubby was there exclaiming how crazy I was! He said HIS knees were knocking!

The man unclipped me then offered me a free re-jump! Mark was wide eyes behind him, I thought, yeah why not!!

So up I went to do it all again! The second time there was no 10m photo, I was told to let go and step off then I was gone!! I don’t think I avoided screaming at least half way down on both occasions!

There was also a camera on my arm,  will upload that footage when I get home and have a computer.

Sky Tower – base jumping by wire from Melanie Ryding on Vimeo.

The second landing was not quite as graceful as the first, I forgot I had to use my legs and ended up sat on my ass! Then when I turned around I discovered that mark had only gone and found three clubmates, Iain Stacey and Dranny, who were also on the observation deck watching!

Stacey asked was it scary? Erm… Yes! In an exhilarating frightening ecstatic kind of way!

I got a free ticket to the observation deck afterwards, where I was asked did I not feel like doing the jump? Erm done it!

We went down a level for coffee, where two GB athletes were looking out at the cables and people whistling past, yep, I did that!

Awesome!

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