And once the day arrives...
BASE jump activities need perfect wind and clear-cloud conditions. You need to check the weather forecast in advance and choose the best date to do the project. For that same reason, most of the times you need to reach the summit or the exit before dawn, so the wind is calm. Getting up very early is inherent to this sport. Moving fast and efficiently on the way up is also necessary. You can’t waste time. Climbing is more difficult when you are heavily loaded, but the magic of the moment deserves all the suffering. Suffering itself also gives taste to the whole experience.
Once we reach the top, we need to find the exit. It’s usually easy because of the info we gathered before: some screenshots from a video, some info of previous jumpers... But for new openings you need more time and maybe a previous trip. Finally, it is time to gear up on a tiny ledge, put on our BASE jumping gear and attach all our climbing gear onto our bodies. The connection with the wall, with the whole mountain and with your partner is amazing. Tiredness, good humour, and a lot of adrenaline; they all mix. The commitment with the activity is something I find in few other situations.
Suddenly everything stops, all that matters is the here and now. I like to take a minute on the edge to savour the moment, I know I want to be there. I go through each part of the process in my mind, touching the pilot chute and the chest strap one last time. I visualize how I have to push in the jump, and I look for firmer ground for my feet. I imagine the free fall, the position of my body and the line I want to follow. I rehearse the opening moment and prepare for a possible incident. Previewing is the key to solve problems quickly and in BASE jumping speed is vital. I do it only once but thoroughly. Start to end. Without looping; and that's when the time comes. I let all the air out of my lungs and start the countdown, that mantra that prepares the mind for what is about to come: GO FOR IT!