Back to The One – BASE time

So after a wicked break over Christmas and New Year with friends, I took the opportunity to go and shoot some more BASE jumping. My friend Si Guthrie is back in Wanaka for a few weeks, and keen for jumping. He headed up to The One, up in Mt Aspiring National Park, by Rob Roy Glacier to camp for 3 days and jump of the massive 1000ft cliff. I headed up on Sunday to see if I could catch him jump and snap a few frames. It was a scorching day, and conditions were perfect. It always takes my breath away how beautiful it is up there. Rob Roy Glacier is a 2 hour walk from Raspberry Flat, 1 hr drive from Wanaka.

‘The One’ is on the left hand side of the picture. BASE jumpers love this jump, as it is perfectly sheer and they can see what the wind is doing thanks to the waterfall. They launch from the lookers right of the waterfall.

The waterfall reaches its destination at the bottom of The One.

We arrived after Si and Mitch, a friend of Si’s also there to jump, had completed their first jump, and waited while they carefully packed their chutes. This takes about an hour, as they make sure everything is perfect. There are no reserve shoots in BASE jumping! Attention to detail is critical.

Si packing his chute, very very carefully….
The climb to the top of The One is no easy fete. It is a full on scale with ropes and a strong head, so I chose to shoot from the bottom again, feeling that the way down would be too challenging! We waited for 2 hrs while the boys got to the top. Unfortunately the cliff loses the light shortly after 10am, so although we were there in time, it took the boys 2 hrs to get to the top and we had just lost the light on the cliff by the time they jumped. I have shot this cliff twice before, so I wasn’t completely gutted, I just chose a different angle to get a more ‘artsy’ feel to it!

Mitch proving that, yes, man can fly!

After Mitch’s canopy safely cracks open he sails down to earth after 4 seconds of free fall.

Si, just after his canopy cracked into life.

After watching the boys jump, we crossed back over the river, which was much higher due to the glacial melt of a hot day, and walked up to take a proper look at the magnificent Rob Roy Glacier.

On the walk out, we bumped into this wee Kea. Just chilling out watching us walk by…

I was going to head up to shoot another jump near Queenstown today, but it was called off as a little too windy. Re-scheduled for Friday. I should be able to get to the top of this one so will be shooting the exit. Exciting! stay tuned…