By Rebecca Drew
THRILLING video footage shows the moment a fearless female BASE jumper soared through the air at speeds of up to 120-miles-per-hour.
The exhilarating footage shows professional adventure sports athlete, Clair Marie (29) from Strawberry, California, USA, jumping from the 2,350-foot tall glass skywalk in Yunyang, China and descending onto Thailand’s exotic islands in another jump.
Pictures show the adrenaline junkie rock climbing and inspecting her parachute.
“I have always been super interested in outdoor adventure sports. I was born and raised in a very small mountain town where the only stuff to do was outside; back packing, rock climbing, swimming in the freezing American river,” she said.
“I was raised in nature and that really helped propel me in the action and adventure sports direction.
“I had, from a very young age, been intrigued with parachute sports, so when I saw BASE jumping on TV for the first time I was immediately drawn to it. I was eight-years-old at the time and I knew that I was going to be a jumper one day.
“I spent the next eight years reading about it, researching it and talking about BASE jumping to anyone who would listen to me. At sixteen I was given the opportunity to make my first jump after months of messaging people asking if they would teach me.
“It was the most thrilling, relaxing and scary thing I had ever done. My first jump was off a 480ft power tower at 10pm with no moon. It was like jumping into a black hole.
“The moment my feet left the edge and I was falling through the air I knew I was right where I wanted to be and that I had found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Here I am twelve years later still jumping and working as a professional athlete.
“The terminal velocity of a human falling is approximately 120mph. This takes up to twenty seconds to reach that speed after my feet leave the edge. Most BASE jumps, at least in the US, are fairly short so I very rarely reach that speed. It is only when I’m jumping objects that are much taller that I reach my max speed.”
Clair started rock climbing and skiing when she was just three years old and says that people are often shocked when they learn what she does for a living.
Her advice to others who would like to take up BASE jumping is to start with skydiving, understand the risks and remain focused.
“There are risks associated with everything we do, but for me it is about mitigating the risk, rising above the fear and accomplishing the things that people view as impossible. Most of the things that one has to overcome in this industry is the mental and emotional blocks,” she said.
“We are our greatest limitations in the world so I actively work towards getting out of my own way, not putting limits on myself and seeing how far I can really push myself while mitigating risk and maintaining a high level of safety.
“Unfortunately, serious injury or death is a potential outcome in all of my main sports, BASE jumping and bike racing, but with proper preparation I can take calculated risks and have a much safer outcome.
“I get such a crazy range of reactions, from total disbelief and fear to excitement and intrigue. Most people can’t believe what I really do and when I tell them it is my living they are stunned and curious.
“I can see the fear and excitement in their eyes and hear it in their voice. Most people can’t seem to really wrap their mind around it and end up shaking their head side to side and call me crazy.
“We are all capable of so much more than we ever know and that ‘normal’ is whatever you make of it.
“Society will always try to label and limit people and I aim to challenge that in all aspects of my life.”