What is B.A.S.E. Jumping and what does B.A.S.E. Stand for?
BASE stands for Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth. BASE jumpers leap from any and all of these four fixed objects with parachutes designed specifically for rapid deployment. Known around the world as the most extreme of extreme sports, BASE jumpers look forward to Bridge Day ® every year.
The New River Gorge Bridge saw its first BASE jumpers in 1979, just 2 years after the bridge was completed and opened to the public. As more and more people entered the sport, the tradition of coming to West Virginia for Bridge Day has grown- more than 800 jumps were made last year.
The vast majority of people (more than 80,000 expected!) come to Bridge Day to watch. All of the jumpers are registered, and can make as many jumps as they are able to within a six hour window.
- The New River Gorge Bridge is open for pedestrian traffic from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with BASE jumpers leaving the bridge from the jump deck the entire time.
- The designated Landing Zone for jumpers is the parking area at the Fayette Station river access on the south side of the gorge.
- Spectators can take in the action from a number of spots within the gorge. In addition to walking out on the bridge, jumpers can be viewed from hiking trails along the rim, the Fayette Station river access, and the National Park observation deck at the New River Gorge Bridge visitor’s center.