So, you want to BASE jump the New River Gorge Bridge?

Maybe you've been a BASE jumper for awhile and the New River Gorge Bridge is on your jump list.  Maybe you're an avid skydiver and looking for another way to get your rush. Or maybe you just showed up at Bridge Day this year and saw that an 82-year old man had jumped and thought you could do it too. Whatever your reason, BASE jumping off the New River Gorge Bridge is an epic feat.  Depending on your experience level, there are some guidelines you'll need to follow to get to the point where you can actually make the leap.

Experienced Jumpers

If you are already a BASE jumper or a skydiver, you may think this means you can just show up and jump. This is not quite the case. There are some requirements you must meet in order to jump at Bridge Day.

First of all, you need at least 100 parachute jumps (BASE  jumps and/or skydives), and at least one of those has to have been in the last two years prior to the event.

First time BASE jumpers must attend a BASE jump training event prior to their jump. There are several opportunities to get this training.

You must have BASE jump-specific or approved skydiving equipment and need to make sure your stuff qualifies before registering and paying for your slot.

Unexperienced Jumpers

If you've never jumped before, you have a fairly long road ahead to get the required number of jumps before Bridge Day 2012. The bright side?  In 100 jumps you'll probably realize whether or not jumping off an 876 foot tall bridge is for you. Plus you will have developed a pretty exciting hobby.

There is another way you can experience a BASE jump off the Bridge without going to all that effort. For the first time ever, the 2011 Bridge Day offered tandem BASE jumps.  Only 10 tandem jumps were available; stay posted on what might be offered in 2012.

The tandem jump isn't cheap, but compared to the amount you'd spend to get your 100 parachute jumps in, its a steal. As long as you have an adventurous spirit and meet a couple of other small requirements, it's safe to say that you're going to have the ride of your life.

So, are you planning to jump in 2012?