Saturday, October 18, 2008

Bridge Day, 2008 - Fayetteville, West Virginia

Bridge Day is the largest extreme sports event and the largest gathering of BASE jumpers in the world, held on the third Saturday in October every year in Fayetteville, West Virginia, USA. 450 BASE jumpers, hundreds of rappellers, and up to 200,000 spectators attended this year's Bridge Day on Saturday, October 18, 2008. The New River Gorge Bridge, 876' tall and the world's second longest single arch bridge, is the launch point for at least six hours (9am-3pm EDT) of legal, safe BASE jumps and REALLY LONG RAPPELS.

I had the rare opportunity to be under the bridge on the catwalk with the safety team. I was honored to be asked to photograph the safety team ops.The bridge is REALLY long. See here the ropes rigged and ready for the rappellers by the safety team.

My sister, (Berta), is on the safety team for the Rappellers. She also had the honor of raising the American flag to start the festivities.

Her husband was right behind her hauling up the West Virginia flag. The two of them climbed up their ropes 876' in about 15 minutes. Amazing.

You can see the rappell lines for the many teams that participate.

You look down and realize how far it really is. I was fine walking out onto beams to get the shot. But once you start looking through the camera, you really start to lose balance and have to recover.
Oh, and people jump off the bridge too...

A beautiful day photographing for the bridge day crew...
I loved it! Very different than photographing a wedding!