Balinghe River Bridge/Page 3

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The 2012 Balinghe Bridge BASE Jump Event!


On July 21st, 2012, China held its first ever bridge BASE jump event from Balinghe Bridge. Thirty jumpers from 15 countries participated in the gathering that was officially titled The 2012 China Anshun Balinghe Bridge Parachuting International Challenge.

Thousands of locals from nearby Anshun and Guanling as well as the Guizhou Provincial capital of Guiyang hiked along the local roads and down into the river gorge to see the jumpers fall almost 370 meters from the 1,088 meter long suspended truss span. The 6 hour event was also seen by millions more via a live CCTV television broadcast as well as numerous Chinese news and website outlets from the Guizhou region.


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Opening celebrations took place on a stage high along the Eastern slope where the old National Road crosses under the bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


A news crew covers the event overlooking the deep Balinghe River canyon. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Jiang Changjiang.


Thousands of spectators hiked to the event. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Dozens of food vendors were set up below the East tower. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Locals hiked along trails to claim a good vantage point beyond the main event stage area. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Forget about suntan lotion, the Chinese love using umbrellas to keep out of the sun! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The best place to view the event was at the bottom of the gorge, requiring a long hike along a local dirt farm road. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


A perfect landing! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Two jumpers glide south to the landing area. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


To reach the landing area, jumpers, spectators and news crews were ferried across the river on an inflatable raft. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


China's own SWAT team was even present at the event! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


A jumper misses the target...


...but nails the landing anyway! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Johan Vervoort reaches the halfway point where SUVs then took the jumpers the rest of the way back up to the base of the East bridge tower. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Thousands line the old bridge construction access roads along the West slope. The views from this area were not very good as the landing area was not visible. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


BASE jumpers Tim Mattson and Maurizio di Palma give an interview. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Amanda Vicharelli shares a laugh with Finnish BASE jumper Petri Lehtinen who dislocated his leg. Such injuries are commonplace at BASE jumping events. At West Virginia's annual Bridge Day BASE event at least half a dozen ambulance runs are the norm. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Red Bull athlete John Berry adjusts his GoPro camera during the raft ride. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


After a long hot day, the trail teemed with crowds heading back up to the main road. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Two jumpers float towards the seemingly hidden landing area. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The Balinghe event was the first of what would be 2 major 2012 BASE events at a Chinese Bridge. On September 16th a similar event was held at the Aizhai Bridge in nearby Hunan Province. Aizhai and Balinghe are the 2 most spectacular and accessible BASE jump bridges in China and probably the world. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com

This entry has 3 pages: 1 | 2 | 3
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