Posted by: Walker Mackey | 2013/09/01

I Am a “Para-alpinist”

Photo's Camera 070

Some days I agree with some outsiders that say BASE jumpers are suicidal tyrants that roam around like gypse’s destroying and abusing everyone and everything. They are lazy opportunist, exploiting situations in order to benefit themselves. Acting selfishly without any regard for others, terrorizing and destroying nature just to amuse themselves. And in the end they are so insecure and self-conscious that the only way they can feel good about themselves is to do dangerous shit and try to get away with it. They reduce the margins to such a small percentage that they die in front of everyone and then we all cry and feel like shit, because we love our stupid friends that do stupid stuff! I’m tired…

I prefer to be a Para-alpinist. A Para-alpinist use’s a parachute as a means of making a controlled descent. Para-alpinist’s use technology to safely navigate from a high point on a mountain to lower ground. This is a truly amazing concept! If the proper precautions are taken, this allows one to quickly and safely get down from a hike or climb. The proper use of a parachute can enable a safe, low impact decent.

Bispon Flyby

To make a safe decent there are three things that BASE Jumpers do that a Para-alpinist does not. The first is fly close to objects (Proximity Flying). There is nothing safe about buzzing the ground at high speeds. The second is jumping from locations that don’t allow one to gather distance from the fixed object which is being jumped (Short Rock Drops/ Low Object Jumping). The last is the use of a big wing suit. Big wing suits are reserved for those who have lots of experience, which there are very few in the world. Jumping into a wing suit you don’t have the skill set for is extremely dangerous.

In writing this I realize that I have actually been very hypocritical in my learning curve. This season I started jumping with my brother, which made me become extra cautious. I found that he was actually more conservative then me. 🙂 Recently we had a conversation that made me decide to create these guidelines. It’s not cool to be dangerous!


The biggest thing I have learned this year is patience. Things take time. Your not going to be instantly professional. We don’t live in the Matrix. Skills take time and hard work to develop. A lifetime of practice dedicated to one thing will make you proficient. It takes sacrifice. If you want to get good at Para-alpinism, a good friend of mine told me, “quite your job and jump.” Dedicate everything you have to jumping and then you will become proficient over time. This means hiking to safe practice jumps allot…Everyday! “Jump allot, but stay humble.”

Please join me in changing the way we view our passion. Stop encouraging the people we love to be dangerous. Become a Para-alpinist. Be honest with yourself, love yourself, and stay true to what really maters. For me it is all about having fun in the mountains with the people I love.



  1. Reblogged this on Sykose Extreme Sports News and commented:
    Great point of view

  2. I love your philosophy. More people could think this way and the world may be a better place.

  3. Hi Walker,
    Here in France we are a growing community that is in the same kind of mind than you.
    Just one point : big wingsuits if properly used (and if you respect you limits) are not that tricky nowadays that you think and allow us to have huge glide to open massive alpine jumps with safer starts (and higher pulls!).
    Only few of the news big jumps of this summer in the french alps :

  4. This article was written as a emotional release of the sadness/pain I am feeling. Its only intention was to help myself and the community. If you were offended by it. I apologies. It was not my intention to disrespect. Pure hearts and pure flights for all.

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