Hans Lange, 44, stood on the mile-high Bjoeketind Peak near Oslo, Norway. He surveyed the country beneath him, balanced a bit, took a deep breath – and jumped. He survived to tell about his near-death story to others.
The jump was not as foolhardy as it sounds, as Lange is a BASE jumper. BASE jumpers use a parachute or the sequenced use of a wingsuit and parachute to jump from fixed objects. The acronym stands for Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth – fixed objects from which one can jump. The parachute is unopened at the jump.
On Aug. 23, Lange leapt off the peak and descended at 110 mph (180 kph). So far, so good. Until he realized he was coming precariously close to the rock wall. At this point he deployed his chute and tried to steer away from the mountainside.
A video of his ordeal shows him howling in pain as he repeatedly strikes the rock while he attempts to untangle his parachute cords.
Eventually, he continued his plunge toward the ground and came to an inglorious end when he landed in a 330-foot-high tree, to be rescued by a helicopter 45 minutes later.
Lucky Mister Lange was treated for a broken leg and will live to try again.
"When I have recovered I will jump again," he told reporters. "It all comes down to better planning. It’s a fantastic feeling to fly along a mountainside."