A BASE jumper died during a jump from a ridge line near Hope Mountain on the morning of Wednesday, July 15.
Police confirmed they received a call about a BASE jumper not arriving back at a landing area near the Silver Lake Provincial Park, 15 minutes from Hope along Silver Skagit Road. Spokesperson with the RCMP’s Upper Fraser Valley Regional detachment Mike Rail said police and the BC Coroners Service were involved in recovering a man’s body.
The coroners service are investigating the incident to determine “how, where, when and by what means a man came to his unexpected death,” Andy Watson, spokesperson with the service stated by email.
The man began his jump from the back side of Hope Mountain on a ridge line between Hope and Wells Peak Noelle Hartt with Hope Volunteer Search and Rescue stated. Hope’s rescue team had gone out on back-to-back calls Wednesday and called in Kent Harrison Search and Rescue to assist with this incident.
“The subject was experienced and had done that route numerous times,” Hartt added.
BASE stands for building, antenna, span and earth, all of which are typical exit points from which base jumpers leap according to basejumper.com. They leap equipped with a parachute, or in the case of wingsuit BASE jumpers wearing a full-body nylon suit also called a ‘squirrel’ wingsuit as outstretched it has the look of a flying squirrel that allows a pilot to glide and steer to a landing site. It is not yet known whether the man who died was using a wingsuit.
BASE jumping is popular in Squamish with prolific BASE jumpers doing hundreds of exits off of the Stawamus Chief, an area where jumps can be done legally, yet several jumps have also been done from Hope area mountains.
Over 300 people have died worldwide while base jumping, including the man considered the founding father of the sport Carl Boenish, and fatalities have increased in number since the early 2000s.
The identity of the man who died near Hope is not being shared publicly, the coroners service stated, in order to assure privacy.
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