If you’re looking for a great wingsuiting destination, look no further. Aside from the breath-taking scenery, these locations are the cream of the crop for wingsuiting fun. If you have the time, set a trip to one of these seven locales to experience wingsuiting like it was meant to be experienced. These are the best places to wingsuit.
Skydive Elsinore – Lake Elsinore, California
There are several great places to learn how to fly, and Skydive Elsinore in Southern California is one of the best. They’ve got every amenity a first-time wingsuitter could hope for, including a super-skilled and friendly 4-person wingsuit coaching staff, a pair of planes and a pool to practice wet landings. 15,000 feet above sea level, far from obstacles and earth, is where a beginner’s wingsuit journey really begins. Execute 50 or more wingsuit jumps from an airplane (and 50 or more BASE jumps) and you may be ready to wingsuit from earth.
Troll Wall aka “Carl’s Huge Wall” – Norway
So you think you’re ready to wingsuit BASE jump? Troll Wall in Norway is the perfect place for your first cliff jump. Also known as “Carl’s Huge Wall,” after Carl Boenish, the “father of BASE jumping,” Troll Wall offers the tallest vertical rock face in Europe: a 3,600 foot curtain of gneiss that splashes into the verdant valley of the Rauma River. There’s not much in the way when you go falling over the edge at 120 mph. Troll Wall is dramatically sheer, and it provides a huge landing zone, making it comparatively easy to touch down safely even with the surge of adrenaline from your first wingsuit BASE jump coursing through your veins.
Tianmenshan – China
No wingsuit setting is more stunning than the limestone canyon known as Tianmenshan. Located in northwest Hunan, China, this national park isn’t always open for wingsuit BASE jumping, but when it is, it provides an unforgettable and incredibly dangerous glide. Just this past October, the best wingsuit pilots in the world gathered in Tianmenshan to test the course – a potentially lethal line that zipped through the mist, around a tethered balloon, and under a cable car. Luckily, no pilots were hurt.
Stryn – Norway
Norway’s breathtaking geography and ancient legacy of glaciation makes the country one of the best, if not the best, wingsuit BASE jumping destination on earth. There are hundreds of exit points lining the country’s famous fjords, which slice into the landmass like a wingsuit pilot carving through air. One of Norway’s most challenging routes can be foundnear Stryn on the Innvikfjorden fjord. This is the exit point from which Norwegian Espen Fadnes shot 155 mph (incredibly fast for a wingsuit) through the sky in 2011. It is one of innumerable jumping points, some discovered and most still virgin, that shoot into the skies above Norway and tempt adrenalists across the globe.
The Hinterrugg And “The Crack” – Switzerland
Perhaps you’ve seen Jeb Corliss’ “Grinding the Crack” video. If not, view the insanity above. In fact, “The Crack” is just the final terrifying segment of a spectacular flight path found in the Appenzell Alps. The jump point is the peak of the Hinterrugg, a 7,566-foot incisor overlooking the idylic Swiss countryside. This jump is for experts only. Jeb Corliss is, after all, the definition of professional.
The Eiger – Switzerland
The Eiger is a seriously large piece of rock. Why not wingsuit from it? Only one man ever has, and his name is Dean Potter. In August 2009, the notorious daredevil climbed the peak to a prominence jutting thousands of feet in the air – “a beautiful diving board,” he called it. Then he jumped, flying for 2 minutes 50 seconds, and covering nearly four miles. It was and still is the longest wingsuit BASE jump ever recorded. You can reproduce that jump today, if you can convince the authorities to grant you a license.
Milford Sound – New Zealand
Of course you can wingsuit in New Zealand, home to some of the most extreme people and terrain on earth. Rudyard Kipling called Milford Sound, a gorgeous fjord in southwest New Zealand, the “eighth wonder of the world.” Wingsuiters call this destination their playground. It’s not hard to see why: countless spires shooting straight into the sky carrying names like “The Lion” and “Terror Peak.” Plenty more Kiwi exit points have never been named. Someone’s gotta name them. Will it be you?