The sky’s the limit when it comes to thrill-seeking adventure. While bungee jumping used to be the extreme, there is a new, heightened level of intensity for the fearless men and women who risk their lives for that ultimate thrill. These five adrenaline-filled sports are not your typical garden variety. They are currently some of the world’s most extreme sports to catch air.
While each of these feats have different degrees of danger, the daredevils know they can have an attorney who specializes in aviation accidents available on call day or night if something were to go wrong. So, be prepared and plan ahead. If you are considering trying one of these adventures, use caution and be safe.
1. Extreme Skydiving
Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner recently jumped from the edge of the earth (the stratosphere) 24 miles into an American desert. His jump happened to be a mission in a special space suit. That is extreme. Maybe not for a former military parachutist. Maybe not for someone who has jumped more than 2,500 times. But for the average hedonist, stick with keeping in the atmosphere.
Extreme skydiving can exist on different levels. The sport of parachuting out of a plane and flying is of high intensity and takes audacity and courage. In many parts of the world, a high altitude jump can be done at 30,000 feet and divers must carry a bailout bottle of oxygen during freefall. This is considered extreme skydiving for experienced jumpers.
Skydiving in India is a growing sport. The Indian Parachuting Federation (IPF) was created to bring awareness and promote safety in aerosports and bring adventure activities to India and its surroundings. `
2. Base Jumping
B-A-S-E (building, antenna, span, earth) — the places from whence you came after a base jump. There is usually not a long freefall but a few seconds of air before the chute is deployed, leaving no time to deal with any possible malfunction. Jumping from a manmade structure or cliff is dangerous and, a word of warning, illegal in many places.
India witnessed its first base jump a few years ago in Pitampura as Lt. Col. Satyendra Verma jumped off a TV tower at a height of 235 meters, reports India Today. If intrigued by this extreme sport, be sure you contact a reputable and legal company or guide as many counties have banned base jumping due to a high level of danger involved.
3. Cliff Diving
Sans chute, cliff divers take fearless to a new level. What exactly does it entail? Like high diving, jumpers tend to be physically fit with aerobic grace and acrobatic perfection. But they are diving from a cliff into some sort of natural water which could feature rough rocks on landing. Braving the conditions, cliff divers take a plunge of courage. While it is sometimes completely spontaneous, there are also serious competitions with rules and height restrictions set to ensure safety.
Rishikesh is a popular destination for the sport as adventurers climb up a rock to reach a platform at the top of a 30-40 feet high cliff…and jump! The scenic location of Rishikesh offers rafting opportunities, as well.
4. Hang Gliding
Typically launching from a hill or cliff top, hang gliders get the freeing sensation unlike many other. Hang gliding is somewhat of a go-to for adventure seekers because they are more in control of their fate than some of the other extreme sports like say, cliff diving. But it takes some training to launch, direct, control and land safely. Once the skill is learned, a glider can be in the sky for hours experiencing solitude and peace.
Himachal Pradesh knows hang gliding as they have been setting up tented colonies to facilitate hang gliders in the spring months and have been offering sites since 1984. There have been three International Hang Gliding Championships here since then. Other locations to look into are Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maghalaya for this majestic opportunity to get a bird’s eye view of India’s beautiful land.
5. Ice Climbing
No matter the dangers, which can include frostbite, falling and avalanche, ice climbing is for the extreme adventure junkie who must be keen and alert at all times as they navigate icy and slippery terrain through high altitudes…vertically, sometimes upside-down and horizontally. It’s steep, it’s cold, it’s isolated. By using tools such as a pick, ax and crampons (toothed claws on boots), these voyagers make their way to the top.
Climbing has become the fastest growing sport in India, according to himalayavisit.com. Trained guides can take thrill-seekers through the peaks of the Himalayans. With different terrain to cover across India, there are other mountains to climb (whether ice or rock) other than the Himalayans like Mt. Abu, Pachmarhi and try the Gangotri Gorge. While almost anyone can take classes and guided climbing lessons, it takes determination, drive and the love of the sport to go to such great heights.