By:
19-05-2015

Extreme Tragedy In Yosemite.

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The world of extreme sports is mourning the loss of one of its greatest legends - Dean Potter. Potter and fellow Base jumper Graham Hunt plunged to their deaths after attempting a flight in their wingsuits at Taft Point in Yosemite National Park. Potter was renowned for always pushing the limits in the world of extreme sports. He developed the hybrid sport of "freebase", which involves rock climbing and skydiving.Extreme tragedy in Yosemite Potter, who had made Yosemite his home along with his girlfriend and his dog Whisper, was a common name in the park. Earlier this month, he'd achieved the fastest ascent to one of most iconic climbs in Yosemite - Half Dome. He did it with a combination of trail running and free-soloing, climbing without a rope. He'd been climbing and base jumping with Graham Hunt for several years. Hunt was 29 years old.
Other achievements by Potter include having the record for the longest wingsuit flight, done from the Eiger in Switzerland, covering nearly four miles and flying for about two minutes, 50 seconds. Despite what might have looked like a dream life for any Base jumper, Potter's stunts led him to lose some sponsorships, like the one from Patagonia in 2006 due to the controversy caused by his solo ascent of Delicate Arch in Arches National Park.
He also faced the criticism of many animal protection groups as he used to practice his Base jumps with his dog, which wasn't with him at the time of the fatal accident. Last November, Potter saw his financial support cut by sports nutrition Clif Bar after the release of the adventure film Valley Uprising due to the high degree of risk shown on the film.
Potter and Hunt were reported missing by a friend after both sportsmen failed to return from their jump. Base jumping is illegal in the national park and those who try it might face even prison. Known to many as a man with a simplistic view of his profession, he used to follow his intuition in every attempt, but always backing it up with facts. According to him, before attempting any leap, he and his friends would assess the wind strength, the distance, whether the rock wall fell cleanly and ultimately its angle.
It is not clear what could have caused both fatalities. The wind might have been the main reason, as its recorded speed was of 26 mph that day - skydivers tend to prefer a speed of 20 mph. However an investigation is yet to be carried out by the official authorities of the national park and it would be very likely to see tighter restrictions for any extreme sports practiced in the area.
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