Base Jumpers & The Chief
One thing I have learned to be true is that the longer you spend out on the trails, the more likely you are to have a collection of strange and interesting stories. This particular day was a doozy.
I had a photo shoot in the morning, so Coco and I planned on leaving mid afternoon for "a quick hike up the Chief." I'm not sure how we neglected to factor in the lengthy drive, but we ended up at the trailhead around dinner time.
Hungry and disorientated, we were determined to make it to at least the first peak and were rewarded for our late start by a deserted summit and excellent late-day lighting. As we made our way back down, we came across a pair of base jumpers. They were super friendly and eager to share about their passion for adrenaline, so we tagged along with them back up the peak to watch them jump.
We were disappointed to find the wind was off, making it too risky to make the jump that evening, but they still took the time to show us how their gear worked, share some jumping stories, and pose for my camera as the sun set over Squamish.
The next day, I heard on the news that a base jumper had passed away after his parachute malfunctioned on a jump off the Chief earlier in the morning. As more and more details started rolling in, I realized it had been one of the base jumpers I'd met the day before.
What a strange experience to meet someone the evening before they leave this world. He was an inspiring and friendly guy who I feel honoured to have met and photographed.