For just 6 hours, once a year, Bridge Day becomes the focal point of extreme sports. Ever wanted to know exactly how many daredevils participated? The stats are in for 2017, so sit back and enjoy the numbers behind Bridge Day.
No doubt about it: these parachuters steal the show. Witnessing someone soar from a 876-foot-high drop is an incredible experience. And since the New River Gorge Bridge is such an unusual launching point, hundreds of BASE jumpers arrive every year.
Here’s the lowdown:
- Total number of BASE jumpers: 348
- Number of states represented: 33
- Age of youngest BASE jumper: 20
- Grand total of jumps: 714
This year’s festival also brought back the launch for BASE jumpers— a crowd favorite. It was used 30 times.
Bridge Day isn’t a one-trick pony. Rappellers add another dynamic to the spectacle, making it even more unique. They use ropes and safety equipment to descend from the catwalk. Using those same methods, rappellers can also ascend from the gorge.
Check out these stats:
- Total number of participants: 329
- Number of rappels: 963
- Number of climbs: 69
3. Daring spectators
Not everybody can be a BASE jumper or rappeller. Bravery aside, both sports require lots of experience prior to Bridge Day. Still, that doesn’t mean you’re limited to sightseeing. Provided you sign up in advance, it’s possible to do tandem BASE jumps with a pro. Another popular activity is the high line— a zip line attached to the catwalk.
See how many folks took the plunge:
- Number of tandem BASE jumps: 18
- High line rides: 98
- Number of Bridge Walks: 164
Never heard of a Bridge Walk tour? These special outings on the catwalk are available all year. It’s a spectacular— and unforgettable— way to visit the New River Gorge.
4. Other noteworthy numbers
Like any event worth its salt, Bridge Day collects data that doesn’t fit into any particular category.
Take a look at this year’s haul:
- Viewers from 12 different countries watched Bridge Day online.
- The New River makes landings safe— another perk for BASE jumpers. This year, there were 95 water rescues.
- The popular Bridge Day 5k attracted 241 runners. Racers ranged in age from 8-75 years old.
If you attended Bridge Day, feel free to share your favorite observation or bit of trivia!
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