BASE jumping registration is almost here!

Bridge Day— the world’s biggest BASE jumping festival— is Oct. 21, but planning starts now. That includes sign-ups for aerialists like you.

Would you like to BASE jump from the 876-foot-high New River Gorge Bridge? You’re days away from fulfilling that dream.

Here’s what you need to know.

BASE jumping registration

Get ready! Registration starts July 1 at 5 p.m.

You won’t want to wait too long, either. Bridge Day is a rarity for BASE jumpers and rappellers alike. For one thing, you’d be hard pressed to find height like this! At 876 feet tall, the steel-arch span is one of America’s most unique landmarks. For another, the New River Gorge Bridge is never accessible to pedestrians— except for Bridge Day.

So for just one day, for 6 hours, it’s a limited-edition jump.

BASE training for Bridge Day

BASE jumping from the New River Gorge Bridge is unusual. Height aside, the Landing Zone requires some skill. From 876 feet high, your target will be the size of your thumbnail.

Fortunately, you can get some practice with training courses. Twin Falls BASE Company in Idaho approximates conditions you’ll experience from the New River Gorge Bridge. Get lots of air time, plus object evaluations and BASE jumping tips from professionals. It’s a fantastic way to prep.

Flying for beginners

If solo flights aren’t your thing, try Tandem BASE instead! No experience needed, either. An expert BASE jumper will fly with you from top to bottom.

With seconds of freefall, dazzling forest foliage and a glittering river below you, it’s an experience you’ll never forget. Neither will your friends and family.

Still a bit too much, too fast? A high line is another way down. If you’ve ever gone zip lining, then you already know what to expect. In this case, you’ll fly from the bridge catwalk to Fayette Station Road— a distance of roughly 700 feet.

Not bad, right? But even if you can’t handle heights or speed, just come for the show. Bridge Day makes a thrilling spectacle just by itself!

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done? Share your story!

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Fly into the Gorge!

There’s more to Bridge Day than just base jumping.

This one-day festival is your chance to zip line or (with prior experience) rappel into the New River Gorge! Now’s the time to think about flying.

Rappelling

BASE jumping steals the limelight, no doubt about that. But rappelling is another Bridge Day sport. It’s awe-inspiring, too. With ropes and special equipment, repellers ascend or descend like spiders into the void.

All Bridge Day rappellers start from the catwalk, where starting positions are determined in advance by a lottery. So are teams. In fact, owing to the bridge’s extreme height, folks from around the globe enter for a slot— demand is that fierce.

If you know how to rappel, lottery registration is now available until June 16. Visit Bridge Day Rappel for rules and signup information.

High line

Highlining at WV's Bridge Day

Crave a piece of the action? While BASE jumping and rappelling require lots of experience, a high line does not.

Never heard of one? It’s basically a zip line that’s anchored to the New River Gorge Bridge catwalk. From there, you’ll drop 300 vertical feet into the gorge, straighten out and descend gracefully to the bottom. The total distance from start to finish is 700 feet.

As you can imagine, highlining is a giddy experience. Brisk autumn air, brilliant leaf colors and dizzying speed make quite a cocktail! If you’re game, getting signed up is easy.

Things to keep in mind:

  • No prior training is necessary. However, you must be 10 or older and not weigh more than 275 pounds.
  • Tandem rides are available. Share the journey with a friend! However, you might have to ride with someone if time gets limited or weather becomes a concern, too.
  • Spaces are limited. Get those tickets early!

In fact, registration is available now through Oct. 1, or until all slots are filled. You’ll get a safety lecture and high line orientation before the festival.

Bridge Walks

Can’t wait until October 21? Go on a Bridge Walk tour! These extraordinary “hikes” on the catwalk are available all year. Sign up, meet your guide and brace yourself for mind-boggling views. Don’t even think about leaving the house without a camera! If you’re lucky, you’ll spot peregrine falcons flying by at eye level.

Consider it a sneak preview of Bridge Day.

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Is Bridge Day on your bucket list? Make it happen.

Plan ahead for the world’s biggest BASE jumping festival!

For just 1 day, the New River Gorge Bridge closes to cars and opens up for aerial stunts, tourists and plenty of drama. If you’d like to have a stake in Bridge Day, get ready to snag the best activities before they’re gone!

BASE jumping

This year’s Bridge Day is Oct. 21, so you have months to prepare for the festival’s main event: BASE jumping!

BASE jump registration opens July 1 and closes Oct. 10. Since you’ll be leaping from the bridge to the gorge— a height of almost 900 feet— you must have years of experience. Get the proper gear, too. Among other things, you’ll need a 9-foot bridle and a pilot chute no smaller than 38 inches.

BASE jumpers from around the globe travel for this unique opportunity, so make sure you get that paperwork in order and start practicing.

Tandem BASE jump

BASE jump like a pro … with a pro

Only experienced folks can BASE jump solo at Bridge Day. But with an expert along for the ride, you can TandemBASE into the gorge, too. It’s an adrenaline rush you’ll never forget. Imagine what your pals will think!

Book your spot quickly – these spots fill up quickly!

Into the Gorge Shuttles

Some of the best Bridge Day views are actually from below the bridge. For one thing, it’s much less crowded in the New River Gorge basin. For another, you’ll get incredible photo opportunities as BASE jumpers wheel and arc in the sky.

Plus, how many times do you see folks gliding 876 feet from a ledge?

Get the best seats in the house with an Into the Gorge shuttle ride. These buses take you from the bridge to the New River, right near the landing zone. Tickets cost $25 for an all-day pass.

Ride a high line

Most folks assume that Bridge Day is for experienced rappellers and BASE jumpers only. But anyone can take a high line ride!

No skills are necessary. All you’ll need is enough chutzpah to swoop 700 feet from the bridge catwalk to Fayette Station Road, your landing zone. But be warned: this is a very popular event. Snag your spot before they’re all gone!

Solo rappel

BASE jumpers aren’t the only ones who leap from the New River Gorge bridge. If you’re a seasoned rappeler, you can play, too!

Bridge Day Rappel will provide ropes and anchors. It’s up to you to bring everything else: helmet, harness, carabiners, rack … you know the drill. Registration lasts from May to August, and you must train in the Gorge and at Whitesides prior to Bridge Day on Oct. 21. Bon voyage!

Bone up in the kitchen

Bridge Day’s Chili Cook-off is another festival highlight. Categories typically include traditional and nontraditional stew. There’s even a cornbread competition. If you’re fond of cooking or baking, start practicing! Your efforts might be worth a generous cash prize. Good luck!

What part of Bridge Day are you looking forward to?

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