A Short and Too Eventful BASE Jumping Career

I saw my first BASE jumper while hanging out 2000 feet up El Capitan on the unrelentingly steep ‘Dawn Wall’. After sunset, my partner and I were on our portaledges eating dinner. Suddenly, we were shocked to hear a freight train heading right at us. It was either that or a big falling rock was about to clean us off the wall and kill us. But as we looked up, we a saw not a freight train or a giant rock but a falling body—perfectly horizontal and perfectly composed. The body didn't make a "whishing" sound. Instead, there was a violent ripping noise as though the air was being torn apart.