As a BASE jumper dies in California, some people are wondering what happened to cause Walden Grindle’s fatal mistake.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, BASE jumper Mario Richard died jumping from an Italian mountain.
The major difference between the two is how they were BASE jumping. The standard way to BASE jump is to simply leap off a cliff, bridge, or skyscraper and then deploy a parachute. In the case of Mario Richard, he was using a wingsuit, which allows BASE jumpers to glide like a flying squirrel for miles and attempt BASE jumps previously that were impossible.
Walden Grindle was speed paragliding where the idea is to use wind gusts to pull you up like a kite. Some people will combine this method with snowboards to glide down snowy mountains, hovering feet above the snow but also capable of flying over cliffs with drops hundreds of feet down.
Mario Richard miscalculated his BASE jump by only a couple meters. No one knows for sure what happened to Walden Grindle, but police speculate the BASE jumper died from a sudden downward wind gust that sent him crashing into the California mountainside.
This BASE jumper’s death was unusual in that Walden Grindle survived the initial crash after jumping off a six hundred foot cliff off of Mount St. Helena in Napa, California. His emergency beacon was deployed, and he even called his wife on the cell phone, saying he thought he’d broken his hip.
But even though California’s emergency response helicopters reached Walden Grindle within 30 minutes, they found the BASE jumper dead from his injuries. One responder to the BASE jumper accident said, “I felt kind of helpless. We couldn’t do anything for him. I felt bad it ended up that way.”