Fischer Towers

Screen capture by Keith Ladzinski

"At this very moment, the thinking is over and your mind is in 'enjoy' mode," says climber Mario Richard (center) of two-way BASE jumping with Steph Davis (lower center) off the Corkscrew summit of Ancient Art at Fisher Towers near Moab, Utah. "It’s time to take in some amazing visuals and savor the fruits of all the efforts it took to get there." The pair free climbed three short pitches and one long one to get to the narrow summit of this iconic desert tower recognized by most rock climbers.

In a two-way the jumpers take off nearly simultaneously, just a split second apart. Timing is important because if they don’t have enough separation, they could jump into each other’s parachutes. "We jump together a lot, and it seemed like it would be a fun twist to jump together from this tower where it’s hard to even fit one person at the top," notes Davis, of the two BASE jumps she and Richard did that day. "We do two-ways off Castleton quite a bit, too—and with our wingsuits."

Getting the Shot

There is a tenseness that I can't shake every time I watch my friends BASE jump. This cold January day was no different. Hanging from a rope about 40 feet lower than the summit, I shot the still frames of this jump via a cable release in my right hand while follow-filming with a video camera. It was a daunting task to time the still frames in one camera while also capturing the motion in a separate video camera. Both cameras were mounted on the side of the cliff on a dangling tripod that I hung next to. Mario's body position in the frame has a wildness to it as he tries to get as far away from the cliff as possible. —Photographer Keith Ladzinski