An Adventure – Bungee Jumping


Today’s Music: ZZTop – Double Back
Note on Today’s Music: The song fits, and yeah, I guess there was a rock n roll soundtrack kicked in as soon as I jumped.

Bungee jumping is an exercise in insanity whereby a moron tosses themselves off a bridge to bounce at the end of hyperelastic cords.

My name is El Guapo. And I’m a moron.

If I look like I’m about to poop myself, it’s probably because I am*.

From a technical point of view, the sport is quite simple. The jumper is strapped into a harness (in this case, a waist harness and auxilliary chest harness). The bungee cord was in fact five cords held together, with fittings at either end connecting them to the jumper via two carabiners – one at the waist and one at the chest.

And the view was magnificent.

So at this particular site, the process was
– Fill out the questionnaire (my favorite question: Do you prefer an open or closed casket?)
– Get weighed. This is important. They ask your weight on the questionnaire, then confirm it on a scale. (And mock you if it’s different.)
They have several bundles of cords, color coded, with different elasticities depending on the weight of the jumper.
After the weigh-in, they give you a color coded bracelet and you wait until they’re up to your weight class for jumping.
– Wait, watch other jumpers, admire how much your hand is shaking (seriously, I couldn’t hold it steady), ask the staff questions.
-When asking the staff questions, be prepared for at least two answers that will make you question the wisdom of jumping before you get a straight answer:
Guap: How often do you change the cords?
Jumpmaster: When they break…
Guap: How often do you guys jump?
JM: Are you out of your mind? This is dangerous!

The only question I asked that they didn’t have a one liner prepared for:
Guap: At what point should I throw up so I can bounce through it the most times?
JM: *blink* *grin* Oh yeah, you’re one of us!

The answer, by the way, is at the top of the first bounce. 2 to 3 splashes!

So after watching several others jump, including a girl that held on to the Jumpmaster for a few minutes before going (and shrieked through the whole thing) and a 14 year old boy who didn’t even hesitate, it’s your turn.

They strap you in.
You climb over a 4 foot rail onto a 2’x3′ platform.
They count to 3.
You hesitate. Swallow. Take a deep breath.
They start to count to 3 again.
You think “Well, this is what I came for”.
And in my case, with all the grace (and much of the appearance) of a spastic gazelle,
You…
step..
into…

n o t h i n g…

(Insert gazelle noise here)

I was really surprised. Leaving the platform was easy. And the drop (191′ from bridge deck to stream) was fast!

My hair is magnificent.

And then comes the part everyone knows about – the bouncing.
In all honesty, this was the part that got me.
Going off the bridge wasn’t bad – acceleration kicks in, you’re whipping down astounded at what you’ve just done. Maybe you’re screaming something inane.
But then the slack is gone, the cord stretches and you’re catapulted back up. You come closer and closer to the top of the arc, all your movement slows down, and that’s when your brain turns back on.
And as every single one of my internal organs prepare to crowd their way into my throat, I realize that I’m going to go back down again.
So to brace myself, I grab onto the nearest thing.
Which is the cushion at the end of the cord.
WHICH DOESN’T STOP ME FROM DROPPING!!!

The hands begin their death grip.

The hands begin their death grip…

DEATH GRIP ACHIEVED!

Truly, the scenery around me was spectacular!

An idiot in Eden

And now that I had a death grip, I could bounce…happily(?) through it.

DEATH GRIP!!! *boing*

Looking through the pictures, I see the advantage of having long hair is that I can tell whether I was going up or down in any picture.

or sideways…But still magnificent!

Until finally, it came to an end.

A Guapo at rest really wishes he’d stayed at rest.

At this point, they lower another line, you clip in, and they pull you back up. Nice and easy.
It takes a few minutes to climb back over the rail onto the safety of the bridge, partly because all your limbs are jelly, and partly because your brain is too, and you don’t realize the Jumpmaster is talking to you.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Oh, and the inane thing you might scream while you’re jumping?
Well, you’ll just have to listen and find out yourselves.

*No pants were pooped in the completion of this jump.
With extreme thanks to the photographer perched under the bridge for the photos, and The Most Wonderful Girl In The Universe for the video.

And when in the greater Portland/Seattle area, check out http://www.bungee.com for your own chance to joing the ranks of the courageously foolish!

140 responses to “An Adventure – Bungee Jumping

  1. a gripping life

    OMG!!! I love the death grip! That would have been me, too. You’re right about the long hair being helpful and in addition, you achieved some really stylin’ looks in mid air. Congratulations for risking your life and surviving. Nice job. Question… Would you ever do this again?

    Like

    • I think I would take another shot at it, Lisa. If only so I could pay attention as it was happening.
      And next time, maybe get my haircut. Or controlled some time.
      The death grip was the stupidest thing ever – I knew it wouldn’t stop me from falling, but I couldn’t help myself!

      Like

  2. Thank you for helping me confirm that I never want to do this. But, more power to you my friend! Great post!!!

    Like

  3. Right ON.! great Job..I felt a little sick agian but the vusual was great…did TMWGITU take the pics? i was thinking something else about the gazelle? or the first pic..kinda like you are gettin into king of the world position…you deserve a damn pony! I had no doubt! I m gong to come back at least …more today and rewatch it :-) way cool and gits in with you other adventure posts …..crap.. that ROCKED!! as do you -)

    Like

    • Hmm…a (spastic) gazelle on a pony…
      And I WANT A PONY was literally the only thing I could keep in my head!

      Like

      • well I got to tel you I would have been a little disappointed if you hadnt said it :-) but I had no doubts at all ,and …wait..spastic .pony? ohif that nental image is still in my head in an hour…hee hee…I like the hair effect too…man tho it looks like your hair is longer than mine in one of th pics ..but it added to the air of authority..I am not really sure how..just did ;-) It was a very pretty place to die though… still chuckling at that one …lol

        Like

  4. Were you trying to scramble back up by grabbing the pillow? Hahaha! You are brave! Next stop, skydiving!

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  5. Oh….My….GAWD! I just peed myself laughing! Seriously.
    This just made my day and my kids are wondering why I am doubled over with the giggles, unable to speak.
    I mean….. the pillow death grip…..HOLY SHIT, MAN!
    The hair is fabulous- it enhances your insane persona ;o)
    My eyes are watering- from laughing-right now-can’t stop.
    Bahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ha. haaaa. ha.

    Somebody get the man a damn Pony!

    Like

  6. There is nothing like a good jump El Guapo and you certainly enjoyed yours, actually the first picture gives the impression that you are jumping with a kilt on, which is not recommended unless flashing of the R’s is inteneded :) lmao

    Well Done El Guapo and Now
    on to the Next Gripping Adventure :)

    Androgoth

    Like

    • Holy cats – a kilt! I’ll wear that with a hawaiian shirt for the next jump, Andro! Thanks!

      And there always has to be a new adventure to look forward to…

      Like

  7. The hair and the captions are AWESOME. What is the cushion actually there for?

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    • I believe the cushion is for safety, L&L. The force of the bounce is about 3.9g. The cords are holding a lot of energy. I’ve heard stories of people getting black eyes or broken noses from thumping against the cables as they coil and uncoil, and the cushion keeps it from eating the jumper.
      As it was, the cable tucked behind my ear at one point and popped out my earring.
      Poor kokopeli, abandoned at the bottom of the stream…

      Like

  8. Holy crap, that’s insane! LOL! Great pics though, and video too. I remember watching jumpers when we were in NZ last year – completely nuts. I’d love to be an adrenaline junkie, but I don’t have the balls! It’s so much fun watching folk do ths kind of stuff though. Glad you had such a fab time!

    Like

  9. Ach! Laughed – Out – Loud at this one, Guap! I absolutely LOVE the stills, as well as your description of the experience. It occurred to me that your flowing locks function as bubbles do for scuba divers, telling you which way is Up. You are such a good story teller. I mean, the video is nice, but how you describe this with words is wonderful. Well done, glad your cords didn’t break!

    Like

    • Thanks Laura, and glad you liked it!
      I think this was one of the more nerve-inducing adventures so far. Standing around on the bridge leaves waaay too much time to think.
      Much more fun to tell the story after than it is to wonder how horribly it will go!

      Like

  10. You are a brave man. So my question is, now that you’ve done it, will you do it a second time? And this time, with a pony?

    Like

  11. UGH! F that, mega respect to you for doing it, I can’t stand at the top of the steps in my loft without getting nervous nevermind doing something like that. No sireeebob!

    Like

  12. Eric Murtaugh

    “Bungee jumping is an exercise in insanity whereby a moron tosses themselves off a bridge to bounce at the end of hyperelastic cords.” Perhaps the most succinct definition of bungee jumping I’ve ever read.
    Awesome stuff, Guap. So everyone on the platform seems to think you said “I want a pony,” which is cool and all. But I think I heard your best Gerard Butler/300 impression. “Madness? This is Guapo!” Which one was it? Ponies or Persians?

    Like

  13. This is AWESOME! Not just the jump, which is definitely cool on it’s own, but also your re-telling of the event. Loved the pics, video, and commentary…. I also loved that voice asking…. ‘are you ok?’
    Well done, Guapo, all around!

    Like

  14. You deserve TWO ponies after that jump, El G. I am truly in awe of your bravery for doing this. I laughed out loud when I read about you grabbing onto the cushion, I’m sure I would have done the same thing. But I’m truly sad about your lost earring. Are they going to reimburse you for your loss???

    Like

    • Well, they gave me a break on the pictures, so I’m willing to let it slide, Madame Weebles.
      Plus, I may go back there, so I don’t want them to be pissed off at me!

      Like

  15. OHMYGHD this is my most favorite post of yours EVAR. 1. Damn boy, you got a set of lungs! I laughed so hard I nearly fell outta my chair. I replayed that video FOUR TIMES just because it was so much fun. 2. Thank you for illustrating that there’s no way in hell I am ever doing this (like another commenter said). 3. I’m relieved to see they didn’t have just one thin lil’ cord like I thought. 4. Caught behind your ear? Ouch! 5. You wrote this out in such hilarious detail that I want you to publish it. 6. Would you do it again?

    Like

    • Thanks Asplenia!
      but the video was meant to show that the bar is set pretty low for how good you have to look, so I’m pretty sure you’ll outshine me on your jump!
      Yeah, I think I’d do it again.

      Like

  16. Man, who do not dig ZZ Top? Good song there and i must say, u must have some BIG Cahoonas man…Going on you tube and stuff, u did not even scream or nothing?

    Like

  17. Yah! I got a rush just watching that! Awesome commentary.

    Oh, and I want a pony too.

    Like

  18. You are, without a doubt, insane. But amazingly so. And you have amazing shots of this epic jump into a forever moment. Great stuff, handsome.

    Like

  19. Well I’m speechless……this is the most ……..totally perfect “El Guapo” moment I could ever imagine…..I am keeping this video in a vault…….I can’t get over it…..I’m …….just……speechless.

    Like

  20. free penny press

    You are braver than me.. Not for a million (I mean that too) dollars would I ever do this.So good sir, I salute you!!!!

    Like

  21. Thanks for writing that. Confirms to me that I’ll never do, damn I fall off treadmills and anyways I have a Pony :D well done you… Boing! Said Zebadee

    Like

  22. whiteladyinthehood

    Guapo – that was waaaay cool. I love reading about your adventures and your hilarious commentary that goes along with it. I watched the video a couple of times so I could laugh (yeah, AT you)…I loved it when the people at the top said, “What did he just say? He wanted a pony?” and it cracks them up….one of your BEST post ever…and thanks for sharing!

    Like

  23. Okay, first of all, you do have magnificent hair. That fact is not in dispute. HOWEVER, what is in dispute is whether gazelles make noise at all. They might, but I don’t really know, and I’m betting you don’t either!

    Secondly, this is awesome.The only thing stopping me from bungee jumping is the inescapable fact that I’m a massive p***y.

    Lastly, having lived, graduated, been incarcerated and still owning property in the Pacific Northwest, I think I am qualified to defend my brethren in Cascadia. I would ask all of you folks from the Boston-New York Area to realize that Portland and Seattle are two very distinct cities! However, they all pale beside Tacoma–CITY OF DESTINY!

    Like

    • I know for a fact gazelles make noise. I could hear one laughing at me from riverbank as I dangled, Smak.
      And I think you’re making up stuff about that mythical place – what did you call it? Tacoma?
      Sounds made up to me.

      Like

  24. Can I open my eyes yet?

    Like

  25. YOU. ARE. CRAZY. BRAVE. Now which is more fun. Skydiving or Bungee jumping? Which is scarier? And I would have definitely grabbed for that thing! It’s interesting that the survival mode kicked in. You would think it would kick in BEFORE you jumped LOL! And did you mean you wanted a (magnificent) pony tail? This was so much fun! I want you to go again!

    Like

  26. That was SO GREAT! Hats off to you for bungee jumping. To be honest I can’t imagine that I would ever ever bungee jump.
    Yes the hair was magnificent agreed. :+) Nice that you had photo’s and video very cool. Glad you went and glad you survived truly amazing. Enjoyed the post.

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    • Oh, if you ever get the chance, I hope you go, Starla.
      You just need to control yourself for the moment it takes to leap. After that, it’s out of your hands!

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      • Navar and I talked about this idea yesterday. I asked him what percent did he think in this life time that he would ever bungee jump he said 60% I sadly gave it a 2% and that’s being generous. :+) I may be willing to rock climb again when I did that my fear of hieghts went away almost completley. The fear has been away for several years but it has been creeping back the last couple of years.

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        • Oh, then I would definitely do the climbing again, Starla. Was just talking to a friend of mine about getting him out of a climbing gym and onto a cliff.
          And it’s more fun with the benefit of also conquering a fear!

          Like

          • My first climb was onto a cliff. I still smile when I think back on it crazy. I was out of mind afraid my leg was shaking the teacher I was with said they call it sewing machine leg. I remember standing on the top of the cliff after going up a couple of small faces. Small they seem so tall like sky scapers. Anyway pretty excillerating stuff. I think a gym would be the way to go this time. I was amazed my fear of heights went away too bad it came back.

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            • Oh, I remember sewing machine leg! It’s times like that I call down every 30 seconds to make sure the belayer has a good grip on the rope.

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              • Why do people get sewing machine legs Yikes does that mean a person just about ready to fall! Is it because the legs are getting tired. At the time I thought it was because of my overwhelming fear of heights.

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                • It’s definitely a tired muscles thing.
                  I’ve haven’t spoken to any climber that said they never got it.
                  It doesn’t mean you’re going to fall, but it does take more focus and efort to get your leg to respond the way you want.
                  It’s a very good time to lean against the rope and let the belayer hold you up for a minute while you shake it out.

                  Like

                  • I probably should have taken a class before jumping into rock climbing. I have a tendency to do that jump in and figure it out along the way. Probably a little bit like Bungee Jumping.

                    Like

  27. What’s up Moron, i mean Guapo! Thrill seekers we are a different kind of animal. How i wish i was in my 30s again. Amazing how we are still alive! And now in my late 50s. WTF was i thinking. AWESOME PICTURES! Love the video. And pony really? something we need to know? Ha, Ha

    Like

    • Hey, George Bush the first skydived on one of his later birthdays (70?)(75?)
      And deep down inside, don’t we all want a pony Pete?

      Like

      • Done that been there, remember I spent 8 years in the Marines. And I was born and raised in the South Bronx of N.Y. back in the 60s & 70s. I have repelled from choppers, I scuba dive in La Joya California, drove my rice propelled rocket at over 120mph a million times. But those were the good old days when the body was willing and the spirt was foolish and had no fear, ALAS THOSE WERE THE DAYS. They took a toll on both my body and spirit. It is great to see you totaly enjoy your life. I got a standing O for you! Enjoy, be happy, be safe, and she sounds like a keeper? Make it happen! Yes i have to admit that we have more then a few MY LITTLE PONY somewhere her in the house. Ha, Ha don’t judge me I have a granddaughter. Yea, Yea thats my excuse I have a granddaughter….

        Like

  28. i was second guessing I Want A Pony, turns out if fit pretty well lol. Looks like major fun. At least this didn’t happen

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  29. Sweet! OMG, I so laughed at the photo where you are hugging the rope bag like your security bankie! I went bungee jumping years ago in Las Vegas – and it was tied to my feet above a swimming pool. I did a swan dive off of the platform and got to touch the water when I bottomed out. My stomach was flipping like crazy! I didn’t yell until I started the rebound – I think the shock froze my voice.

    Like

    • NICE! They weren’t quite that precise, and I was so disoriented on the first trip down, no idea if I’d have been able to appreciate being that close to the water, Michelle.
      The stomach slides were the worst part of the ride.

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      • LOL! Well, I had a bit of an advantage… I knew both of the guys running the bungee tower. One is a rock-climbing buddy of mine, so I had already gained that trust by climbing with him. So it made my jump a bit easier and more secure feeling.

        Like

  30. This was awesome and funny!!! LOVE IT! So happy for you that you followed through but I think I’ll pass. So glad you shared this with us. :)

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  31. This is Stacy Lyn laughing. With you, of course. Not at you. <3

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  32. Fantastic! Sold. I’ll have to try it now. Especially since I live an hour away. I don’t know why I haven’t done it yet!

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  33. Haha! “An idiot in Eden…” Too hilarious! Glad you enjoyed the jump!

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  34. BAHAHUAHAHAH brilliant! I don’t understand the way you jumped though. Here in NZ we are told to dive into the horizon? So wish I could post a pic of my last jump. You literally dive forward and out from the platform and dive face first down tied by the ankles? (They tie the ropes really tightly around your ankle to keep the shit in when you are back upright…) ;)

    Like

    • Thanks, LITFL!
      This was a chest harness, because the g force on the ropes they use are higher, and an ankle harness can cause neck damage depending on how you go down.
      Yeah, they wanted us to go off the platform like you describe, but I was just happy to get off at all!
      Oh, and I used a cork.;)

      Like

      • The last one I did was a dunker, that was horrible and I have no idea why I said yes to it lol they measure the rope such that you get dunked into the river .. nutso! But had to be done *grin* I love love love your pics lol

        Like

  35. Your hair truly is magnificent. I LOL’ed way hard at that video. You looked like this tiny, helpless thing flailing around off the side of the bridge. Now I wanna go!!!!!!

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  36. You are so brave and look NOTHING like I thought. :) However, I am glad to be able to put a partial face to the very awesome, El Guapo!

    Like

  37. What sounds do you suppose a Gazelle makes, Guap!?

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  38. When looking at the side view pictures of you jumping, I think to myself, El Guapo looks like me before my hair started falling out and I cut it.

    Like

  39. This was awesome! I feel like I was there with you! Great pics & video. This is the closest I would ever get to this sport. Didn’t figure you for long hair I have to say though.

    Like

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  41. El Guapo, I found out that some of your posts don’t show up in my reader! Then I miss these funny posts! How horrible can things get? Sorry for not commenting on certain posts of you, but you know it’s not because of me…

    It sounds like much fun… somehow :). Good thing you did it though!

    Like

  42. SQUEE!!! OMG, I love it. I felt like I was right there witcha. Which is good, because now I feel like I can scratch it off my list and proceed straight to the airplane.

    Free flowing hair, nice! Mine is a little longer, I’d be scared it would get caught in the cords and I’d end up with bald patches all over my scalp. Would make a good story though.

    “I WANT A PONY!” FTW. Loved it!

    Like

  43. I’m so jealous you were able to death grip your string!! Our harness was hooked at our ankles, so instant upside-downness. (And then after the jump we pulled a ripcord that swung us upright)

    Also, SICK pictures of you! Totally jealous!! We couldn’t get anyone below :(

    Like

  44. No wonder I missed this one because we just arrived in Amsterdam. Glad I got redirected back her on your day! Happy Birthday!

    Like

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  46. Oh my God, Guap….I was laughing from beginning to end!! You are a very brave soul…..did TMWGITU jump as well? I don’t think you could pay me enough money to do that….although I now know the proper death grip, thanks to you!!

    Like

  47. Dude, you are brave. That scared the crap out of me just watching the video… did you get the pony, by the way? I’m sure I would have said something totally craptastic on the way down. But I would definitely have puked, repeatedly, cause it would have taken a case of beer to get me out there anyway.

    Like

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