topographic map katthammaren norway

The big hunt for new base jumping exits is ON

Every adventure starts with a dream, and a strong  passion for exploring new places and opportunities. It’s February and it’s winter time in Denmark, strong winds and raining heavily outside my windows. So today is a good day to dive into Google Earth, Google search/images, youtube, vimeo or the likes in search for new places to go and base jump when spring finally gets to Europe. Speaking about Google Earth…man oh man it’s easy to spend hour after hour just FLYING the earth like an alien in a ufo ha ha.

Searching for well know places to jump is easy, a lot of information is already online. Especially youtube and vimeo has good sources to assess if it’s a place I should go and explore. By this I mean, if the cliff that has a solid vertical drop, a line of flight without too many obstacles so that is possible to track with my tracking suit, as I am not yet into any wingsuit base jumping. This naturally leave out a lot of places, but I always make a bookmark on every exit point, for future reference.

Google Earth topographic map overlay Katthammaren Norway

The free topographic map overlay from MappingSupport.com

Searching for unknown stuff is another matter, and requires a lot of patience and a couple of different tools in combination. Well, unknown to me that is. They might have been jumped before, but that’s not my initial concern, because any jump that I haven’t made yet, is a great thrill to discover. I currently use a variety of tools to look for new cliffs, like: climbers stories about big wall climbing routes, google earth, topographic map overlays to google maps as well as printed maps.

Not really satisfied with the topographic map overlays I have found online, there might be better ones available? But for now I am pleased to use Gmap4 from Mappingsupport.com, as these are fast, free and cover the entire planet earth.

Google Earth map Katthammaren Norway

Sometimes google earth maps provide a good impression of the cliff

That being said, I am still trying to learn how to use the topographic maps, so to benchmark myself I use a well known cliff that I jumped last summer in Norway – Katthammaren. This way I can compare the results from the online tools with my real life experience.

I know that the best alternative to staying at home scouting online, is for sure to go out for real to look at the mountains, speak to climbers, other base jumpers or mountain guides. But that will have to wait until I have made my priorities as to which geographic areas I want to visit this year. Then I will travel to each place to explore in more detail in “real life”.

 

Katthammaren image by Anders Lau Nielsen

Katthammaren seen from the across the Eikesdalvatnet