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Leaping from the cliff at Kjerag in Norway is about as extreme as experiences get.
This monumental 1,110m (3,642ft) mountain near Stavanger in Norway is popular with hikers and photographers, who come here for stunning views of the fjords and mountains, plus the chance to stand on a boulder wedged above the abyss.
Its northern cliff drops 984m (3,228ft) almost straight down, and it’s one of the world’s most iconic BASE jump sites. Leap from here, and you’ll have around 15 seconds before you hit the valley below.
It turns out you can do a lot in 15 seconds. Experienced BASE jumpers dive, somersault and even leap in formation at the annual Heliboogie event, held each summer. Wingsuiters shoot through the air, curling away from the granite cliff before activating their parachutes and landing on the hard ground or chilly waters below.
The Heliboogie, which usually takes place in June, is organized by SBK Base, a local club that also manages BASE jumps here through the year. To jump you need to be serious, with at least 250 skydives and 15 BASE jumps under your belt. If you’ve not completed 15 BASE jumps, SBK offers a one-day BASE course. There are rules surrounding the kit you use, and jumpers need to register and ensure the rescue boat is operating.
The restrictions are in place for good reason. BASE jumping is one of the world’s most dangerous pursuits – one in 60 participants will end up being killed by the hobby. The first jump at Kjerag was by SBK founder Stein Edvardsen in 1994. Between then and 2018, 55,333 jumps have been made here, with 140 accidents and 13 deaths.
Kjerag is near the village of Lysebotn. Most visitors fly to Stavanger, then get the ferry here. Once you arrive, you can take a cruise along the fjord, hike into the mountains or just sit back and enjoy the gorgeous mix of radiant light and atmospheric mist. Or – if you’re experienced enough and crazy enough – you can fling yourself from Kjerag’s cliff and watch the world rush past for a few breathless seconds before activating that chute.