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SBA Survey 2023: Let's touch BASE!

Photo: Marcel Geser

The Numbers

Between Christmas and New Year 2023, we asked the BASE community to answer five questions in an online survey. Here are the results:


In 2023, 637 jumpers signed up for a landing card on our website. 467 completed the whole survey. That's almost 75 percent.


637 jumpers estimated to do a total amount of 23’500 jumps in Lauterbrunnen and 3’600 in Walenstadt (average per jumper: 37 in Lauterbrunnen, 6 in Walenstadt).


According to the survey, 467 jumpers did a total amount of 15’300 jumps in Lauterbrunnen and 600 in Walenstadt (average per jumper: 33 in Lauterbrunnen, 1 in Walenstadt).


In 2023, 5 jumpers died in Lauterbrunnen (1 from High La Mousse, 1 from High Nose, 3 from the ramp at High Ultimate) and 1 in Walenstadt (Sputnik).


Out of 467 jumpers, 13 people had a tension knot. 2 tension knots ended with a minor and one with a major injury. Nobody reported a line-over.


In total, 16 persons were slightly and 2 seriously injured.

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Jump Numbers

If we assume that the jumpers who did not take part in the survey also jumped as much as the participants, around 21,000 jumps were completed in Lauterbrunnen and 800 in Walenstadt (2023). As a very rough estimate, every 3630th jump ended fatally.


For Lauterbrunnen, the estimated number of jumps (23'500) corresponds fairly closely to the actual number (21'000). In Walenstadt, the actual number of jumps is much lower than the estimate (800 instead of 3'600). 

Tension Knots and Line-Overs 

13 participants reported a tension knot (0.08% of all jumps) and 0 a line-over (jumpers who use 360 cameras or film with a chest mount know that line-overs DO happen, but they often clear themselves during the opening). 4 jumpers managed to clear the tension knot by pumping the brakes and 2 by stalling the canopy. One person landed the canopy successfully without clearing the tension knot.

Injuries and Fatalities 

2023 was one of the worst years in Swiss BASE history. Only in 2018 we lost more friends (11). 5 out of 10 fatalities occurred in Lauterbrunnen.


On the other hand, we're excited to hear that "only" 2 persons got seriously and 16 slightly injured. These are (in relation to the total amount of jumps) 0.1% and 0.01%.

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Source: BASE Fatality List

Comments from the community

We received many interesting comments and remarks. Let's take a brief look at the things that were mentioned most frequently.

In general, most jumpers seem to be satisfied with the work of the SBA. 94% percent of all participants gave us a 5-star rating. From 5% we got 4 stars. This motivates us a lot. Thank you very much!

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"Make a bigger ramp at High Ultimate"

We received the most comments on High Ultimate. 19 jumpers asked us to either remove the "death ramp" or make it bigger.

High Ultimate is the deadliest exit point in Switzerland (14 fatalities, January 2024). The jump requires a strong push to clear the first ledge - even when the ramp is up. The SBA has always pointed out that the jump is very technical and that wingsuit jumps should be avoided. But we're all humans. We're sometimes lazy, impatient, complacent, and attracted to risk.

Last summer, we started planning a new ramp that will be longer. The platform is currently being manufactured by a local steel company. As soon as we receive all parts, we will set it up to check if the design is functional. Then the ramp will be removed for summer as in previous years. At the end of October 2024, we will hopefully be able to present a ramp that will put an end to the terrible series of deaths.

"Upload GPS tracks to find the exits"

Uploading GPS tracks for all the exits in the Valley was the second most popular request.


You're right: in modern times it feels strange to get lost in the forests of Wengen to find a jump that was opened thirty years ago. But we want new jumpers to go to the exit points with experienced jumpers. Experienced people would not only show you the way, but also explain the jump and the rules.


(Maybe we're BASE dinosaurs. We'll discuss your idea in our next General Meeting.)

"Organize more events"

Many jumpers appreciated the few social events that we had in Lauterbrunnen last year and asked for more. We totally agree, we should get together more often! In 2024 we're planning to give some more coaching, lectures, meet with the team of Air-Glaciers, and of course: drink beer.

"Build a better step for Low Ultimate"

Low Ultimate is one of the most beautiful jumps in the Valley - and much safer than HU. But it gets very slippery when humid.


It was already on our to-do list, but after reading your comments, our motivation to build a solid step is even bigger. We're on it!

Marcel, Swiss Base Association, January 2024
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