Thursday, March 1, 2007

A death-defying act

We go through life, some mundane, others exciting, unusual, difficult, challenging but in most cases, change is not an option. Human nature is difficult to fathom. That's why the world is such a melting pot of differences. Some of us put ourselves in a spot, some in the work environment others in our leisure activities the latter, mostly by choice, I should think. Have you ever, ever done anything death-defying either at work or in your pursuit of leisure? The following article may be a case in point.

This is a case of photographer photographs photographer. The following photographs were taken by photographer Hans van de Vorst at the Grand Canyon, Arizona. The descriptions are his own. The identity of the photographer IN the photos is unknown.

I was simply stunned seeing this guy standing on this solitary rock IN the Grand Canyon.
The canyon's depth is 900 meters here. The rock on the right is next to the canyon and safe.

Watching this guy in his thong sandals, with a camera and a tripod I asked myself 3 questions:

1. How did he climb that rock?
2. Why not take the sunset picture on that rock to the right, which is perfectly safe?
3. How will he get back?

This is the point of no return.

After the sun set behind the canyon's horizon he packed his things (having only one hand available) and prepared himself for the jump. This took about 2 minutes.
At that point he had the full attention of the crowd.

After that, he jumped on his thong sandals....

Now you can see that the adjacent rock is higher so he tried to land lower, which is quite steep and tried to use his one hand to grab the rock.

We've come to the end of this little story. Look carefully at the photographer.
He has a camera, a tripod and also a plastic bag, all on his shoulder or in his left hand.
Only his right hand is available to grab the rock and the weight of his stuff is a problem.
He lands low in his flip flops both his right hand and right foot slips away...
At that moment I take this shot.

He pushes his body against the rock.
He waits for a few seconds, throws his stuff on the rock, climbs and walks away.....

Now, did that little episode get your adrenalin pumping? Actually, the title of the article is "Leap of faith.....or stupidity?". What do you think?


  1. i doubt if anyone would do something this dangerous. if he is really a professional, he would have come prepared - properly attired (incl gloves & climbing shoes) & with slingbags for his equipment.

    nah, the pictures were doctored!

  2. Doc, interesting thought there. I didn't for a moment doubt the story. Hmmm...

  3. actually has this one, lets see if I can link....

    Don't know, even the connecting ledge that keeps a slip from being an automatic death sentence looks like a pretty far drop. I still wouldn't do it!

    BTW did you ever figure out if Chinese Valentines Day was yesterday or Sunday? TQ and I aren't Chinese but I was hoping it might be ok to borrow it, for fun. The February 14th one got snowed out, it was an icy sleety blizzard producing really awful driving conditions, but neither of us thought there was anything remotely romantic in him ending up stuck in a ditch trying to get to the train station to come down & see me.

  4. Bonnie, thank you for the link. The truth is out, folks. The pictures are real but the description is inaccurate.

    Doc, I guess it takes a doctor to recognise a doctoring. haha...

    Bonnie, I knew it's this Sun, Mar 4 - Robin confused me. Anyway, have a great time with your Valentine.

    Btw, do you know why it's known as the Chinese Valentine's Day? It's because in the old days in China, it was a practice for single maidens to throw Mandarin oranges into the river (supposedly from a bridge above) with the objective of finding a husband. Now you know. I don't think it's practised these days but who knows...

  5. Sounds better than Internet dating!


    or actually for that matter, the dating scene in general in NYC - pretty ferocious! Actually I hear it's not just NYC, either.

    I feel so lucky the way TQ & I just sort of found each other doing what we like doing & also that we knew each other for a while. He's a good guy.

  6. Oh you people! I did this kind of thing when I was in college. I'm more that twice that age now and think it is STUPID. Just a matter of perspective I think. I felt immortal then. Now, having seen many pass away, I am well aware of how fleeting life is.

    May all beings be happy!

  7. Bonnie, ferocious is a scary word but I think it could be the same everywhere else. Probably tossing oranges may be a lot safer. lol..

    I'm glad for you and TQ. Congrats.

  8. PandaB, wild & free associated with the young. Reminds me of a saying by a former teacher. She used that a lot, -- Old enough to know better and young enough not to care. Perspective plays a part in all actions, I agree. Thanks for your wisdom.