Bungee Jumping was originally an ancient ritual or rite of passage for the “vine jumpers” of Pentecost Island in the Pacific Ocean Vanuatu group. Every year, the men of the island’s tribe build large wooden towers, over 80 feet high. They then carefully select vines from the jungle which they then tie to their ankles before jumping off the top of the towers.
Modern Bungee jumping began with a 4 man team from the Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club jumping off the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, England, on April 1, 1979 (April Fools Day) dressed in their customary top hat and tails. The four neatly dressed adventurers (as the rules of their club expected) were immediately arrested.
During the late 1980′s A.J. Hackett opened up the 1st commercial jump site in New Zealand and to publicize his site, per-formed an astonishing bungee jump from the Eiffel Tower!
Bungee Jumping flourished in France and New Zealand during 1980s and was introduced to the United States by John and Peter Kockelman from California in late 1980s. In 1990s facilities opened up all over the United States with cranes, towers, and hot-air balloons being used as jumping platforms.
1000′s have now experienced the “ultimate adrenaline rush” that is Bungee Jumping.
Today, New Zealand probably has more Bungee Jumping sites than anywhere else. South Africa however, has the highest bungee jump in the world, listed at 216 meters!
While jumping off a steep platform (or building or bridge or hot air balloon) and bouncing up and down like a human yo-yo appeals to many adventurers, a number of things can still go wrong if bungee jumpers don’t use common sense. Accidents involving broken ankles, dislocated shoulders, severe rope burns and the like occur often. In the constant pursuit for bigger thrills and adrenaline rushes, some jumpers get carried away with new ways to jump and forget to account for gravity or weight distribution. Some of them pay the ultimate price.
If you thought bungee jumping was restricted to some places in Europe, New Zealand and America, it’s time you got and update. The sport has finally found a natural home in the highest mountain range in the world. The ultimate thrill of a bungee jump can now be experienced in Nepal at perhaps the best site in the world.
Nepal’s first bungee jumping site is situated 160m over the wild Bhote Kosi River, and located close to the Nepal-Tibet border, a three-hour bus ride from Kathmandu. As it can be arranged on arrival in Kathmandu. As of now, there is only one agency offering this sport.
The Bungee Bridge happens to be the only privately owned bridge in Nepal. It has been specially designed for bungee jumping with a 4x-safety factor and has a loading factor of 41,500 kg or 4.5 tons according to Swiss measurements. The Bhote Kosi appeared a mere stream! One would have to be totally insane or suicidal twisted to jump off the remarkable 500-ft (160 m) drop into the Bhote Kosi river gorge.
As the Bungee Master nicknamed Rock advised the jumpers to ensure that pockets were empty and the girls had no loose jewelry coming in the way, nervous laughter erupted from the crowd when he strongly advised against taking intoxicants just before the jump. Adrenaline was beginning to show as each jumper’s weights were recorded, to use different cords for different categories of weights. The Green, Red and Black cords are used for the lightest, the heavier and the heavyweights accordingly.