The number of BASE jumpers visiting Monte Brento has increased each year since 1994 and accelerated since the introduction of the bus shuttle service a few years ago, we presume it will continue to increase in the future. We also know the rule of big numbers, the more jumps performed means the unfortunate increase in the number incidents.
It is fundamental to remember that the MOUNTAINS ARE FREE to everyone and that is how we want it to stay! Anyone is free to drive their own car up, hike to the exit and jump into the void, disregarding the capacity of the BASE jumper but rather the fact that we are all free and responsible for our own actions.
But if it is true that the mountains are free and available to everyone, even those who jeopardise their own and others safety through lack of common sense, it is equally true that the BASE shuttle service (Brento BASE Transfer) is a private service and has the decision making power to accept a passenger on board or not.
In the past few years the local jumpers, the bus drivers and the local authorities have had to address numerous emergency situations which could have been immediately resolved using a small measure of common sense (for example: sufficient skydiving training, BASE training and suitable BASE equipment).
After a period of reflection involving the local jumpers, owners of the BASE shuttle service and the local authorities we see the necessity to make a concrete step to avoid these unpleasant situations from repeating themselves. The first step starting in March 2019 will require all jumpers to register to APS Montagna Viva for a "Safety Card" before being able to use the BASE shuttle service (Brento BASE Transfer).
This will help guarantee that the bus drivers have a basic idea of who they are carrying up the mountain. Whilst we don’t want to play big brother we also don’t want to be complicit in potentially dangerous situations that could jeopardise peoples lives or property.
Our common goal is the protection of human life and the sporting activity that is performed at Monte Brento and in the local valley.
We also aim to share knowledge and best practices to improve the safety of jumpers and the public.
Starting from March 2019 anyone who wishes to use the bus shuttle service (Brento BASE transfer) must purchase a landing card by first completing an online registration form and also satisfy the requested experience requirements.
The landing card costs 30 euro each calendar year, the funds collected will be used to improve safety at the exit points, i.e. changing the exit point ropes, weather station maintenance, ground control, wind socks, exit point radio, repair damage at the Casale landing area… to name just a few.
In addition part of funds each year will be donated to the local emergency services e.g. the mountain rescue (Soccorso Alpino). For over a decade the local jumpers have collaborated with the mountain rescue in the interest of safety and to help maintain the mountains as a peaceful place where we can all enjoy ourselves.
The data collected will be kept confidential and details of experience and equipment will only be used anonymously.
PH Cris Benedini