Sport

Carl Boenish and the early days of BASE jumping

Updated 1609 GMT (0009 HKT) January 12, 2016
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Carl Boenish and his wife, Jean, leap from a cliff in the early days of BASE jumping, an extreme sport in which participants jump from fixed objects and use parachutes to slow their falls. Carl Boenish is considered the "father" of BASE jumping, and his amazing life story is the subject of CNN Films' "Sunshine Superman." Magnolia Pictures
Carl and Jean Boenish set the first BASE jumping Guinness World Record in 1984, on the Norwegian "Troll Wall" mountain range. Within days, their triumph was followed by the tragedy of Carl's death during a "Troll Wall" jump. Magnolia Pictures
The Boenishes and their fellow skydivers came up with the name "BASE jumping." BASE stands for "building, antenna, span and earth." Magnolia Pictures
Carl Boenish, an accomplished engineer and cinematographer, once said he probably wouldn't bother with BASE jumping if he couldn't film it. "The camera captures something not only for ourselves but for everybody over a vast amount of time," he said. Magnolia Pictures
Boenish had his run-ins with authorities: He and fellow jumpers carefully planned their escape after each jump -- sometimes quickly changing clothes to appear as hikers. Here, Boenish negotiates with park rangers at California's Yosemite National Park after a 3,000-foot plunge off El Capitan's vertical rock face. Magnolia Pictures
Jean Boenish said she and her late husband were not "adrenaline junkies" or "daredevils." "We were simply ... enjoying an experience of self-discovery, and this happened to be our chosen method," she told Public Radio International in May. Magnolia Pictures