R.I.P. Mario Richard

I am guessing that if I said "Mario Richard" the response of almost everyone would be "who?"  I would have said "who" not long ago, but my friend google would share with me that Mario might help me scratch off another empty box on my adventure tick list. I found Moab Base Adventures and thought that I would email Mario regarding a new airborne challenge, off the canyon cliffs of Moab, Utah. 

Mario Richard - Photo by Hunter Imagery

Moab Base Adventures is one of only two companies I know of that offer tandem base jumps.  I have jumped with Tandem Base (Twin Falls, Idaho).  Rather crazy to step off of the platform on the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls, Idaho (486 feet).  Leaping with out a back up parachute does take a different mind set. 

A couple of emails gravited into phone calls to possibly set up a jump date in October.  October was approaching, but a date was not set........or would ever be set.  On August 18, Richard and his wife, rock climber and base jumper, Steph Davis took a cable car to Sasso Pordoi in the Dolomites of Italy.  They would be making wingsuit flights and had made the same jump three times the day before.  Something went wrong in-flight, and Richard hit a cliff close to the Piccolo Pordoi towers .  Davis would land, alone. 

Mario Richard in a tandem base jump near Moab, Utah - Photo by Hunter Imagery

On the fatal jump, the Alpine rescue service believe that he miscalulated by only three meters.  He was 47.

Richard had 20 years of B.A.S.E jumping experience and over 2000 B.A.S.E jumps all over the world.  Richard moved to Moab in 2007 and soon met Davis.  They married in 2011, atop the majestic Parriott Mesa outside Moab, and celebrated by running and leaping off the meas and gliding to earth with parachutes.

I am sorry to hear of the passing of Mario Richard.  I am inspired by the life he chose to live and I regret not having made a cliff reservation, for earlier on the calendar.  Take full advantage of life and the opportunities that you have.  Life can change in the blink of an eye.