When Heather met Glenn, she had no experience in BASE jumping or climbing and didn't want any either: after a bungee-jump accident, anything outdoor-related terrified her. Image courtesy of Singlemans' website BASEClimb (click to enlarge).
BASEClimb3 BC at the base of Meru group - the wall the Singlemans jumped is in the background. Image by Mal Haskins courtesy of Vertical Resources (click to enlarge).
Mick Hill, Heather and Glenn ascending the fixed ropes to the jump site. Image by Mal Haskins courtesy of Vertical Resources (click to enlarge).
After breaking the snow cornice in order to arrange a jumping platform, the couple prepared to fly from the summit ridge. Image by Mal Haskins courtesy of Vertical Resources (click to enlarge).
Glenn and Heather, two flies on the wall. Image by Mal Haskins courtesy of Vertical Resources (click to enlarge).
Aussie BASE jump world record in Himalaya: The Singlemans fly again â from Meru
Posted: Jun 02, 2006 05:35 pm EDT
Australian couple Glenn and Heather Singleman have broken the world record for the highest BASE jump, from 6604m down the east face of Meru in India - previous record was held by Glenn, who jumped from Trango Tower in 1992.
Glenn and Heather made the wing suit / BASE jump on May 23 from a launch site 6604m over the east face of Meru Peak in the Garhwal Himalaya, India.
First climb, then jump
But first they had to climb up: "We'd spent 20 days fixing line, carting camera equipment, base jumping rigs, wing suits, drills and platforms to the 6604m site," the BASEClimb 3 team told Vertical Resources website. "Information on the proposed climbing route was very sparse and it wasn't until the team had reached the western side of the mountain and could see the full scope of the face that we even knew if a route existed up the face."
In addition to the Singlemans, the team included James Freeman, Mick and Elise Hill, Tove Petterson and Mal Haskins.
A step further in a long venture
Glenn and Heather had trained for this latest event since 2000, but the Singlemansâ jumping goes far back.
In 1992 Glenn Singleman and Nic Feteris set a world record for altitude BASE jumping when they climbed and jumped (with a parachute) from the Great Trango Tower(6258m) in Pakistan.
In 1999 Glenn and Heather (then a 38 year old corporate executive with absolutely no background in adventure), together with Marta Empinotti, decided to try and break Glennâs record.
The expedition was named BASEClimb 2.
The right cliff
Heather underwent intensive training, which included losing her fear of anything outdoor-related since she survived a bungee-jump accident. She picked up some climbing skills on the surroundings of Ama Dablam, in Nepal, and then traveled to Pakistan. The goal would be a new jump from Trango Tower, hopefully from a higher point than Glenn's previous. Finally the jump could not be performed, but at least Heather summited the impressive Spire.
Back home, Grenn and Heather continued to train while searching for a high enough cliff. In April 2005 they went to India to research a cliff Glenn had found â the east face of Meru, in the Garhwal Himalaya. The place was just right, and the Singlemans set what would become their next expedition â BASEClimb 3, which started on April 12, 2006.
Instead of just a straight BASEjump they wanted to go in 'wingsuits', a skydiving technology that allows a skilled pilot to fly forward at around 2.8 times the speed he or she descends. Wingsuits not only prolong the flight, but also allow jumpers to move away from the wall, dramatically reducing the risk of cliff strike. Glenn and Heather started jumping wingsuits in February 2005 and now have over 150 wingsuit jumps.
Glenn Singleman is a medical doctor with post graduate qualifications in Underwater Medicine, Parachute Systems Technology and Filmmaking. In 1992 he BASEjumped from the Great Trango Tower (20,000 feet or 6258 meters) in Pakistan. Glenn is a highly experienced BASEjumper, climber and wingsuit flyer, and a Birdman certified instructor. Glenn and Heather have four kids - Ty, Lauren, David & Nathan.
Heather Swan has worked in Marketing and Management for more than twenty years. Currently a committed vegan and fitness enthusiast, Heather had never been skydiving or mountaineering before volunteering for BASEClimb 2. Today she has over 400 skydives and more than 200 BASEjumps. She was recently awarded her Birdman Instructor rating, only the second woman in Australia to receive the certification.
BASEClimb 3 team was led by Glenn Singleman, joined by wife Heather and friends James Freeman, Mick and Elise Hill, Tove Petterson and Mal Haskins. The couple did a wingsuit's BASE jump from the East face of Meru, in Garwhal Himalaya.