Big Wall Soloing Without a Parachute?

It´s no secret that Leo Houlding and Tim Emmett have spent much of the last couple of years racking up as much BASE jumping experience as they can. Neither is it a secret that they are highly proficient big wall climbers. Throw in the fact that both appear to be stark raving bonkers and missing some vital genes that stop them being scared, and the logical step would appear to be solo climbing on big walls with BASE gear in case of a fall. Obviously there are danger beyond measure. For one thing a fall from the lower section of a route may prohibit the deployment of the chute. An uncontrolled fall higher up may not allow a controlled landing with the chute etc etc.A South African designer from Cape Town by the name of Maria von Egidy may well be working on a solution which could minimise some of these dangers. Wingsuits are now worn by many BASE jumpers and sky divers, enabling them to slow their freefall velocities from 120mph to around 30mph, by transferring much of their speed into lateral movement. Maria is working on designing a suit with an aerodynamic brake which would be deployed on landing to slow the lateral speed to something more manageable, thus allowing the jumper to jump without a cumbersome parachute! Obviously climbing with a wing suit on has its drawbacks, but may just be more sensible than lugging a big rucksack with you. Read the full story at National Geographic.