Potter, 'Adventurer of Year'

Potter, ‘Adventurer of Year’

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Backcountry skiers and ‘boarders ascend mountains on their own power, slide down and “earn their turns” in the process. The accomplished American climber Dean Potter brings this ethos to a Wright Brothers level: He climbs huge faces and launches off them to literally fly back to the valley floor.

Last August, Potter, known mainly for his rock-climbing feats, leapt off the Eiger in Switzerland wearing only a wingsuit and a small ‘chute. He flew nearly four miles in two minutes and 50 seconds, which was a record. Recognizing this monumental feat, National Geographic Adventure named him an “Adventurer of the Year.”

Potter perched and ready to jump off the Eiger

The complete story on Potter and other awarded adventurers will appear in the January issue of the magazine. And Potter’s BASE jump will also be featured in an upcoming television series, “First Ascent,” by Sender Films.

A clip from the show is both breathtakingly beautiful, mind-blowing and a feast for the mind — Potter’s an articulate athlete. But don’t take my word for it, check it out here.

—Stephen Krcmar is mostly land-bound in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.