I. Zhangjiajie Tianmen Mountain: the place where dreams are pursued and broken
Located in Zhangjiajie City, Hunan's Tianmen Mountain, known as Songliang Mountain in ancient times, is a profound mountainous forest with four wonders: Bino Yodai, Wonderland of Immortals, Heavenly Kingdom of Buddha, and Heavenly Gate Cave.
According to legend, one day during the Han Dynasty, the cliff of Songliang suddenly collapsed, revealing a dozens of feet high, cloud-filled "Heavenly Gate", and the local officials reported to the court as auspicious, so the name was changed to "Heavenly Gate Mountain".
Because of the year-round clouds and fog, the weather, since ancient times here is the high hermits alchemy hut place, it is said that the ancient Shennong's, the gods Chisongzi, the wise man Guiguzi have been here to cultivate.
In 2007, it was approved by the National Tourism Administration as a 5A scenic spot, a large number of tourists came to the area, the commercial atmosphere was immediately thickened, from then on Tianmen Mountain was submerged in the rolling red dust, built a ropeway, glass walkway, and also engaged in helicopter air tours.
Not to mention the immortals, even the immortal aura is scattered all over the place.
In the "first sacred mountain in western Hunan", "the soul of Zhangjiajie" under the packaging of various innovative concepts, the price of admission to the scenic spot has risen to 258 yuan, a family of three to play a day, the average person a week's wages will have to ride in.
But as a businessman, the commercial value of Zhangjiajie is still not fully developed, especially its majestic and magnificent karst peaks, always feel sorry for the God of Wealth if you do not use it to do something.
Soon, some flashy and dangerous, but exciting enough, but also able to earn gimmicks of extreme projects around the Tianmen Mountain.
One of the most famous, but also the most overplayed project, than the late 1990s originated in Europe and the United States "wingsuit flying".
The so-called "wingsuit flight", in fact, is divided into two categories: one is from tall buildings, towers, bridges, cliffs, jumping off the top of the "low-altitude wingsuit", the flyer only a parachute, after the beginning of the fall of a few seconds must open the parachute, otherwise it is bound to die on the spot.
Another category is "high-altitude wingsuit", the pilot generally has two parachutes, because the fall time is relatively long, so the pilot has sufficient time to open the parachute, but also before the parachute can perform a number of thrilling action, ornamental.
According to foreign media statistics, the death rate of wingsuit flying sports is as high as 0.04%, which is equivalent to 4 deaths in every 10,000 wingsuit flyers due to accidents.
You don't think it's a high mortality rate? You know, its death rate is another extreme sports skydiving 40 times!
The injury rate of wingsuit flying is again 20 times higher than the mortality rate, which means that 8 out of every 1000 wingsuit flyers will be injured. Therefore, wingsuit flying is also known as "the nearest death sport".
But even this could not stop more and more Europeans and Americans from trying this deadly sport, and the wave soon spread to China.
In 2011, the American Jeb Chris jumped from a height of 3,000 meters, wearing a wingsuit successfully flew over more than 130 meters high, 57 meters wide Tianmen Mountain iconic landscape "Tianmen Cave", this as through the needle like difficult action makes Tianmen Mountain in the wingsuit flying community fame.
Subsequently, people kept challenging Tianmen Mountain.
Tianmen Mountain is more than 1,500 meters above sea level, and the rocky cliffs are almost perpendicular to the ground, as well as the "Heaven's Gate Cave", which, when added together, makes it a popular "spot" for extreme sports enthusiasts around the world.
With the excitement comes great danger: due to the complex meteorological and geographical conditions of Tianmen Mountain and poor visibility, there is always the possibility of an accident here in wingsuit flying.
At the second World Wingsuit Championships on October 8, 2013, Hungarian wingsuit athlete Viktor Kovacs began his descent from the top of Tianmen Mountain in strong winds, causing his parachute to fall into a dense forest on the edge of a cliff without opening, killing him instantly.
On January 26, 2017, 28-year-old Canadian wingsuit aviator Graham Dickinson died in an accident while training alone in a wingsuit flight at the Tianmenshan East Line glass stack.
Through these two tragic events Tianmen Mountain has issued a warning to those who venture to challenge it: this is not a safe place for wingsuit flying.
But it did not help, since then still many people came to Tianmen Mountain one after another: either a jump to fame, or become a new victim of death.
Second, life and death 19 seconds: she instantly disappeared
On the morning of May 12, 2020, Tianmen Mountain was clear in all directions, with only very thin clouds and fog, a rare good day for wingsuit flying.
Xiao Liu, a 24-year-old senior from Beijing, boarded a commercial helicopter, and according to the plan, she will jump from an altitude of about 2,500 meters to launch a wingsuit flight.
The flight was to provide material for a cultural media company in Beijing to shoot a so-called "extreme sports" documentary.
For the Chinese, wingsuit flying is a veritable "rich man's game", a high-quality, complete set of equipment including customized parachutes, wingsuits, helmets, alarms, altimeters, etc., together to 600,000 yuan.
More expensive than this is the cost of training, after all, people are taking a risk with your life, and before the real start of wingsuit flight to complete at least hundreds of high-altitude parachute jumps, and then hundreds of fixed-point parachute jumps, so the top instructor of wingsuit flight training course at least 1.8 million yuan.
Plus some other miscellaneous costs, a total of 2.7 million yuan, the money in the second-tier cities can buy a suite, do not buy a house can also buy a Mercedes-Benz big G, so ordinary people will not touch this purely money-burning movement.
But the high cost for the family is not a big problem for Xiao Liu, she can be considered the kind of "born with a golden spoon" of the rich children, from food and clothing, luxury homes and cars, living a life that others can not expect.
When material abundance has failed to bring him a sense of satisfaction, Xiao Liu began to pursue spiritual transcendence, in a fashionable phrase, "feeling life".
Skiing, diving, surfing, sailing, these sports with considerable danger Xiao Liu 20 years old has all played tired, with her circle of friends po a large number of thrilling, beautiful photos, attracted the unanimous envy and pursuit of friends.
And Liu not only has money, but also looks young and beautiful, the body is very hot, belonging to the typical "rich white beauty", when other people her age are still struggling from scratch, her life has long been on top.
While other students are studying hard in the computer room and library every day for credits, Xiao Liu is chasing her special dream in the north and south of the world, from Cebu in the Philippines to Bali in Indonesia, from Zhangjiakou in the ice and snow world to Dubai in the desert and sand, she has barely attended a few days of classes but has played around half of the world.
With the expansion of the social circle, to understand the "fun project" more and more, like the extreme sports of small Liu and addicted to the wind tunnel skydiving, and a jump is hundreds of times, with a lot of money out of the practical experience, she also won a prize in the national wind tunnel skydiving competition.
Wind tunnel skydiving is just the beginning, after getting acquainted with each other, the skydiving circle of partners began to suggest that Xiao Liu play advanced version of wingsuit flight.
In fact, for these children who are not short of money, the amount of money spent is just a number, but a friend's praise, a "you cow", a retweet may be more meaningful than ten thousand gold.
From the age of 22, Xiao Liu officially began to enter the field of wingsuit flying, she proudly issued a short video of herself practicing wingsuit flying on a platform and left these words: "I live for myself, I do not regret my choice, I will stick to the path I chose."
Over the next two years, she made several trips to Dubai to practice her wingsuit flying and gained over 500 flights with a chaperone.
Before this flight to Tianmen Mountain, Xiao Liu and the photographer duo also planned a relatively safe flight route based on the actual local situation.
Of course, Xiao Liu also signed a "life and death" waiver agreement and a body donation agreement.
After all, such things as extreme sports out of the situation is too much, who can not say the next moment of death will be picked in their own, and Liu in the extreme sports more than five years of time has seen a lot of accidents and deaths and injuries.
Maybe she thought she would have an accident someday, but never thought it would come so soon.
More than 11 a.m., the helicopter reached the planned 2,500-meter predetermined altitude and departure location, followed by Xiao Liu and the photographer two after checking the equipment situation out of the cabin to start the wingsuit flight.
It was 11:19 a.m. at this time.
Although the weather conditions looked good from the helicopter, the unpredictable high altitude could produce new conditions at any time.
Xiao Liu first out of the cabin, followed by the photographer, in free fall just 19 seconds later, the photographer felt a strong crosswind, resulting in the flight path of the two deviated from the planned route.
The experienced photographer judged that in this new situation the two may not be safe to pass above the Tianmen Mountain, it waved to Liu to open the parachute emergency shelter.
If you do not open the umbrella, either lower the altitude from the mountain around, otherwise it is likely to hit the mountain directly to the wingsuit flight speed of more than 100 km per hour, crashing into the mountain is absolutely ten dead!
Xiao Liu also seemed to sense danger and glanced in the direction of the photographer, yet within a second or two, she began to plummet at the speed of free fall.
At this point, the photographer himself had to adjust his flight attitude because he kept deviating from the route, and at this moment, the distance between life and death is really calculated in seconds.
Because the photographer can't help Xiao Liu, she can only rely on herself if she can get away with it.
But inexplicably, in a life-or-death situation Xiao Liu did not take any action, the photographer watched Xiao Liu descend a few hundred meters, and eventually disappeared from his sight.
When the photographer landed smoothly, he got the news of a black eye: because Xiao Liu did not bring neither a cell phone nor a GPS positioning device, everyone can not get in touch with her.
In other words, the life and death of unknown Xiao Liu completely lost contact!
On May 18, after a six-day-long search by public security, forest police and professional rescue teams, the remains of Xiao Liu were found by local farmers in a dense forest below the unoccupied area on the north side of Tianmen Mountain's Yuhu Peak.
From the scene, it is presumed that she should have hit a tree before falling to her death.
The horizontal distance between her accident site and the starting point is only 1200 meters.
Third, you can win the Grim Reaper many times, but the Grim Reaper only needs to win you once is enough
After the tragedy of Xiao Liu, the popular extreme sports have become the object of media vitriol.
How desperate it was for a 24-year-old girl to watch helplessly as she fell from a height to the ground at breakneck speed! Just thinking back on it all can send shivers down one's spine.
In the face of heartbroken, grief-stricken parents, the public has both regret and anger: white hair to send the black hair, a flowering girl in the age of blooming withered, someone must be responsible!
Extreme sports originating from abroad bear the brunt.
First of all, extreme sports have a great conflict with the traditional Chinese values. In traditional education, Chinese people are familiar with the truth that "the body hair and skin received by the parents, do not dare to destroy. (The Book of Filial Piety - The Beginning of the Year)
There is also the classic phrase "If your parents are here, you will not travel far, and you will have a way to travel" (Analects - Liren).
And the pursuit of extreme sports seems to be "beyond the self", in fact, there is always a significant threat of injury or even death. There is also a half-joke on the Internet that "after seeing foreigners play so crazy, I finally understand the real reason why there are so few foreigners".
Skydiving, diving, surfing, rock climbing, these projects do not happen okay, an out is bound to be a big deal, if unfortunately injured or killed, is not only irresponsible to their own, but also irresponsible to their parents who worked hard to raise them as adults.
Secondly, the spirit of adventure advocated by extreme sports is not suitable for China's national conditions, China is a more collectivist spirit of the country, which is a well-known fact, and the extreme sports shaped by the kind of maverick "lonely brave" is not the object of national appreciation.
The high tuition fees, in the eyes of ordinary people almost crazy behavior, which is why extreme sports in the country has always been outside the mainstream sports, and the general public after hearing this tragedy is easy to see extreme sports as the first murderer who killed Xiao Liu.
But should the blame really all by extreme sports?
If we look at this issue in a cocoon, we will see that it may not be.
It is the basic common sense of every mature extreme sportsman that one must be careful when engaging in the extremely dangerous sport of wingsuit flying.
Because there is a classic saying in this circle: you can win death countless times, but death only has to win you once.
No cell phone, no GPS, no walkie-talkie, from the point of view of Xiao Liu's preparation, can be described with the word "fishy".
It's already 2020, like smart phones, something that old people and children know to bring, there is no reason for Xiao Liu to not bring it when he jumps out of the cabin ah?
And like fellow photographers such professional players, before jumping will be carefully checked several times to confirm that the equipment they bring works properly, which is a truly responsible attitude towards their lives.
We see that Xiao Liu was found only 6 days after the accident, what if she was only injured at the beginning?
After the incident, the day the local police and a large number of local rescue teams into the Tianmen Mountain dragnet search, and Xiao Liu was found not far from the starting point, by virtue of cell phones or GPS positioning signals, maybe the day she was found.
Six days, not to mention an injured person, even a healthy living person will have to starve to death.
Then again, according to the netizens, now the wingsuit flying equipment has advanced to the extent that when the athletes fall to a certain height, or fall speed abnormal automatically can open, but in this accident also failed to open.
If the wingsuit flight is open high speed, then the positioning equipment and emergency life saving equipment is undoubtedly the seat belt, like some old drivers on the high speed before not only to check the seat belt, even tires and antifreeze are piggyback check again, and just take the driving license of young people even seat belt are not tied on the high speed.
Such an accident on the highway crashed into a bloody head, you blame the highway is not safe?
Those who live in the extreme sports world until now, which one is not careful, such as Zhang Shupeng, known as "the first person in Asia wingsuit flight", by 2020 has flown more than 1,000 times Tianmen Mountain.
A noteworthy detail is that he spends more than 20 minutes after each wingsuit flight folding his own parachute, folding his parachute suit, and straightening out his rigging rope to prevent it from getting tangled. Everything was done to prevent the fatal situation of the parachute not opening.
Such a person is the one who holds his life in his own hands.
And another has been to Dubai to practice wingsuit flying many times said: in Dubai, even rookies can fly 8 times a day, and as long as the money you can also hire someone to help you stack the parachute, a few dozen dollars, some pure players have never folded their own parachute.
All they do is go up, down, up, down, and can play more than a dozen times a day, so Xiao Liu's more than 500 times really isn't that impressive of a record.
Dubai is surrounded by thousands of miles of yellow sand, open terrain, sunny climate, in order to encourage the development of extreme sports industry local also set up a special management club, professional weather monitoring and forecasting agencies, all flights must be followed by safety personnel throughout.
As soon as the wind is a little stronger and the clouds are a little thicker, the club immediately issues a warning and does not allow anyone to take to the sky.
Such superb security makes the Dubai Wingsuit Stadium an amusement park for the rich, you just have to be open to play and enjoy the thrill.
After all, Dubai's wingsuit clubs are concerned with making money, and if people were constantly in trouble here, the customers would have been scared away.
In Dubai, safety is something that others worry about, but not in Tianmen Mountain, not to mention the media company's people are not professional, even the photographer has no responsibility to ensure the safety of others, safety can only rely on Xiao Liu himself.
The difficulty of Tianmen Mountain has reached a level where the pros are having accidents, and it is indeed very dangerous for novices.
In the novice village brushed 500 times the monster Xiao Liu suddenly came to an unfamiliar copy of high difficulty, but their own not only lack of experience in the face of high difficulty, but also do not have enough mental preparation, in the event of an accident is extremely easy to panic, panic in extreme sports is the most deadly.
This is one of the real sources of tragedy.
Fourth, there is no dangerous movement, only dangerous people
Another source of tragedy, or Xiao Liu himself.
The aforementioned wingsuit god Zhang Shupeng also has a "famous quote": "There is no dangerous sport, only dangerous people."
If we look back at Liu's upbringing, we will also find a pattern, she claimed to have mastered several extreme sports in just a few years.
From skiing to diving, from sailing to surfing, Xiao Liu has been exposed to these projects at a rate of almost one per year and has earned himself a number of PASSes.
But what is the gold value of these dazzling certificates?
For example, Xiao Liu got the OW (OPEN WATER DIVER, i.e. Open Water Junior Diver) certificate, which is actually the entry level of the nine levels of diving certificates, requiring a dive depth of 18 meters, which is higher than the AOW, the dive depth is about 28 meters.
Fishermen who fish on the beach without equipment can often dive to depths of more than 30 meters or even up to 40 meters, so these certificates really don't say much.
In fact, each extreme sports have to spend 3 to 5 years to adhere to training to be considered a professional, as for participation in the competition is to invest seven or eight years or even more than 10 years of time.
Zhang Shupeng was a professional paraglider before he started wingsuit flying. He practiced paragliding for 8 years, and he practiced wingsuit flying for almost 8 years, without changing other sports in between.
Like small Liu such a walk around the contact extreme sports, more like "for the limit and the limit" card stamp, as long as the circle of friends or shake the sound to hundreds of thousands of praise, even if the addiction.
This is the media highlight effect, a person from the social media, often a non-existent "perfect" self.
Take wingsuit flying, but in Dubai's large wingsuit "playground" jumped more than 500 times, and each time under close protection whether she really reached the professional level, it is very doubtful.
The media company that hired her for the documentary didn't understand the situation carefully and really thought she was a "god" as touted by the media circle, hoping that the name of "god" would make the company a hit, but it turned out to be a tragedy.
And back to diving.
One netizen said something equally worth thinking about: a few years ago he went to Palau to practice diving, in the middle of meeting several middle-aged people from Austria, only to learn that they have been practicing diving for more than 20 years, each of them has more than 1,000 times of experience.
The netizens themselves always play diving pain, each time to their own oxygen cylinder pressure less than 50pa before they get on board, while the Austrian uncles who went into the water together have long been sitting on the boat chatting, go over and take a look, the pressure of their oxygen cylinders are still in the 100pa up!
It's like the old Chinese saying, "Be careful what you wish for.
The situation of Tianmen Mountain is: Here the mountain peaks, such as the sword into the sky, who would not expect that a cloud may be below the mountain, and when you see the mountain is already too late, this situation as long as hesitation for a second immediately will pay a heavy price.
Some people, in the face of other people's bragging always stay awake, but some people hear more bragging, will drift lost in the rainbow farts, think they really can, and by this pursuit of vanity desire wrapped in brute force, completely lost themselves.
Vanity can really kill you!
One last word: May the deceased rest in peace in heaven, and all of us in the mundane world realize that reverence for life is more important than vanity.