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Extreme Eastern European Sports

Czech Republic Rock Jumping

— August 28, 2008 — Lifestyle
Rock jumping, or simply jumping, as it’s referred to by local Czech rock jumpers, is the extreme lovechild of base jumping, cliff diving and rock climbing, and its home is in a nature preserve in the northeast Czech Republic.

Within the remote Adrspach-Teplice Rocks, about 11 square miles of sandstone formations rise out of the ground. These sandstone rocks pose a silent challenge to local climbers to conquer as many of them as possible, and individuals who rise to the opportunity often jump from one rock to another to conquer the hardest ones.

The concept of rock jumping is a primal one. Kids naturally hop from stone to stone while out in nature. But the grown up Czech version often doesn’t feature a flat landing surface. Under the local Czech unofficial grading system for jumps, such a jump--which requires the jumper to hang on to the crevices of the landing wall like a monkey--would be a Grade 4. 

This activity is not for the faint of heart. Even adrenaline-fueled fans of other extreme sports often aren’t game for leaping from rock to rock with little concern for safety save a rope tied around their midsection. Injuries like broken ribs and damaged spines are the norm, not the exception.

Check out this video, which features athletes from The North Face taking on rock jumping. Fast forward to about 1:25 if you’d rather get right to the rocks.