Every so often I like to do something a bit out of character. Most recently, it was the SkyJump. The SkyJump at the Stratosphere is a controlled 855 foot free fall. It is the only SkyJump in North America and the tallest one in the world.
It is similar to skydiving except that you don’t have to worry about pulling a cord or being blown off course. The guide wires of the SkyJump make sure that you fall straight down and don’t swing into the building. As you get close to the ground, the descender machine slows you down for a controlled landing. The free fall aspect of it is also similar to bungee jumping without the recoil. Physically, the SkyJump is a low impact, low stress ride. Mentally, that first step is a doozy.
In preparation for the jump, you need to take everything out of your pockets (including wallet, cell phone, etc) and put it in a locker that they provide. The key to your locker is on a lanyard that you wear around your neck during the jump. Then, you put on a SkyJump jumpsuit. The staff will rig your full body harness for the jump. If you buy the wrist video package, they will securely strap a GoPro wrist cam to your right wrist. They will also give you basic jump instructions. Once everything looks good, they will weigh you in full gear. They will write that number on your wrist in kilograms. After another quick equipment check, they will escort you up to the jump platform area on the 108th floor. Once you get there, another crew will check your harness (twice) and go over the jump instructions again. They will also look at the weight written on your wrist and set the descender machine accordingly. When it is time to jump, they will clip you into a safety line, escort you outside, clip you into the descender machine, guide you to the edge and give you a countdown. 3, 2, 1 … Then you jump. You can step off the edge or fall forward. Actual jumping is not encouraged.
If you have friends with you that are not jumping, they can watch for free from the landing zone behind the SkyJump store or they can buy a reduced price Tower Ticket (currently $7) and go with you to the 108th floor. If they escort you to the 108th floor, they can provide moral support before you jump, but they won’t get a good view of your jump. If they watch from the landing zone, they will be able to take pictures and video of your jump. They will also be there to celebrate with you the instant you land.
The SkyJump operates 10am – 1am Sunday through Thursday and 10am – 2am on Friday and Saturday.
The basic jump costs $109.99. The jump and photo package which includes pre-jump photos of you in your jumpsuit in $119.99. The wrist video package is $139.99 and included a jumpdrive (USB memory stick) with pre-jump photos as well as the video of your jump.
I think the best way to get a sense of the SkyJump is to see a jump.
Here is a video of the Jump I did in June 2013.
For more information, visit the SkyJump Las Vegas website.