BASE Jumper Killed in Alps Leap
Johnny Strange, 23, achieved fame for climbing 7 tallest peaks by 17
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2015 9:37 AM CDT
Two base jumpers wearing wingsuits jump from the Brevent needle above Chamonix in the French Alps.   (AP Photo/Cyril Duval)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – It's been a deadly year for those who jump from extreme heights in nothing more than a wingsuit, a grim trend that continued last week with the death of Johnny Strange, an American adventurer who plunged to his death while BASE jumping in the Swiss Alps. As the Los Angeles Times reports, the 23-year-old Malibu native died seconds after leaping off Mt. Gitschen on Thursday amid reported high winds in the area. Strange's death was mourned by model Gigi Hadid, who said they attended Malibu High together. "RIP my friend, # JohnnyStrange — one of the most loving & adventurous spirits I've ever known. Bigger mountains to climb in heaven," she tweeted.

Strange was acutely aware of the dangers of his sport, having BASE jumped with Dean Potter, who died during a jump at Yosemite earlier this year. "I'm sorry to hear you died flying," Strange wrote of Potter's death. "See you on the other side." Strange first achieved fame by becoming the youngest person to scale the world's seven tallest peaks at age 17. He climbed his first at 12, notes TMZ. A police investigation into his death is underway.