comments

Daredevil Mike Wilson's Giant Gap stunt shut down

Squaw Valley extreme stunt star pulls down cable strung across American River canyon
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
-A +A
AUBURN CA - A Squaw Valley daredevil looking for a new round of extreme viral video fame in the American River canyon has been shut down by authorities. Citing concern over safety to aircraft passing through Giant Gap, near Alta, the Bureau of Land Management ordered Mike Wilson to reel in a 4,000-foot cable strung across the canyon over the North Fork American River. David Christy, Bureau of Land Management spokesman, said the quarter-inch cable – with no markers on it and virtually invisible to helicopter or airplane pilots – was taken down Friday. The bureau, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Forest Service are now looking at possible legal action against Wilson – a stunt skier who has expanded into spectacular, acrobatic rope-swing and BASE jumps for videos that have attracted hundreds of thousands of views online. “We were concerned that a pilot could fly into it,” Christy said. “We didn’t know anything about it and called around to find out who could take it down, eventually finding out that it was Mike Wilson.” Wilson did not return a phone call from the Journal Monday. One of his most mind-bending recent stunts involved performing a quadruple back flip on a 99-foot rope swing from a rock cliff at Lake Tahoe. Another involved back flipping off a rope swing suspended 60 feet above the Truckee River. Alta-area resident Jim Ricker said Monday that people in the area discovered the cable strung across the canyon at Giant Gap and the bureau was notified. Ricker said that the cable installation followed several weeks of men jumping off the canyon rim with parachutes at a precipice known as Lover’s Leap. The cable, locals were told, was being used for BASE jumpers to slide to the middle, using a carabiner, an oval metal ring with a hook used in mountain climbing. The jumper would then float down after releasing the hook, Ricker said. The drop is an estimated 2,000 feet, Ricker said. The cable was strung from a cliff on the northern side of the canyon to Forest Service land on the southern side. Ann Westling, spokeswoman for the Tahoe National Forest, said the federal agency is also considering possible legal action against Wilson. “We’re reviewing the situation,” Westling said. “They didn’t have a special use permit with us for this.”