13,000ft Above

Climbing out of the door, I dangled my body out over the edge and embraced the chilling air on my skin as my heart raced. I looked straight ahead at the top of the Alps that seemed to cover as far into the distance as I could see, each all lightly covered in snow. With a quick glimpse down I could see a sky covered in clouds and through the gaps the ground awaiting my arrival extremely far below. My head was then tilted up to view the uninterrupted blue sky. It felt as if I had dangled on the side for minutes taking in the views however it was only a matter of seconds before I heard “3….2…...” from the veteran diver strapped behind me. Suddenly our bodies pulled away from the helicopter I had travelled in and I was now falling from 13,000ft staring straight down to what awaited below.

I soared like a bird passing the Alps covered in snow and through the cloud layer covering the sky. Within seconds I observed the picturesque town of Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland below. From the sky, the sun shone down on the grass making it look a bright, vibrant green and the shaded areas of forest and grassland looked as equally enchanting. With few large main roads and several more small, thin streets, from above the whole valley from many kilometres away to the area beneath looked covered in large patches of trees, larger patches of grass and randomly situated clusters of Swiss wooden lodges and houses all the same shade of brown. The serenity of the village was more captivating and obvious from above. I could see no high rise buildings in sight within the large valley or busy motorways that would have the same hustle and bustle that many other cities worldwide encounter.

With the parachute pulled, I viewed the fascinating village at a more desirable pace. Adrenalin still running high with no fear of the insane heights I was still falling from, I was in complete awe of the large valley stretching below from all angles around me. The valley, so calm and still, felt as if time had stopped. Finally I swirled past the rocky mountain sides which too had been covered in trees and at one point came within what felt like arms reach of a natural waterfall off the cliff from a melting glacier.

Stumbling into the grass fields, I landed back on the ground. Time was in motion again. I looked up in amazement at what I had just observed from above. I was now surrounded by those mountains in all directions, which all seemed fifty times larger when gazing back up at them. The long grass was stretching from below my feet to places now out of sight and the clouds were still partially covering the sky, hiding the snow covered Alp tops. The sun shone over the fields on the glorious summer’s day in June, the GoPro camera strapped to the instructors arm reached out with the voice behind inquisitive of how the trip had went however I could not think. Sky diving over the Swiss Alps from 13,000ft had left me completely speechless.

E. Neale

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