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8 Apr, 2013 12:48

Snow falls: Russian roof jumpers seek thrills, YouTube fame

Snow falls: Russian roof jumpers seek thrills, YouTube fame

Here’s a simple way to may a dull late Russian winter a bit more entertaining. Jump off a roof. No chute or rope. Down into a snowdrift. Survive the 17-meter fall. Then dodge the police coming to detain you (optional).

The idea is certainly appealing for those willing to risk their necks for no reason other than getting an adrenalin rush. But a surprising number of thrill-seekers do this in Russia, some of them caught on camera in the process.

Here is a video from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the administrative center of Sakhalin Region in Russia’s Far East. This YouTube video was apparently produced to impress the viewers with the performance of the jumper, who the off-screen commenter claims to be a professional stuntman. The parka-wearing, face-masked fellow does the dread fall no fewer than three times, judging from the video.

Jumping off the roof into snow can be a collective experience too. In this video, shot not far from the first one in the city of Korakov in the same region, four people leap from a five-story building over the span of several minutes. The girl shooting the video calls them “nuts” and cheers as they plunge into the snow.

Apparently both videos were taken in early March, shortly after a major blizzard that swept across Russia’s Far East and left plenty of fresh snow in its wake. A couple of meters of it are enough to act as a cushion and relatively safely break a fall even that high.

The risky activity is far from being a novelty, but the YouTube videos of it are so far scarce. One can understand why after watching last year’s footage from Magadan, also in Russia’s Far East. It shows clearly how one can get caught by police and detained for public disturbance after a jump, unless he is clever or fast enough.