First Ever Handheld Mountain Bike Base Jump in the UK

On the 20th of September 2022, adventure athlete Tim Howell completed the UK’s first-ever handheld MTB BASE jump. 

Warning: All stunts shown were performed by highly experienced professional climber, alpinist and BASE jumper Tim Howell. Please do not attempt to recreate anything shown in this video.

Tim rode a Jamis Dakar mountain bike off a cliff on the side of Mt Snowdon with a parachute on his back. He rolled over the edge of the cliff, quickly deployed his parachute and sailed through the air with the Jamis bike strapped underneath him.

After a short, but thrilling flight, he landed perfectly 250 metres below on a rocky beach in front of the Llyn Du’r Arddu lake. And then, he headed straight back to the top for another go.

Who is Tim Howell?

Tim Howel with Jamis Bike

Tim, who is 33 years old, is an ex-Royal Marine Commando and professional adventure athlete. His main focuses are mountaineering, BASE jumping and wingsuit BASE jumping. With over ten years of experience and having completed almost 1,000 jumps, Tim is, in fact, one of the most experienced BASE jumpers on the planet. 


Mount Snowdon, mountain in Wales

A mountain bike BASE jump isn’t something you can do just off any tall cliff or building. For this particular stunt, Tim needed a cliff that was high enough for a parachute to deploy. He also needed a place with a long, straight run-in and a smooth place to land. This was to make sure he could gain significant clearance from the cliff face and, so he could ride away smoothly on the bike.

After a bit of research, Tim found the perfect place on Mt Snowdon. 

He found a cliff that lies just off the Ranger Path (a popular mountain bike descent). The location was perfect because a long flat, grassy overhang protrudes from the edge of the cliff, enabling a fast and stable takeoff. There is also a wide open, smooth area at the bottom of the cliff that was perfect for the landing.

The Point of No Return

Tim Howell with Jamis bike

When a BASE jumper launches themselves from the “exit point”, it is known as the point of no return. This is the point in time when you can no longer change your mind. You are committed to the jump. In a regular base jump, the point of no return is when you jump. It’s no more than an instant. 

When a mountain bike is involved, the point of no return is a lot longer. When you are hurtling towards a cliff on the bike, there comes a time when attempting to stop becomes more dangerous than committing to the stunt. If you pull the brakes too late, you’ll still go over the edge of the cliff, just not as far as you need to.

The point of no return in a regular jump is less than a second. For this jump, it was more like five seconds. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but we’re sure it feels like an eternity when you’re behind the bars! As you can imagine, you have to have a solid state of mind and ultimate confidence in yourself to pull off this kind of stunt safely.


Like most people, we were in awe of Tim’s fearlessness. Before the jump, we asked him about his extreme sports mindset and how he was able to pluck up the courage to do something like this.

“Free ride and dirt jumps were probably the first extreme sports that I started. It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t take the same mentality as free ride for BASE jumping – not thinking too much about risk and just going for it. For me, BASE jumping has to be a lot more calculated because the risks are higher, but it’s so good after all these years to be able to combine those two sports that I’ve been really passionate about in the past; it’s good to get back on the bike.

Probably the most technical jump I’ve done is wing suit jumps, because there’s so much to it. You fly over large distances so the flight path, the landing, the exit point; if its a technical jump it takes a lot of consideration with the different heights and altitudes. The laser comes into play quite a bit, using a terrain profile and GPS and coordinates on google earth. So the exit that I opened in Scotland, the first ever wing suit jump in the UK, was probably the most technical jump that I’ve ever done. This I’m foreseeable being technical in other ways, there’s a lot more complexity to jumping with a bike compared to normal jumps, you’re adding the landing into it, being able to hang it off and the run in, and all sorts, so we’ve thought about every part of it, how it could go wrong, and how we’re going to mitigate it to make it as safe as possible.

Time Howel with Jamis bike
Jamis bike close up

I think everyone has their own levels of risk, what they’re willing to risk in terms of overall reward and you shouldn’t necessarily judge other people on what they’re willing to risk because maybe you don’t know their ability or their skillset, but for me, every time that I do I stunt, I want to pull it off with a huge margin for error. I don’t want to get by by the skin of my teeth, I want to get it done and think “yep, that all went really smoothly” and there was tons of margin for me if something did happen.

And that’s where training and experience and my 10 years of BASE jumping really comes into play. I mean, I don’t foresee myself stopping any time soon, and the only way I’m going to be doing that is by making the right decisions and not making stupid mistakes, keeping in check and not injuring myself. Everything I do and all the jumps I do I’m going to take the utmost care to make sure I can pull it off.

For me, if the jump doesn’t feel right, whether it’s to do with the conditions or the height of the jump, or the landing or the wind, or just somethings not right then I’m more than capable of walking away, you know. It’s worth waiting for another day, the cliffs are still there, and there’s been plenty of times… the top of the Matterhorn for example, the winds were out of my limit, I said no and I walked back down. So sometimes, 10 hours of climbing and you get to the exit point, it’s not good enough and you walk back down.

If I’m too scared or too nervous, if my hearts beating 100 miles an hour, that tells me I’m not ready, my minds not in the right place, so I’ll take a step back, take a breather and try and figure out why my mind isn’t in the right place, why I’m nervous or scared and rationalise those thoughts. At the exit point, I’ve done my gear checks, I’ve gone through all the measurements, I know everything’s right and I know I’ve got the ability to do it, so I’m pretty chilled, I’m pretty calm and I want it to be well within my ability. And when I’m ready, I’m ready.”

The Bike

The bike chosen for the stunt was a Jamis Dakar Full Suspension Mountain Bike. Take a look at it on the GO Outdoors website Link to Dakar

Jamis Dakar bike

The Jamis Dakar is kitted out with 120mm front and rear RockShox suspension, which was invaluable in cushioning the impact on landing. The bike is also light enough that it falls within the weight limit of Tim’s usual parachute. 

As well as this, the Dakar is great for ascending. With a relatively steep head angle and a suspension design that facilitates minimal pedal bob, it was a great choice for riding most of the way up Mt Snowdon to the location. 

A Successful Jump

It wasn’t easy organising this stunt, but we’re glad Tim pulled it off successfully. Everyone involved has very busy calendars, especially Tim. The only time everyone was available was a three-day window in September. And, with something like this, good weather is crucial. We planned to go ahead with the stunt depending on the conditions and waited anxiously as the date approached. 

Luckily, the weather came through. With forecasts of low wind and clear skies, we headed to Snowdon. At the crack of dawn on the 20th, we cycled up the mountain (making sure to observe the Snowdon Voluntary Cycling Agreement). Once we reached the location, Tim spent around half an hour preparing himself and lining up to jump before letting off the brakes and taking the plunge. 

He sailed elegantly through the air and landed cleanly with the full suspension bike cushioning the impact. As soon as he landed, he packed up his chute and headed straight back to the top for another go. 

A cloud passed over the exit point on the second jump, and we had to wait for it to clear. After a bit of waiting, Tim managed to complete the jump just as smoothly as he had the first one. After a successful couple of jumps, we packed up and headed back down the mountain to regroup and admire the footage.

And with that, we hope you enjoy the video too. If you want to see more from Tim or Jamis Bikes, check us out on social media!

Your chance to WIN!

To celebrate Tim pulling this stunt off so amazingly (and safely), we’re running a competition to win the same bike that Tim used to BASE jump… but a brand new one of course!

The Jamis Dakar Full Suspension MTB, worth a whopping £1,500, could be yours!

You can enter the competition via the post on the Jamis Bikes Instagram page through the button below!

Get involved on Facebook too for an extra entry!

You have until the 20th of November to enter. Good luck! T&Cs here.

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