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A bridge over the river -- fly!

Updated: October 31, 2009, 6:15 PM ET
By W. H. "Chip" Gross | ESPNOutdoors.com

FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. -- It's the most extreme of the extreme sports: BASE jumping.

One day each year -- always on the third Saturday of October -- West Virginia invites parachutists to take the leap from the state's New River Gorge Bridge, the longest single-arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere.

BASE jumpers respond by the hundreds, coming not only from almost every state in the nation, but as many as a dozen foreign countries.

"We usually have 450 jumpers and some 150,000 spectators ...

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