Skydive Chicago closes in December and only opens very sporadically over the winter on the off chance of a random really nice day. Why is that? Skydiving in the winter is wildly thrilling in the brisk skies and at times, gazing at the stunning snowy landscape, but depending on how cold it is, it became about safety. Here’s what you need to know about skydiving in winter. (Straight talk time!)
Is Skydiving in Winter Possible?
The problem of what to wear skydiving is a difficult enough problem to solve. Why? In two words: Lapse rate. Due to lapse rate– which means that the temperature drops 5.38 °F for every 1,000 feet above the ground — the temperatures at 14,000 feet differ from the temperatures at ground level by quite a bit. During the summer months, when it’s a cooking 90 °F down here, the change in temperature can be a soothing blessing. When it’s already freezing on the ground, however…OUCH.
That said: skydiving in winter is definitely technically possible. Military types do it all the time, as do hardcore sport skydivers who are sufficiently addicted to freefall that they don’t notice the (significant) pain. We’re not into asking our tandem instructors — and their unwitting students — to brave that polar bear swim in the sky, though, so we make it a policy not to.
Is Skydiving in Winter Fun?
Well we think skydiving is fun always! There are just some extra precautions to take when it’s cold like layering up, wearing gloves, and repeating procedures getting comfortable moving with all the extra padding. In some countries with very long winters (Russia, for instance), the dropzones will often slow down to weekend operation to accommodate the diehards. Example: check out this wintertime jump in Iceland. You can tell that all the skydivers involved are really new, they’re bundled up like the stay-puft marshmallow man! Worth it? It’s definitely worth an experience to fly through the wintery skies, but it’s usually a personal preference. If skydiving in the cold isn’t your thing, some of our planes fly south for the winter to Skydive Sebastian, where you can enjoy a warmer temps!
Can You Go Skydiving In The Rain? How About Skydiving in the Snow?
Because of the federal rules that demand we skydive in relatively cloud-free conditions, it’s darned unlikely that you’ll ever jump in full-on rain or full-on snow. After all: that stuff comes from clouds. That said: if the clouds producing the precipitation are high enough and you get very unlucky, you might end up “falling against the pointy end of the raindrops,” as we like to say. That situation is dicey, because water adds weight to the fabric of the parachute, changing its flight characteristics. A heavy rain would be dangerous indeed. (Thankfully, a reputable dropzone like Skydive Chicago would never put you out of a plane in such conditions.)
What does all that mean? It means, we keep an eye on the forecast for the days that look like a break from the bone-chilling temps and clear skies. Otherwise, we’ll see you in the springtime, when you can enjoy a truly incredible skydive, Jack Frost excluded! Make your reservation today, and we’ll see you then.