Step into a stuntman’s shoes

© T. Joly
Unique in France and maybe in the world, the Spider Jump is an attraction that gives you the possibility to jump into the void. You can experience this perfectly safe new thrilling activity at Ornans in the Doubs department.

[ Practical ]

Getting there
- By road
440 km from PARIS on autoroutes A6, A31 and A36 till exit N°4, then on N57 and D67 till Ornans.
- By train
TGV from Paris Gare de Lyon to Besançon or TGV from Paris Gare de Lyon to Dijon then TER till Besançon. The journey takes between 2 h 30 and 3 h.
Bus from Besançon to Ornans situated 25km away.
- Hotels
Hôtel de France
Hôtel de la Vallée
- Bed and breakfast
Le Jardin de Gustave
Au Miroir de la Loue
Le Courbet
La Table de Gustave
Le Pêcheur
Ferme auberge d’Ully
La Terrasse sur Loue
Spider Jump
Open on weekends from April to October, during the week if enough bookings.
The jumping site is located 5 km from Ornans on the road to Besançon.
Rates : €19 for one jump, €4 € for the second.
Booking compulsory at bureau des guides Anapia, base STL, Route de Montgesoye, 25290 Ornans.
Tel : 0381571082
- Doubs Tourist Office
Tel : 0381212999
- Pays d’Ornans-Loue-Libon Tourist Office
Tel : 0381622150
- Spider Jump
Tel : 0381571082
If you want to experience the sheer thrills inherent to jumping into the void there is now an alternative to bungee jumping and skydiving ; the Spider Jump. Set up in the Doubs, on a 25 m high former railway viaduct spanning over the valley of the Brême River, this attraction uses a mechanism that was originally devised by British stuntmen for film shootings.

© T.Joly
 Feet first
Like bungee jumping, it consists of diving into the void, in this case from a platform attached to the bridge parapet. But other than that, there is no similarity. Wearing a body harness, you are linked to a rope that is not tied to your ankles but to your back and if you whish you can jump feet first which is less impressive than head first. Beside, you are not connected to an elastic cord but to an 8 mm rope with a Kevlar core wrapped around a conical pulley coupled to a flywheel. As a result, the fall doesn’t end abruptly and you don’t continue to bounce up and down for dozens of seconds.

© T.Joly
 Free fall feeling
When you launch yourself off the platform, first you really have the free fall feeling, dropping at 8 to 10 meters per second, but very quickly you feel the rope holding you. Slowing down gradually, you touch the ground smoothly, no faster than a man jumping off a step. Moreover you don’t land directly on the ground but onto a mattress. These features make Spider Jump softer than bungee jumping, less traumatic on joints and back. Moreover everything is done to ensure maximum safety and you can only access the takeoff platform after you wore a helmet, a body harness, and you have been attached to the rope by an instructor.

© T.Joly
 Kids like it
He is also there to sooth anxieties and calm people getting scared once on the platform. Having said that, most of the participants don’t have any fear and some of them, including kids, perform swallow dive, a forward jump with the arms extended outward, spiral dive or jump off backwards. Children as young as 10 are indeed allowed to take part in this activity, with their parents consent of course, and Spider Jump is approved for people weighing between 30 and 120 kg. Last difference with bungee jumping, but not the least, it is considerably cheaper as prices start at €19 per jump.

April 01, 2011
Thierry Joly