Mario Richard Dies in BASE Jump Accident

Mario Richard BASE jumping in Europe.

8/19/13 - Mario Richard, husband of rock climber Steph Davis, died August 18 while wingsuit flying in Italy's Dolomites.

Richard and Davis arrived in Trentino, Italy, in the beginning of August. They made numerous jumps, including off Trieste Tower and Monte Agner. On August 18, they took a cable car to Sasso Pordoi to make a wingsuit flight off Sass Pordoi. Something went wrong in-flight, and Richard hit a cliff close to the Piccolo Pordoi towers just minutes after Davis successfully jumped. Rescue party members retrieved his body soon after. He was 47.

Richard had more than 7,000 skydives and 2,000 BASE jumps under his belt. His interest in jumping started with a childhood fascination of parachutes and plastic soldiers. He took his first skydive jump in 1988 near Québec City (he was born in Canada), and from there he was obsessed. He became a full-time instructor in Québec City. "I was doing anything that kept me jumping..." he wrote on

In 1991, Richard performed his first BASE jump from the 875-foot New River Gorge bridge in West Virginia. Soon after, he began compiling BASE equipment and "started to jump everything that was high or low enough around my home town." He then moved to Florida, where he started working for Vertigo Base Outfitters (later called Apex Base); he learned how to sew and build systems and equipment for BASE jumping, while the sport was gaining popularity.

In 2000, Richard relocated to Moab, Utah, with the company. "Moab is the perfect playground for this sport, and so few jump spots had been discovered at that time," he wrote. "The entire place was ours to discover."

Richard and Davis married in late 2011, and ran Moab BASE Adventures, which offers jumps and training for new and experienced jumpers, tandem BASE jumping, and rock climbing guiding services.

Below, a short video of Richard and Davis climbing and jumping from Castleton Tower, near Moab, several years ago.


He died like he at the interface of life and death in an attempt to understand what life really is. He achieved what he wanted, I do not pity him.

major - 02/14/2014 3:15:48

Cheap 2013 nfl Hats 100% Guarantee - 11/14/2013 9:02:29

Steph --- I heard with the rest of the team at HPP of Mario's death. While you shared only 1 short day and evening with the team, your inspiration is long lasting - teaching us to reach for more than is front of us. I know you miss Mario but hope there is some consolation knowing he was engaged in his passion. For all of us at HPP (and especially myself), I wish you well -- and "may his memory always be for a blessing"

David Schillinger - 09/28/2013 11:03:33

Steph - We just heard this tragic news in our office this week at HPP. You gave an amazing inspirational talk to our group of 100 Drs in Nashville back in April. I know that your husband and best friend died doing what he loved best. May the memories of what you shared together and your friends and family surround as you continue to live your dream. Thank you for the stories you shared w/ us. I can just picture your dog running down the mountain to meet you ... Live life to the fullest - that's what you taught us! My condolences and thanks, Ingrid

Ingrid Bennett - 09/26/2013 2:42:22

Steph, I met you at our Medical Directors Conference last April (HPP). Your story was amazing. You and Mario lived your life to the fullest, knowing the dangers but enjoying one another every second of every climb, of every jump. May he rest in peace, and I wish you the best of life after him. God Bless you both!

Sal Abrams - 09/25/2013 2:13:52

In the Story for Stopping the Four Errors it says: Do those who fall to earth from the peak of a high mountain Enjoy happiness in space as they are being destroyed? If they are constantly racing toward death from the time they are born, How can living beings find happiness in the time in between?

Bala - 09/16/2013 2:24:51

Heartfelt condolences on the passing of a good man. Losses like these hit you like a ton of bricks. I hope Mario's loved ones take time to grieve and not rush it. What a life this has been, and Mario died like a man doing what he loved.

Alina - 09/10/2013 9:47:49

Dear Steph, I did not have the chance to meet you, but my heart goes out to you and Mario's family. Please accept my most sincere condolences and be sure that Mario will always be with you as Marc still with me. Marc's Gilbert sister

Christine - 08/25/2013 7:04:14

Sincere condolences to Steph, Mario's family and loved ones... I'm sure we've all lost someone near and dear to us, and no one has the right to judge, especially at a time like this. Just like you learned in grade school -- if you have nothing nice to say, please, don't say it at all. As a bystander to this whole ordeal, I'm sure no one wants to hear it. RIP Mario -- You continue to be a source of inspiration. "Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies, Tongue-tied and twisted; just an earth-bound misfit." -- Pink Floyd, Learning to Fly.

Tree - 08/22/2013 11:41:33

I'm sorry for your loss, Steph.

Sean - 08/22/2013 9:31:13

Who cares if it is safe or not. It is quite evident on that day, in that place it was not safe for Mario. But, he died doing what he loved to do and one thing in life is guaranteed and that is death will come to us all. So live the way you want and enjoy it, whether it be long or short.

Tom - 08/22/2013 2:43:14

Please be respectfull. No place to share hard opinions, when someone passed away. Compassion is always meedeed, even when values and beliefs differ.

Wyatt - 08/22/2013 1:17:02

Leave a Comment