A world-renowned American base-jumper known as "The Birdman" broke both legs when he crashed into the face of South Africa's Table Mountain moments after leaping off its flat summit.
Jeb Corliss, 35, was being filmed by US network HBO and was performing his second jump from the Cape Town landmark when the accident happened at 10am on Monday.
A spokesman for Table Mountain, Merle Collins, said Mr Corliss was "lucky to be alive" after he fell more than 200 feet from the 3,500 foot mountain before landing on a sloped side known as Africa Face.
"He managed to release his emergency chute and we believe he would have died without it," she said.
He was recovered from close to the base of the mountain by air ambulance and taken to a private hospital in the city where he was admitted to intensive care.
A spokesman for the hospital said that he remained in good spirits, and instructed her to tell well-wishers: "I feel the best I ever have."
Since learning to skydive aged 18, Mr Corliss has made his name by leaping from some of the world's most famous landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, Angel Falls in Venezuela and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In some of his jumps, he wears a James Bond-esque "wingsuit" which has fabric "wings" spanning the area between his arms and legs, to lengthen the time taken to fall before releasing his parachute.
In September last year, he flew through an arch in the side of China's Tianmen Mountain in front of a live television audience of millions.
In pictures of his previous jump from Table Mountain last week, Mr Corliss can be seen smiling through his helmet visor as he plummets downwards past rocky outcrops studded with fynbos summer flowers.
Mr Corliss' colleague Joby Ogwyn, who jumped from Table Mountain moments before him, said it was unclear what had gone wrong this time.
"I heard a sound – it sounded like Jeb hit a ledge, it sounded like he hit it twice, pretty hard," he told the Cape Argus newspaper.
"It could have been a strange gust of wind; it could be that he got too close to the mountain."
Michelle Norris, spokesman for Christiaan Barnaard Hospital where Mr Corliss was being treated, said he had suffered multiple fractures in the fall and had been transferred to surgical intensive care for an operation.
"I saw him in the emergency room and asked whether I could release details of his condition," she said.
"He smiled at me and said 'Tell them I feel the best I ever have'.
"He was later sent for further tests and X-rays that was when he was taken into surgery."