Australian adventurer and explorer Dan Bull has just been recognized by the Guinness World Records for his achievement of ‘The Highest Kayak on Earth,’ which took place near the summit of the world’s highest volcano, Ojos del Salado in the Andes.
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Bull achieved the altitude-based feat at an altitude of 18,724 feet and by covering a distance of over 1.5 miles. In preparation, he had to use his ice axe to pull himself and his kayak along the surface of the frozen lake to break the ice and prepare a kayaking lane.
“I wanted to combine my experience at high altitude with my love of water and pursue my dream of breaking a new world record,” Bull explained to Canoe & Kayak.
Ojos del Salado is the highest mountain in Chile and the second highest mountain outside the Himalaya. Humidity can drop as low as 2 percent. Despite the extremely dry conditions, snow storms can strike at any time, covering the surrounding area with a few feet of snow. The water temperature was just on freezing at 34 degrees.
“Water froze instantly as it splashed onto my gear. I knew that if I fell in, I’d be dead very quickly,” Bull said.
In addition, he had to battle with carrying his customized kayak up the mountain on top of his usual mountaineering and survival gear, weighing in excess of 110 pounds.
“As I climbed toward the summit of the highest volcano in the world, I experienced the worst snow seen in two decades. I was trapped inside my tent, high on the mountain, for three days, surviving gale-force winds up to 140 km/h and wind chill down to -45°C,” said Bull.
Bull is no stranger to high-altitude adventures. He is also the current World Record holder for the Youngest Person to Climb the Highest Mountain and the Highest Volcano on each continent (known as the 7 Summits & 7 Volcanic Summits), as well as being the first Aussie to achieve the feat.