Australian adventurer and explorer Dan Bull has taken out one of the most sought-after titles in the field of extreme adventure, achieving ‘The Highest Kayak on Earth’, near the summit of the world’s highest volcano, Ojos del Salado. And he has been recognised by Guinness World Records for his achievement.
Dan achieved the new world record for ‘The Highest Altitude Kayak’ at an altitude of 5,707 m, covering a distance of over 2.5 km and using 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,” Dan explains.
Dan achieved the record without the use of an oxygen mask or breathing apparatus, which would’ve been allowed under Guinness World Records rules.
The water temperature was just on freezing at 0.1°C. “Water froze instantly as it splashed onto my gear. I knew that if I fell in, I’d be dead very quickly,” Dan said.
Ojos del Salado is the highest mountain in Chile and the second highest mountain outside the Himalaya. In addition to the extreme high altitude, the humidity can be as low as 2%. Despite the extremely dry conditions, snow storms can strike at any time, covering the surrounding area with a few feet of snow.
“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 3 days, surviving gale force winds up to 140 km/h and wind chill down to -45°C,” said Dan.
In addition, he had to battle with carrying his customised kayak up the mountain on top of his usual mountaineering and survival gear, weighing in excess of 50 kg.
Dan 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.