(By Markian Hawryluk) Most people see the iconic Angel Falls in Venezuela from its base after a long canoe trip or perhaps from the air in a plane or helicopter. Nobody has seen the view that Bernhard Witz, Fabian Rupprecht and Helmar Fasold can claim.
In April, the three rigged a slackline across the world's highest waterfall, completing a dizzying 807-meter-high walk across the 25-meter-long highline in both directions.
“It is a feeling beyond words when, feeling free as the wind, you start walking across a small line over the world's highest waterfall and see the water spraying the air a couple hundred meters below," said Witz, a 30- year-old highliner from Switzerland.
Even getting to the top of the falls, which plummet off the flat-topped Auyantepui Mountain in Canaima National Park, is difficult. There is only one known path to the top of the falls, through thick jungle teeming with mosquitos, scorpions and poisonous snakes. The team opted to forgo helicopter support, spending two weeks carrying their gear to the top of the falls.
They then had to wait out days of torrential rainfall and were almost forced to abandon the project due to limited provisions and a narrow time frame. The rain ceased for a few hours on their last possible day, allowing the trio to complete the highline, which they dubbed the “Lost World.”
The team then rappelled down the 1,000 meter face beside the waterfall on their way back to civilization.
The three adventurers are among the world's best highliners. Witz has completed the world's highest highline with a 1,500 meter drop at the Troll Wall in Norway. Rupprecht, 29, from Munich, Germany, was the first to complete a slackline of over 200 meters in length. Fasold, 25, from Bayreuth, Germany has been involved in multiple impressive highline projects as well.
The expedition was filmed by Halsundbeinbruch Films, an adventure film production company that calls itself the “fittest filmteam in Switzerland.” A trailer to the film in available online.
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