For those with a love of adventure, abseiling is one of the most exciting activities to engage in. From monolithic cliffs and breathtaking waterfalls to some of the tallest buildings in the urban jungle, adrenaline junkies are always looking for ways to push their limits.
Here are seven abseiling feats that the vast majority of us won’t be emulating anytime soon….
1. Abseiling down one of Britain’s tallest buildings at 101 years of age.
Doris Long (who took up abseiling at the age of 85) successfully descended the side of Britain’s 560 foot (170 metres) Spinnaker Tower in July 2015. Long claims that she isn’t afraid of heights and enjoys the challenge that abseiling presents. Despite wind and rain on the day, she made it safely to the ground and broke her own world record in the process – all while raising money for charity!
What’s your excuse?
2. Abseiling down El Capitan, Yosemite National Park.
In 2013 a group of daredevils abseiled down the side of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park (USA).
It was a terrifying descent that began from a rock overhang and ended on the peaceful valley floor, with the climbers utilising what is known in the rappel world as the “Single Rope Technique” (SRT).
The granite monolith is comprised of a 3,000 foot (915 metres) rock face; many compare this feat to that of climbing Mount Everest. In fact, more people climb Mount Everest each year than the total number of people who have completed the SRT loop at El Capitan.
3. Maletsunyane Falls – the highest commercially operated abseil in the world.
So this point isn’t a particular abseiling feat per se; rather, it’s an abseiling opportunity that’s open to anyone with the required level of experience.
Commercial abseiling at Maletsunyane Falls, Lesotho, is recognised by the Guinness World Records as the highest commercially operated abseil in the world. The falls, which are the highest single-drop falls in Southern Africa, are a crazy 669 feet (204 metres) high.
If you don’t have any prior abseiling experience, it takes two days of training to prepare and the descent itself takes around 40 minutes. Participants are rewarded with some of the most stunning views the region has to offer.
On average, only four people complete the descent each day. If you are an adrenaline junkie, it might be time to pay Maletsunyane Falls a visit!
4. A 100m abseil in 8.99 seconds.
As Hollywood’s top stuntman and daredevil, Steve Truglia holds the world record for the fastest 100-metre abseil descent. He made it to the ground in just 8.99 seconds, which is faster than Usain Bolt’s 100-metre sprint world record of 9.58 seconds – albeit vertical!
The experts over at ITS Tactical point out some interesting safety concerns that were visible in the video of his feat; for example, only a single carabiner was used.
Well, they did say Truglia was a daredevil…
5. Mascots rappel down the side of a skyscraper.
Just when you thought it was hard enough to abseil or rappel down the side of building in adventure gear, two sports mascots managed to descent a skyscraper – wearing their bulky mascot outfits.
The Philadelphia sports mascots rappelled down the side of a 418 foot (127 metres) skyscraper to raise money for charity. It was a feat that captured plenty of attention – after all, how often do you get to see colourful mascots descending the side of a city building!
6. A group of 42 people rappel down a 450-foot waterfall in India.
In 2013, a group of 42 people from the Youth Hostels Association (YHA) of India rappelled down the side of Katika waterfall near the famous Borra caves. In the process, this team of extreme sports lovers set a world record for the most people to rappel down a 400-foot waterfall.
Lead by 64-year-old Sreenivasa Prasad, the team completed the 450 foot (137 metres) decent with the aim of promoting adventure activities amongst young people visiting the region.
7. Bear Grylls abseils down one of tallest buildings in Shanghai.
In September 2015, reality TV star / survival expert Bear Grylls abseiled down the side of one of Shanghai’s tallest buildings in preparation for the launch of his own brand of survival TV in China.
The building, which was Shanghai Media Group’s base, is one of the city’s tallest – and Bear Grylls made it to the ground barely raising a sweat. The publicity stunt – which closely resembled a Mission Impossible scene – certainly didn’t go unnoticed and drew plenty of attention from both those on the street and Chinese media outlets alike.
Of course, not everyone is going to get out there and emulate these amazing achievements. However, if you are interested in abseiling or rappelling you can tackle this sport on a smaller scale with Rap JumpingTM. We offer abseiling and forward-facing rappelling (rap jumping) in the centre of Melbourne’s CBD. To feed your sense of adventure, book today!