New Slackline Altitude World Record

The German slackline pro Lukas Irmler has set the Slackline altitude world record at the snowy Yanaphaqcha (5460m) in the Peruvian Andes. Along with Mariano Breccia and Alex Estrada, two members of the adidas Terrex Team Peru, the German set up a Highline 5222 meters above sea level and successfully walked the 21m long and very exposed line on 29th of August, 2013.

adidas Outdoor has accompanied the three athletes on this difficult adventure and documented the high altitude world record over 5000m.

“It started all with a photo of Bernd Zangerl bouldering in Peru, which is hanging in our climbing gym. It made me wanna go to Peru to highline on some of the small rocktowers. Some years later I met a group of motivated slackliners and crazy mountain guys from Peru and I wasn´t going there to rig some small Lines on boulders, but instead the plan was to go into high altitude - in the mountains to rig world´s highest altitude highline. I have never been higher than 3500m above sea levels and I had no clue what I would be facing going to try a highline above 5000m. But my first doubts were soon be dissolved by the great plans of Alex and Mariano and simply by the wish to find out if I can do it!

After arriving in Peru, we climbed some Mountains up to over 4000m to acclimatise and get used to this high altitude, as our basecamp would be at about 4800m. I was expecting to feel short of breath and get headache and so on, but what I was not prepared for was the serious effect the altitude would have on my stomach. By the time we got to the basecamp the worst was already behind me, but still I could not eat more than soup the first 2 days. Also the weather had gotten quite bad after we arrived in the basecamp and so the first days we were forced to stay in the tents. After some days of doing nothing, just waiting for better weather I was seriously asking myself what I was here for! I am a slackliner and not a alpinist, I was prepared to face everything, but not this sheer boredom of sitting around. So at the third day we went out despite the snow and rain and rigged a 26m long highline close to the basecamp. It was my first highline in Peru and in fact also my first highline to a glacier but it was hard to enjoy. So the name of the line „never again“ sums it up quite good. The day when we were supposed to leave again came closer and the weather wasn´t really getting any better, so we decided to try to go up to the highline spot at 5200m on the last day, regardless the weather and just try what we could get. Waking up on that last day, I was leaving the tent and actually seeing some mountains around for the very first time. Even the sun came out occasionally and so we were more than excited to climb the 400m of altitude over the glacier to our highline destination. We worked fast and rigged a 21m long highline from a cliff edge over to the glacier. It all went very well and by early afternoon I was able to start walking on the highest highline of the world, looking down at over 1000m of exposure and having one of the most stunning panoramas around, this walk was very unique and for sure worth all the journey. I could walk the line without any bigger problems but as often it is the way to the top, which is the most of the job and then comes the reward - the actual Highline.”

Check out the great video of the slackline altitude World Record: