A group of climbers have scaled Africa’s highest mountain – wearing just their shorts.
Dutch daredevil Wim Hof, known as the ‘iceman’, led a group of 26 people to the summit of the world’s highest free standing mountain – Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
In just 48 hours the group climbed all 5,895m (19, 340ft) without succumbing to hypothermia or altitude sickness – an achievement considered impossible by experts. Clearly, they were in peak condition.
Eleven of the team climbed the mountain dressed just in shorts and without tops – to arrive unhurt at the mountain’s peak, where the temperature is a brutal -20C.
Before the project started, the Dutch Mountaineering and Climbing Federation and expedition medics considered this impossible.
The success rate of reaching Uhuru Peak in a regular mountaineering expedition is 41 per cent.
At the summit the amount of oxygen is less than 50 per cent of the amount of oxygen at sea level – usually for a climber going up, it takes five to seven days to acclimatise.
Altitude sickness can occur from 3000m upwards and usually starts with headaches, dizziness and confusion. In extreme cases cerebral edema – brain swelling – and even death may occur.
Whim believes a combination of training focus, breathing and training at low temperatures made it possible for the participants to gain control over altitude sickness.
The participants of this expedition, aged between 29 and 65 years, were without any real mountaineering experience and some suffered conditions such as rheumatism, asthma and chrones disease.
Wim Hof, who sat in an ice bath for one hour 13 minutes to break the world record, said: ‘Until now the world thought that only I was capable to conquer extreme cold and altitude.
‘These heroes have shown that everybody is able to do what I am doing.
‘My method offers people the possibility to influence their mind and body, and in particular their nervous system.
‘In the course of time people forgot how much they are able to do with their own bodies, and they have become dependent of pills and powders.
‘I want to show the world that they do not always need those and can do much more themselves.
‘The general opinion about altitude sickness has always been that it could not be prevented, not even with medication. If people can control this disease on their own, what else could be possible?’
Mr. Hof claims that he can alter his body’s heat using just the power of his mind.
Kilimanjaro Climb Video
Interested in climbing Kilimanjaro?