Water way to go: Incredible images show adventurers hydrospeeding down Europe’s longest glacier
Water way to go! These incredible images show the moment two brave adventurers decided to body board down Europe’s longest glacier.
Carving their way through the icy rivers of the Aletsch Glacier in Switzerland, the pair are seen risking their lives for an adrenalin rush of a whole new kind.
Pictured mounted on their body boards as part of a sport known as hydrospeeding, the daredevils risked being carried away by strong currents and even drowning in hidden crevices to complete the winding seven mile journey.
But if that wasn’t dangerous enough, the duo also ran the risk of being overwhelmed by collapsing glacial lakes that could be released into the river at any moment.
Luckily, Swiss mountain guide, Claude-Alain Gailland and canyon activity specialist, Gilles Janin, are two of only a handful people in the world qualified enough to perform the treacherous run.
Located on a UNESCO world heritage site, mountaineering photographer, David Carlier, 42, spent five hours trudging through the icy terrain to reach the summit of the colossal ice mass.
David said: “This is a very unusual activity, most wouldn’t dare to hydrospeed on a course like this, certainly not on a major glacier like this one.
“I know some people have done it in Chamonix but we are talking about a handful of guys in the world who can do it, as it requires a lot of knowledge and expertise.
“This is a very dangerous activity for two main reasons, first they need to check the whole glacial river to make sure there are no big crevices ahead.
“They also need to make sure there are areas where they can stop without being swept away by the stream which can be very strong.
“The second danger consists of glacial lakes located above, that could suddenly be released.
“We did have that scenario and suddenly a few hundred cubic meters of half melted ice runs down the river at full speed.
“It was a stunning location to photograph, the place where I photographed is called Koncordia Platz, and this is where four major glaciers meet to form the Aletsch Glacier.”