Unbe-lava-ble: adrenaline junkies sledge down active volcano at 60mph
Forget snowboarding, these daredevils have found a MAGNA-ificent way to stay active this winter – by sledging down an ACTIVE VOLCANO.
The extreme sport, known as volcano boarding, sees thousands of thrill seekers race down the Cerro Negro volcano in Nicaragua, Central America each year.
Wearing little more than a jumpsuit and goggles for protection, daredevils can career down the 726m high ashy slope in less than 20 seconds at speeds of up to 60mph.
Using specially constructed plywood boards as make-shift sleds, thrill seekers hike to the top of the volcano – which spews out hot gases – before making their exhilarating 500m descent to the bottom.
But those likely to get hot under the collar should be wary; the 160 year-old volcano has erupted 23 times during its lifespan, making it the most active cinder cone volcano on the planet.
Adrenaline junkie Cadi Melo, 33, co-owner of Bigfoot Hostel, takes groups of up to 30 thrill seekers a day up the steep slopes to get their fix of the sporting craze.
Cadi, from Brazil, said: “Volcano Boarding is a unique extreme sport.
“There is no other place on earth you can slide down an active volcano, so the fact that it’s an exclusive spot makes it quite special.
“People come for one experience they will not find elsewhere.”
The Cerro Negro volcano, which translates to Black Hill in English, is likely to erupt at any time, but last did so in 1999.
It is classified as a cinder come volcano, the most common on the planet, which spew lava fountains through the top or through vents at the base.
According to Cadi, when the Cerro Negro – which was conceived in 1850 – erupted in 1992, it covered nearby Leon in 8cm of volcanic ash.
However, despite its volatile reputation, Cadi says the worst injury ever suffered on the slopes was a broken ankle.
He said: “Cerro Negro in English means Black Hill.
“It is a cinder come volcano which is the simplest kind of volcano on the planet.
“When they erupt they build on themselves, and in doing so, grow with every eruption.
“Generally these kinds of volcanos only live 60 years, erupting once and not exceeding 250m high.
“However, Cerro negro is 720m high, has lived 160 years and erupted 23 times; that makes it the most active cinder cone volcano on the planet.”