Jumat, 14 Oktober 2011

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Extreme sport enthusiasts risk life and limb in all sorts of daredevil acts - but all are chasing the same thing: the breathtaking adrenaline 'high' that comes with staring death in the face.

But even the craziest thrill seeker would balk at the feats of Austria's Michael Kemeter, and it would be hard to get any higher.

These spectacular images show how record-breaking Kemeter staged a perilous wire-walk between two ledges of Austria's highest peak.

Don't look down: Austrian slackline walker Michael Kemeter sets out on his perilous walk across a 150ft line less than an inch wide, strung between the Pallavicini ridge on the side of Grossglockner mountain, Austria

Don't look down: Austrian slackline walker Michael Kemeter sets out on his perilous walk across a 150ft line less than an inch wide, strung between the Pallavicini ridge on the side of Grossglockner mountain, Austria

A line was strung up 2,600 feet off the ground at the Pallavicini ridge on the side of Grossglockner mountain, Austria's highest peak and second only to Mont Blanc in the Alps.

The 23-year-old then stepped out on to the line, which was around 150ft long and less than an inch wide.

Although he had a safety rope that would have arrested his fall had he lost his balance, there was one hazard that could have turned the stunt into an instant tragedy.

While the line was strongly secured at both ends, the melting permafrost in the Alps had increased the risk of rockfalls and slides in the area.

Don't do that! Kemeter shows his head for heights as he kneels on the line after making his crossing. He went topless to lower wind resistance and reduce any excess weight

Don't do that! Kemeter shows his head for heights as he kneels on the line after making his crossing. He went topless to lower wind resistance and reduce any excess weight

A direct hit could have caused the line to break altogether, sending Kemeter to certain death.

Kemeter is an expert at slacklining, where the line is fixed between two anchor points but is not taut - as in tightrope walking.

The line is allowed to move, stretching and bouncing like a long but narrow trampoline.

To the uninitiated (that is, most of us), the benefits of using a slackened line are not immediately clear - except to increase the risk and show off amazing balancing skills.

Adrenaline high: Kemeter currently holds the world record for slacklining, having recently crossed a 525ft-long line over the Gruenen See in Styria, Austria

Adrenaline high: Kemeter currently holds the world record for slacklining, having recently crossed a 525ft-long line over the Gruenen See in Styria, Austria

Kemeter balanced over the ridge without shoes and in windy conditions to perform the stunt. He also wore no top to lower wind resistance, to lower his weight and to stop his clothes from getting snagged on any of the lines.

Extreme sportsman Kemeter, who has performed slacklining stunts all over the world, said it was great to have now conquered Austria's highest peak.

He said: 'This highline was the best in the world, maybe others will come here later but there can only be one person who was first, and that was me.'

Only a week ago Kemeter was able to break a Slack Lining World Record by crossing a 525ft-long slackline - the longest in the world - over the Gruenen See in Styria, Austria.




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