Aussie Dan Bull sets World high altitude kayak record in Chile

snow action team 17.11.2018

Aussie adventurer and motivational speaker Dan Bull set a new record for the World’s highest altitude kayaking on Ojos de Salado in Chile. It’s the second highest mountain in South America at 6,880m (only 80m less than Aconcagua). These are also the two highest mountains on the planet outside the Himalayas.

We got totally buggered skinning up to below 4,000m in Chile a couple of years back to ski at Arpa cat skiing one day when the cat wasn’t running. That nearly finished me off, so the idea of hauling a kayak up to the frozen lagoon on Ojos de Salado at 5,707m sounds seriously scary. And bloody hard work.

Dan Bull had to battle with carrying his customised kayak up the mountain on top of his usual mountaineering and survival gear, while already weighs in excess of 50 kg

But Melbourne based Bull thrives on a challenge or several. His website is www.unstoppabull.com and it’s a slogan he makes a habit of living up to, both personally and inspiring others, be that through school or corporate motivational speaking to customised challenges/adventures for team building and development.

His previous World Records include being the Youngest Person to Climb the Highest Mountain and the Highest Volcano on each continent (known as the 7 Summits & 7 Volcanic Summits double), as well as being the first Aussie to achieve the feat. For the 7 summits component of that he did Everest first and Kozi last, which is one achievement at least many of us can share with him.

Dan Bull kayaking Ojos de Salado

Love many trust few always paddle your own canoe .. © Mario Sepulveda

But ‘The Highest Altitude Kayak’? Hmmm, I don’t think so!

To qualify under Guinness record rules he had to cover a distance of over 2.5 km actually kayaking. This involved first using his ice axe to pull himself and his kayak along the surface of the frozen lake to break the ice to prepare a kayaking lane.

Dan Bull on frozen lake Ojos de Salado

Dan Bull tests the waters © Adolfo Dell Orto

What motivates anyone to put themselves through the extreme effort required we wondered?

“I’m addicted to heights” Dan explains. “I wanted to combine my experience at high altitude with my love of water and pursue my dream of pushing my limits to break a new world record.”

Dan achieved the record without the use of an oxygen mask or breathing apparatus, which would’ve been allowed under Guinness World Records rules.

The water temperature was just on freezing at 0.1°C. “Water froze instantly as it splashed onto my gear. I knew that if I fell in, I’d be dead very quickly,” Dan said.

Fortunately, Dan relies on top quality gear. While most of us won’t ever need hi-tec climbing rig the LENZ heated gloves that kept him relatively toasty will do the same for recreational skiers & boarders heading anywhere cold. LENZ heated gloves and socks have been going gangbusters lately for good reason.

LENZ heated gloves Ojos de Salado

LENZ heated gloves sure helped! © Dan Bull

“These gloves saved my fingers! Water froze instantly as it splashed onto my gear, but I retained the sensation of most of my digits throughout, which is rare at this altitude.”

Ojos del Salado is the highest mountain in Chile and the second highest mountain outside the Himalaya. In addition to the extreme high altitude, the humidity can be as low as 2%. Despite the extremely dry conditions, snow storms can strike at any time, covering the surrounding area with a few feet of snow.

“As I climbed toward the summit of the highest volcano in the world, I experienced the worst snow seen in two decades. I was trapped inside my tent, high on the mountain, for 3 days, surviving gale force winds up to 140 km/h and wind chill down to -45°C,” says Dan.

Something to think about next time you’re out on chilly day on the slopes – or not out becuase you think it’s too cold. Gear up and get motivated.

Dan Bull specialises in motivation these days, check out his website for more details on that – from school talks to executive team building challenges he has plenty to offer. Follow his social feeds for more feats.

We’re motivated! Our 7 summits mission is one down, 6 to go and counting (albeit slowly..). No prizes for guessing which is the one we have nailed.