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The Sky Is The Limit, an Extreme High-Altitude Swim with Jean Craven and Madswimmer

The Himalayas are the top of the world. The famed Asian mountain range includes more than 100 peaks exceeding elevations of 7,200 meters above sea level.

While Ojos del Salado located in the Andes Mountain on the Argentina-Chile border officially hosts the highest water body in the world, a group of sherpas recently found a new open body of water at 7,000 meters (22,966 feet) above sea level at Phuta Himchuli in the Himalayas.

This discovery got famed explorer Jean Craven [shown above], founder of Madswimmer, thinking. “As the planet warms, more lakes and pools are being created at even higher altitudes.  If our team can verify and swim in this newly claimed highest pool at Phuta Himchuli in the Himalayas, it means the highest body of water on earth has changed continents – from South America to Asia.  The adventure’s unprecedented nature and extreme conditions aim to be key to highlight the seriousness of climate change.

Then his competitive nature and sense of adventure kicked in. Craven and a Madswimmer team aims to reclaim the record for the highest swim in the world after Australian Daniel Bull swam at 6,370 meters high up in the Andes in 2020.  Bull bested both Lewis Pugh who swam in Lake Pumori located at 5,200 meters on Mount Everest in 2010 and one of Craven’s other Madswimmer team that swam at 5,909 meters in Ojos del Salado in the Andes in 2015.

Craven continued, “As always, Madswimmer links a social cause and a charity to our swims. This time, the social cause is climate change as the swim originated from higher bodies of water form higher up in the Himalayas. Three children’s charities will benefit from the proceeds raised by the swim. Madswimmer includes a group of ordinary people from different backgrounds and countries that aim to do the highest swim in the world between April 19th and May 6th.”

2015 Madswimmer Andes Swim

2020 Daniel Bull Andes Swim

2010 Lewis Pugh Mount Everest Swim

Craven explains more, “This world record swimming attempt will visually show the shocking extent of climate change and will showcase the indomitable collective human spirit. The Himalayas leave their mark on all who brave its towering supremacy. The team’s physical and mental wellbeing will hinge on their differences and diversity, which could make or break the expedition. But the collective human spirit inspires us to go far beyond our comfort zones to do the things that have never been done. This adventure is not just about the thrill. It is a narrative, rich in human endurance, climate change awareness, and the spirit of exploration. 

Real-time Feedback from the Himalayas

Madswimmer will be accompanied by a professional videographer who will follow the team throughout the expedition. This will connect people from around the world with the beauty and harshness of the environment and depict the team’s interaction with it.  

Madswimmer Team

Kayadelen writes, “I’m so excited, scared and honored to be invited to join an incredible mission. On the 19th of this month, I will be part of a team of seven people ascending the Himalayas to confirm the existence of the new highest lake on Earth, discovered by Nepalese sherpas on peak Putha Hiunchuli.

With this feat, we aim to increase awareness of the critical climate change situation as new lakes keep appearing at the highest altitudes. At the same time, we will also raise funds for charities aiding children affected by climate disasters.

Our diverse team, including swimmers, medical personnel, and cameramen, will embark on this 16-18 day journey. Although many of us lack mountaineering experience, we believe that when we want something and are willing to work for it, together, we can make magic happen.

For more information and updates of the April 20th challenge, visit here and @madswimmer.

© 2024 Daily News of Open Water Swimming

to educate, enthuse, and entertain all those who venture beyond the shoreline

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