Heights don’t bother me too much. But, watching Laso Schaller even gave me sweaty palms. It’s like watching those crazy Russians climb to the tops of tall buildings.
Schaller, a Brazilian-born, Swiss-raised 27-year-old did something truly insane. He set a new world record with a 58.8-meter cliff-jump. Yeah… That 15-foot rock at Little River Canyon looks pathetic compared to this. For us Americans, 58.8 meters translates to just under 193 feet. Dude, there’s no way in hell I would jump from that high. Hell, I wouldn’t even think about jumping from half that.
Lucky for us, Schaller had a GoPro strapped to his helmet.
That’s some Assassin’s Creed video-game craziness right there.
The magnitude of this jump required more preparation than your standard take-a-breath-and-go waterfall jump. Under sunny blue skies, Schaller and team first built a platform to give him a clean, controlled exit, with enough projection to clear the rock wall. Secondly, they explored the area with scuba gear – and set six tanks in the pool to aerate the water and soften the landing. Finally, they did a number of rock drops – timing the landing, seeing the fall line. That said, for Laso, it’s almost the same as any old jump. “Once you get above 25m, everything starts to look and feel the same,” he says. “The only difference is the airtime.”
The waterfall – Cascata del Salto
Located in the Ticino region of Switzerland, Cascata del Salto is the tallest waterfall in the area. From nearly 200 feet up, Schaller was jumping into an 8-meter deep pool of aerated water.
He overshot the aerated water and landed in the harder water towards the center of the pool. He did suffer a possible slightly dislocated right hip. But, a quick check from the medic and he cracked a smile knowing he just did something only a tiny fraction of the world’s craziest people would even contemplate.
How about some more Red Bull cliff diving?
Here’s Orlando Duque in Croatia in 2012.
And here are the top moments from the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2014. Ok, so it’s pretty much platform diving, but the scenery is a hell of a lot nicer than a traditional pool.
Image credits: Lukas Pilz / Red Bull