I get the heebie jeebies about two seconds in to this video of Laso Schaller’s world-record cliff jump, set this week at Cascata Del Salto in Switzerland. He’s 56 metres up (that’s roughly 193.5 feet), and peering down – waaaayyyyy down – to the 8 metres-deep pool below. He’s confident, or at least looks the part, as he shakes off any jitters and stands up straight.
The Red Bull-sponsered video does a comparative sketch for us at that moment. He’s higher than the Leaning Tower of Pisa, according to the graphic, and he’ll top out at an estimated 123km per hour when he hits the water after his four second freefall.
OK I take that back. The heebie jeebies hit the hardest at 0:36. Watch the video and you may feel the same way.
The Highest Cliff Jump in History
The cliff jump was a highly calculated stunt by the folks at Red Bull (now there’s a shocker!), planned well in advance and with a wooden platform constructed to give Schaller enough room to clear the rock wall on the way down. Good thing too, this was an exceptionally risky jump – the impact of the water alone could have smashed just about every bone in his body, to say nothing of the fact that he could simply miss the pool and land on the rocks below.
I’m sure Schaller, a Brazillian-born canyoning expert who lives in Switzerland, probably had a few second thoughts of his own.
But the jump was successful, and Schaller was rewarded handsomely for having a brass set of cojones for even thinking of such a feat. He’s now the proud owner of the highest cliff jump in history.
Some folks take issue with that title, because technically some athletes have dived from higher platforms. Still, this is the highest cliff jump ever, no matter how you look at it. A dangerous stunt? Hell yes. But something worth of the next two-and-a-half minutes of your life just the same. Enjoy!