Josef Köberl Is Confined To Set A Unique High Altitude Ice Mile Record

Josef Köberl Is Confined To Set A Unique High Altitude Ice Mile Record

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Austrian ice swimmer and Guinness World Record holder Josef Köberl is gearing up for July 10th when he will attempt his most audacious extreme swim yet.

After setting his first world record for the Longest Duration Full Body Contact With Ice while sitting in an ice box for 2 hours 8 minutes at the Vienna Central Station in 2019 and then beating it by 22 minutes in 2020 in Melk, he is now planning to swim an Ice Mile within a glacier crevasse for over half an hour. No protection, just goggles, a swim cap, and swim trunks.

But cold and hyperthermia are not Köberl’s only obstacles. He will also be dealing with high altitude and an unusual experience of terrestrial confinement.

At an altitude of 3,216 meters (10,551 feet), Köberl will swim the high-altitude Ice Mile in an ice channel that is 50 meters long and 30 meters below the surface. He explains, “The Ice Mile measures 1,609 meters and must be done at a water temperature below 5°C. The world record swim will be attempted on Saturday is due to the extremely low water temperatures. The conditions are expected to be between -0.3°C and -1°C within the Nature Ice Palace on the Hintertux Glacier. In salt water, only a few people in history have swum so far under such extreme conditions like American Jaimie Monahan at -0.03°C, South African Ryan Stramrood at -1°C, and Ger Kennedy completed a Polar Zero Ice Mile in 0.5ºC water in Paradise Bay, Antarctica.”*

Steven Munatones comments, “I cannot fathom this. Freshwater feels so much colder than salt water. There are many ice swimmers who have swum in Antarctica and within the Polar Circle – like Lewis Pugh – but to do an Ice Mile at those temperatures in fresh water and at high altitude and in a confined space, now that is unprecedented.”

Köberl says, “It will be a physical and mental battle against time and the temperatures. If I will be able to finish the Ice Mile, then it will became a record. Never before has this distance been accomplished in fresh water and at this altitude. In addition to the athletic challenge, I want to use this platform to draw attention to the protection of the glaciers and their beauty and raise awareness to the importance of preserving them by all means.”

* Zero Ice Miles in Antarctica:

  • Cath Pendleton (UK) in March 2020 in Hanusse BayAntarctica in 0.03°C water and -3.2°C air in 32:54
  • Ger Kennedy (Ireland) in February 2020 in Paradise Bay, Antarctica in 0.53°C water and -1.10°C air in 34:02
  • Paul Eugen Dorin Georgescu (Romania) in February 2020 in Hanusse Bay in 0.0°C water and 2.0°C air in 22:44
  • Jaimie Monahan (USA) in March 2018 in Paradise Harbour in 0.57°C water and 1.0°C air in 30:49
  • Ryan Stramrood (South Africa) in March 2014 in Neko Harbour, Antarctica in -1.0°C water and 0.0°C air in 32:08
  • Toks Viviers (South Africa) in March 2014 in Paradise Bay, Antarctica in 0.5°C water and 0.0°C air in 25:30
  • Gavin Pike (South Africa) in March 2014 in Paradise Bay, Antarctica in 0.5°C water and 0.0°C air in 25:57

Other Zero Ice Miles Around The World:

  • Jaimie Monahan in December 2018 in Tyumen, Russia in -0.03°C water and -31.0°C air in 30:20
  • Kate Steels in December 2017 in South Lake, Shuangyashan City, China in 0.9°C water and -22.1°C air in 35:05
  • Ger Kennedy in December 2017 in Tyumen, Russia in 0.5°C water and -18.8°C air in 43:10 (1.25 miles)
  • Ger Kennedy in January 2016 in Wild Water Armagh Pool, Ireland in 0.77°C water and 4.0°C air in 32:30
  • Henri Kaarma in December 2013 in Tyumen, Russia in 0.0°C water and 0.0°C air in 41:47 (1.49 miles)
  • Ram Barkai in March 2013 in Murmansk, Russia in 0.0°C water and 0.0°C air in 32:43
  • Kieron Palframan in March 2013 in Murmansk, Russia in 0.0°C water and 0.0°C air in 31:00
  • Ryan Stramrood in March 2013 in Murmansk, Russia in 0.0°C water and 0.0°C air in 30:00
  • Henri Kaarma in March 2013 in Murmansk, Russia in 0.0°C water and 0.0°C air in 33:00 (1.34 miles)
  • Henri Kaarma in December 2012 in Tyumen, Russia in 0.3°C water and -33.0°C air in 25:25 (1.37 miles)
  • Aleksandr Brylin in December 2012 in Tyumen, Russia in 0.3°C water and -33.0°C air in 1:05:06 (1.37 miles)
  • Andrey Sychyovv in December 2012 in Tyumen, Russia in 0.3°C water and -33.0°C air in 1:06:30 (1.37 miles)

Copyright © 2008 – 2021 by World Open Water Swimming Association