World's Highest Altitude Swims

World’s Highest Altitude Swims

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Fergil Hesterman and Troy Mayers [shown above] have swum in the mountains of Lesotho, Africa.

Hersterman completed an Ice Mile in 4.0°C water and 8.0°C air at 3,200 meters altitude in 21 minutes 51 seconds in the mountain lake in June 2018. Mayers completed his Ice Mile in Afriski, Lesotho in 1.7°C water and 3.0°C air temperature in the lake in 33 minutes 0 seconds.

Austrian ice swimmer and Guinness World Record holder Josef Köberl will attempt his next high-altitude Ice Mile even higher at 3,216 meters (10,551 feet) and even colder (between -0.3°C and -1°C) on July 10th within the Nature Ice Palace on the Hintertux Glacier.

high-altitude open water swim is an open water swim relay, solo crossing or open water swimming competition held at high altitude at least 1,000 meters above sea level. Some of the World’s High-altitude Swims include:

1. 5,909 meters (19,386 feet): Ojos Swim by Madswimmers Jean CravenJuandre HumanMilton BrestEvan FeldmanChris MarthinusenHerman van der Westhuizen and Robert Graaff across Ojos del Salado in Mount Tres Cruces on the border of Chile and Argentina in the Andes Mountains
2. 5,200 meters (17,060 feet): 1 km in Lake Pumori on Mount Everest in the Nepal – Tibet border by Lewis Pugh
3. 4,560 meters (14,960 feet): 7.5 km across Chungara Lake in Chile in the Andes Mountains in 10°C by Barbára Hernández
4. 3,812 meters (12,507 feet): 16 km by Lynne Cox in Lago Titicaca from Copacabana, Bolivia to Chimbo, Peru
5. 3,812 meters (12,507 feet): 7 km Torneo Internacional de Natación en Aguas Abiertas (Nadando Cerca del Cielo) in Lago Titicaca from the Isla de la Luna to the Isla del Sol in Bolivia
6. 3,216 meters (10,551 feet): wild swimming and Ice Miles within the glacier crevasse at the Nature Ice Palace on the Hintertux Glacier in Austria with water temperatures under -0°C
7. 3,200 meters (10,498 feet): Ice Miles in in Afriski, Lesotho
8. 3,048 meters (10,000 feet): 1 km South African Ice Swimming Championships in Afriski, Lesotho
9. 3,000 meters (9,842 feet): 1 km Winter Swimming Ski Portillo Chile (Festival Internacional de Natación de Invierno en Argentina) in the Andes Mountains, Argentina
10. 2,425 meters (7,957 feet): 5 km and 10 km Mountain Swim Series Castle 5K/10K in Wellington Lake in Bailey, Colorado, USA
11. 2,425 meters (7,957 feet): 1.5 km loops (repeated until failure) Mountain Swim Series Cliff Backyard Ultra Swim in Wellington Lake in Bailey, Colorado, USA
12. 2,323 meters (7,621 feet): 2.25 km Sierra Nevada Open Water 4 MS by Richard Gardner across June Lake in Inyo National Forest, Mono County, California, USA
13. 2,200 meters (7,218 feet): 500m International Extreme Race of Winter Swimming (International Limit Challenging Race of Crossing Yellow River Qinghai China) in northwest China’s Qinghai Province in Tibetan Plateau
14. 2,060 meters (6,759 feet): wild swimming in Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur in the Khangai Mountains in central Mongolia
15. 1,897 meters (6,224 feet): 34.3 km lengthwise swim across Lake Tahoe, California, USA
16. 1,897 meters (6,224 feet): 19.3 km true widthwise swim across Lake Tahoe between California and Nevada, USA
17. 1,897 meters (6,224 feet): 16.9 km Vikingsholm Swim between Cave Rock in Nevada and Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe, California, USA
18. 1,897 meters (6,224 feet): 16.1 km Olympic Club Trans Tahoe Relay in Lake Tahoe, California, USA
19. 1,897 meters (6,224 feet): 250m Gar Woods Polar Bear Swim in Lake Tahoe, California, USA
20. 1,756 meters (5,760 feet): 4.82 km Mountain Swim Series Carter Lake Crossing in Carter Lake Reservoir in Loveland, Colorado, USA
21. 1,676 meters (5,500 feet): 6.43 km Sierra Nevada Open Water 4 MS by Richard Gardner across Shaver Lake in the Sierra National Forest of Fresno County, California, USA
22. 1,676 meters (5,500 feet): 6.43 km Sierra Nevada Open Water 4 MS by Richard Gardner across Shaver Lake in the Sierra National Forest of Fresno County, California, USA
23. 1,654 meters (5,427 feet): 1.6 km and 3.2 km Mountain Swim Series Chatfield Classic in Hatfield Lake in Littleton, Colorado, USA
24. 1,645 meters (5,397 feet): wild swimming in Khovsgol Nuur in the Khovsgol Nuur National Park in northern Mongolia
25. 1,624 meters (5,328 feet): 300m, 700m, 950m and 1 km BAM Bi-Weekly Open Water Swims near Dream Cove at the Boulder Reservoir in Boulder, Colorado, USA
26. 1,624 meters (5,328 feet): 1.6 km, 3.2 km and 4.8 km BAM Bare Bones Open Water Swim Series at the Boulder Reservoir in Boulder, Colorado, USA
27. 1,511 meters (4,957 feet): 1.93 km and 3.86 km Mountain Swim Series Solstice Sunset Swim in Union Reservoir (Calkins Lake) in Longmont, Colorado, USA
28. 1,400 meters (4,593 feet): 1.6 km Speedo Ice Swim Africa in NuwedamFraserburg, Northern Cape in South Africa
29. 1,132 meters (3,715 feet): wild swimming in Khar Nuur in the Khovd aimag in western Mongolia’s Great Lakes Depression

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Steven Munatones