Tightrope walkers set a world record high above a Swedish Arctic valley

The four Germans made a 2.1-kilometer walk between two Arctic peaks, at times as high as 600 meters.

By Reuters - July 8, 2021

STOCKHOLM — Four German tightrope walkers have set a new world highlining distance record by crossing a 2.1 kilometer-long valley in northern Swedish on a line suspended at a height of 600 meters.

Reuters’ video footage showed a barefoot man sway and teeter as he delicately tiptoed on a line across the Lapporten Valley, a distinctive U-shaped gap between two snow-capped mountain peaks near Abisko National Park in the Swedish Arctic.

“I just focused on being very slow, being extremely clean and just reaching the end,” said Quirin Herterich, who was first to cross the line before compatriots Lukas Irmler, Ruben Langer and Friedi Kuehne successfully followed.

“This is hard because it’s really exposed, it’s 600 meters high, it’s 2,150 meters and it’s really windy here sometimes,” said David Sjostrom, the project manager of the exploit.

It took the team two days to rig the line between the two which, at this time of year, bask in 24-hour sunlight.

“This place, Lapporten, is for me an iconic place and a very beautiful landmark … When I started looking at bigger projects I saw a picture of Lapporten … and just when I saw it, I know it had to be rigged and crossed,” Sjostrom added.

Reporting by Colm Fulton.