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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Channel Equivalent Of Summiting Everest Without Oxygen

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The English Channel is called the Mount Everest of swimming.

This month, South Carolina's Allan McLeland [shown above] became the seventh individual in history to complete the Peak and Pond Challenge, a successful solo crossing of the 21-mile English Channel and a successful summit of the 8,848m (29,029 feet) Mount Everest.

While McLeland's achievement was exceedingly rare, the summits of Adrian Ballinger and Kilian Jornet that were completed a few days later were also very unusual.

On May 27th, Ballinger climbed to the summit of Mount Everest for the first time without supplemental oxygen [he had previously summitted six times with the aid of oxygen]. Jornet actually climbed to the summit twice without supplemental oxygen within five days. Fewer than 200 mountaineers in history have achieved this feat to the top of Mount Everest.

So if the English Channel is considered to be the Mount Everest of open water swimming, what is the aquatic equivalent of climbing Mount Everest without oxygen?

"That is a good theoretical question without a good answer," pondered Steven Munatones. "Perhaps it is crossing the English Channel without stopping to feed or drink or swimming literally non-stop without breaks? Or maybe it is simply crossing the English Channel with the old, heavy wool suits of the 19th century and without GPS instead of using GPS and contemporary jammers with compression panels?

It is an interesting question, without exactly an appropriate equivalent of summiting without the aid of oxygen tanks.

There have been a few channel swimmers, for example, that crossed the Catalina Channel and elsewhere with very few feeding stops. But swimming straight - without stops or feeds or GPS - is certainly not advisable nowadays

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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