extreme, waterfall, adventure

Add these 5 extreme adventures to your bucket list ASAP

Words: Josh Rakic
Photography: Desré Pickers/Red Bull Illume

For those who enjoy extreme heights, gut-wrenching drops and volcanoes, this is for you.

There are adventures, and then there are adventures, the ones you can’t believe you survived and find yourself short of breath every time you have flashbacks. And if you don’t already suffer from PTHSD (post traumatic holy shit disorder), these next adventures will make you think twice about ever putting your life into the hands of a teenage foreign tour guide ever again. Because these adventures can kill you, and a number of them have the unenviable record that proves it.

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Mountain biking Death Road, Bolivia

© YouTube/Ignacio Vela

This winding goat track on a cliff’s edge in La Paz, Bolivia, has been named the world’s most dangerous road, and it has the body count to prove it. With no guard rails and a sheer drop some 2,000 feet directly down, it’s scary enough simply riding down Yungas Road - let alone with traffic coming at you from the opposite direction. Then there’s the heavy fog, waterfalls, rock falls, corrosion and dust. Hence the annual estimated death count of 200-300 people per year. But with 25,000 MTB-riding tourists annually, the odds of survival are slightly in your favor.

Victoria Falls - Devil’s Pool

© YouTube/Samiam2310

Most jacuzzi deaths are caused by infection, not from free-fall. Of all the adventures on the list, this is the one most likely to kill you. There are literally no safety precautions other than the word of the local guides that the rushing waters of the Zambezi River won’t catch you off balance as you tempt certain death in this skyline rock pool and send you plummeting to your death 354 feet below. A guide died saving a tourist at the falls in 2009. And while there are many other presumed deaths over the years, few have been confirmed. Though there’s a long record of near-death encounters. You’ll need a steel stomach.

 

Mt. Huashan Hiking Trail, China

© YouTube/JukinVideo

It’s called a hike, but the Mt. Huashan trail is more of a rock climb as adventurers tip-toe on a weathered 2x4 along a cliff face some 5,000 feet in the air with little more than a chain for support. In fact, this makes walking the plank into the ocean seem like child’s play. Of course, there is harness support these days should you choose on account of numerous deaths that are said to be in the 100s, making it slightly tamer - meaning only human error or equipment malfunction can kill you. Then there’s the fact the Plankwalk in the Sky is a two-way path …

 
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Volcano Boarding - Nicaragua

Hiking a live volcano isn’t exactly a form of self-preservation, but if you were to do it, having a quick mode of transportation out would be at least some form of insurance should the beast erupt. Which makes volcano boarding in Leon, Nicaragua, actually a little safer than it sounds. But rocketing down sharp volcanic rock on a flammable wooden sled at some 30 mph remains a potentially deadly task. But you can rest assured that at least the bottom of the board is metal, so it won’t catch fire but will give you third-degree burns should you lose a glove. No deaths reported as of yet, but …

Jacob’s Well, Texas

© YouTube/DiegoA

Barring encounters with great white sharks and monsters of the deep, scuba diving some 100 feet below the surface is commonplace and a relatively safe experience. Unless you’re in a cave. In Texas. The natural spring and popular swimming hole has claimed some eight lives in modern recorded history, all of which have been scuba divers. Largely for the fact that the enormous cave system that opens out below is pitch black and unknown.

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