Photos of Herman van der Westhuizen on Mount Muelas Muertes, courtesy of Nicolene Steynberg about the Madswimmers The Big Swim on Mt Ojos del Salado in Argentina.

The advantage of doing high-altitude swimming up on a volcano is the availability of a 30ºC (86ºF) thermal bath right next to the 8ºC (46ºF) lake.

Herman van der Westhuizen completed a 15-minute training swim in the middle of a 80 km per hour wind storm at 5,100 meters.

He is part of the Madswimmer expedition of 7 South African high-altitude swimmers, 2 medics, 4 support climbers, a tour guide and a cameraman were rising to the challenge – steadily towards the world’s highest altitude swim on Mt Ojos del Salado in the Andes Mountain.

But like swimmers at sea level, they knew to expect the unexpected.

There are more challenges. The team had some car troubles and the chainsaws needed modifications in order to get the engines started due to the low oxygen in the air in order to prepare for the Friday or Saturday swim,” reports The Big Swim team.



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