Mount Everest — an enormous mountain located within the Himalayan mountain range covering Nepal, China, and Tibet — is the tallest mountain in the entire world. This beast is around 29,029 feet high, and there is only about 1/3 the amount of oxygen you normally breathe it at its peak. Winds have been recorded to be up to 200 miles per hour on this mountain — and mixing that with extremely snowy, freezing conditions can be extremely deadly.
Reaching the top of Mount Everest is absolutely life-threatening. It is estimated that one out of every 10 hikers will reach their demise — even after they reach the top successfully. It is estimated that there are 120 dead bodies scattered around the mountain, making this hike even more terrifying. The biggest obstacles to a safe hike up Mount Everest are the merciless elements. Freezing temperatures, lack of oxygen, and even avalanches can be fatal. Frostbite and hypothermia are huge risks, and it's vital that a hiker is in tip-top shape to push through.
One man decided to stun the world and climb Mount Everest like no one has ever done before — and this will definitely send a shiver down your spine!
Wim Hof — a father of five from Sittard, Holland — is used to pushing his body to extreme limits. He's a daredevil that is continuously defying the odds of surviving in extreme temperatures, and he has over 21 Guinness World Records under his belt to prove it. He's not afraid of the freezing cold — he actually thrives in it — and he has received a fitting nickname as a result.
Hof received the nickname the "Iceman," and is known around the globe for his amazing feats in the snow, ice, and cold. Hof claims he can "turn his own thermostat up," through mindfulness, and it is a literal gamechanger. It may seem crazy — but experts agree that this 58-year-old man can literally survive extreme below-zero temperatures by putting his brain to the test.
Hof claims that it's all in his head, and experts can agree. It is believed that while the Iceman is in a deep meditative state his brain sends a signal to the rest of his body — the signal tells his entire body to stay warm. One of his greatest accomplishments to date had everyone in awe, and Huf truly proved he wasn't afraid to bear the harshest of elements.
The Iceman decided to make the trek up Mount Everest in 2007, but he made sure to turn some heads while doing so. Hof completed the hike in just a pair of shorts, which obviously caught worldwide attention. "It was quite easy. I was in a snowstorm before, say, on the fifteen, sixteen thousand feet up 'til eighteen thousand feet," Hof stated.
He Admitted It Was His Most Difficult Challenge Yet
"I feel like I can control my own body as if I have a thermostat that I can adjust when I need to," Hof stated. Despite his confidence, Hof is the first to admit Everest presented an especially difficult challenge. Hof made it 24,000 feet up the mountain, but he had to stop 5,000 feet from the top because he injured his foot. A small setback to an especially amazing achievement.
"It is a lifestyle that I have chosen to take therefore I train every day wherever I am," Hof stated. He doesn't rely on gym memberships or equipment, but he makes sure that he fits in time to train. "I don't bother with gyms, I just workout where I happen to be whether it's in the garden or at home," the Iceman admitted. The Iceman has broken many records, and it all started with his first major breakthrough in the year 1999.
In January of 1999, he completed his first extraordinary feat in the blistering cold. Hof ran a half-marathon in the Arctic Circle without any shoes on, and it sparked a fire in him to keep testing the strength of his mind to control his body temperature. Staying in control despite extreme elements became almost addictive to Hof, and he continued cooking up different ways to push his limits.
The North Pole is the last place any person would choose to take a refreshing dip, but Hof isn't phased by freezing-cold water. Hof swam under the ice at the North Pole in 2002 in just swim trunks. He received a Guinness World Record for swimming 80 meters — the length of two Olympic-sized swimming pools. Although it may seem to be his forte, cold conditions are not his only specialty.
"It's a great honor to have the nickname of Iceman, it makes me feel very proud of my achievements," Hof stated. He's definitely turned plenty of heads with his mind-blowing stunts, and it all started with a personal desire to figure himself out. He is never finished exploring the potential of his mind, despite his extraordinary discoveries thus far.
"I know my body, I know my mind, I know what I can do," Hof stated. It wasn't always easy, but the Iceman has definitely discovered a loophole in the human body's resilience. Shivering just thinking about it? You're not alone. Hof's accomplishments may make you uncomfortable, but they are also insanely motivating.
As the saying goes, the mind is a powerful thing to waste. Wim Hof is definitely not wasting any time putting his mind to work, and it might be time for you to elevate above what you believe to be your body's limitations. Been yearning to run a marathon or get into shape? Your mind may be the only thing holding you back.
Hof is transforming how researchers and experts perceive the limitations of the human body. "It all requires a lot of focus as they are very challenging and therefore exciting to do, so it's all worthwhile in the long-term," he stated. Here's to attacking every challenge with confidence — don't let the world turn you cold!