2018 Salto is the King

At the begining of 2018 I spent some time in the Amazonia jungles with the friend of mine - Becko Ondrejovič. By hiking through the jungle we have decided to abseil Angel Falls.

Venezuela is in crises and we didin´t want to miss the chance. 
We knew how the political situation in Venezuela is critical. Some people cancelled this expedition due to unstable conditions in this country. At the end, there were six of us who hit the road in November 2018. Our goal was to traverse the Table Mountain Ayuan Tepuy and abseil of Angel Falls.

After 7 days of hiking in mud, rain and tropical jungle we stood at the edge of the Angel Falls. We chose rainy season to have a lot of water in the waterfall. The water was disappearing in a kilometer wall. White fog was covering all around us. Let´s start!

Our fascination by the highest canyons and waterfalls of the Earth started somewhere in Reunion island. There are plenty of beautiful waterfalls. After practicing in easier canyons, we decided to try the extreme ones. To traverse them we need two or three days and to fight with more than thousand meters of altitude. The documentary Trou de Fer – The Iron Hole was shot in the most difficult one. Wild canyons captured us with their beauty and energy. We abseil other extreme canyons in Europe. However, we had to come back to Reunion.  

We found out there is even more difficult canyon than Trou de Fer. Its name is Bras Magasin and it has 1050 meters. Two-day adventure in its wall was an extraordinary experience for us. Unfortunately, there is no film about this expedition. By abseiling of 100m wall our rope ended 5 m above water level. I have to jump down those 5 meters. By the fall I hit the bag fixed to my harness and a cap fell off my keg. My cameras were floated…

In 2017 the friend of mine -  Miro Dušek calls me and says that Angel Falls is no longer the highest one. Czech geodesist stated in news that Tugela Falls in South Africa is higher.  Tugela Falls is located in Drakensbergen Royal Natal in South Africa. They have measured it with the help of laser and came up with the result – 983m.
Miro found out there is no traverse of this waterfall until now. So, we have to organize the expedition there.

I have been next to Angel Falls in 2004 with frien of mine – Becko Ondrejovič. I can´t imagine there is something higher than this. Becko was the first one who abseil Angel Falls in 1997.
I couldn´t find any images from the whole wall of Tugela Falls. We didn´t know what to expect. In the autumn we travelled to South Africa with heavy loads of material. To our surprise there was snow on the tops of the Drakensbergen. And no water in the waterfall. How to shoot the waterfall when it is completely dry? Therfor we have waited two weeks for the weather improvement. Finally, we have abseiled this wall and set up new route through the wall. During our descent we made detailed documentation of this wall. Members of this expedition: Mirko Dušek, Jaroslav Holeček, Viktor Doletina, Pavol Černý, Štefan Urban, Daniel Balaga and me.

1.12.2018. We stand in the rain at the edge of the highest waterfall of the Earth. We watch the river falling down in a kilometer-long wall and hiding in a fog. We are completely wet but amazed.  We drill the first bolt and throw the rope down. The rain stops and I take the drone to shoot this extraordinary place.  The water falls 807 meters without any contact to the wall. Hanging on the thin rope and catching the strange energy springing from this place we keep this feeling hidden deep in us. Two days we were abseiling, drilling the bolts and enjoying this place. Finally, we stood by the foot of the waterfall. We took off our helmets and full of emotions and experiences shout: Salto Angel is the King!

Whatever the results of the highest records will be, I am happy that two highest waterfalls of the world were abseiled by Slovaks for the first times. This record will last forever.

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